Wylam 20th October

The second in our matching pair of George Stephenson walks.

This one started out at the lovely village of Wylam in the Tyne Valley on a fine Autumn day. There is an excellent car park in Wylam that sits adjacent to the walk route…. and it’s free on a Sunday. This is a popular route for local walkers and cyclists as it the going is firm and dry; actually I can’t remember if it is tarmac or compacted scalpings, but anyway it’s good walking.

The path follows old waggonways and early railway lines and like many of these routes it is well planted either side with trees and shrubs and it is a lovely landscape to walk within. Early in this walk you come across the cottage where George Stephenson was born, now a National Trust site it is a neat and tidy whitewashed building – a far cry no doubt from when George knocked about here as a boy. The long straight walk was busy with dog walkers and lycra clad cyclists out for a Sunday morning constitutional, but that did not detract one bit from our enjoyment. The low Autumn sun, slanting through the trees  was so powerful that a few of our group removed jackets and fleeces to enjoy the late season warmth.

We stopped for lunch at the Tyne Riverside Country Park and sat beneath dazzling yellow horse chestnut trees to enjoy our sandwiches before heading across the bridge and the river for the return leg. This spot was also the site of a famous skirmish that was a precursor of the English Civil War and there’s a good information board near the bridge that  explains the details of the fight.

The return stretch took as along the Tyne Valley railway line and through the golf course at Ryton; I’m always a bit nervous crossing golf courses, feeling that it’s only a matter of time until I get whacked on the back of the head by an errant tee shot. Thankfully I escaped that danger once again.

At this point we encountered some blustery showers, but nothing too bad and we soon found ourselves at Wylam Station and after that, the car park.

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