The drive up to Simonburn is a joy in itself; the swooping, dipping Military Road from Heddon On The Wall was particularly spectacular in the low sun today. The glorious walk at the end was the icing on the cake.
Simonburn is a picturesque little village with a generous village green and a pretty decent tea shop (more of that later) as well as having the imposing St Mungo’s church. Or walk took us out of the village and up Castle Lane to the cover of mixed woodland. We walked straight past the castle.
In our defence, it is little more than a pile of stones covered in ivy and elder and blends beautifully into the surrounding landscape!
Having left the tree cover behind we plodded up the hill to Fenwickfield Farm on the brow of the moors. Here the landscape is wide and expansive and windblown; the weather was kind and we had occasional glimpses of blue sky between the autumn clouds. We took our lunch break up here, nestled in the undulations of rushes and sedges with views over the North Tyne valley and back down to Simonburn.
After lunch we continued past Goatstones farm and up onto Ward Lane for the long sweep back to the village. Although this was over a mile of road walking, it was spectacular. The views across to Chipchase Castle and Wark were lit by golden sunshine and overhead a thick cover of deciduous trees kept us cool for this long downhill stretch.
We cut back down to Castle Lane in an attempt to revisit the Castle ruins we had missed earlier. We did uncover them and had a short detour to admire the sparse piles of cut stone.
The end of our 5 mile walk ended at the village teashop – recommended for good cake and ginger beer.