Corbridge 24th November

To be honest, it’s like shelling peas finding a lovely walk in the Tyne Valley so this walk, inspired by the town’s most famous resident Catherine Cookson, wasn’t a trial to research.

Starting out by the school on St Helen’s Lane, the walk took us quickly out of town and up a minor road to the lovely old bottle kilns on the edge of Corbridge. These were made to make bricks and tiles, not bottles, but their lovely curvaceous outline gives them their name. The views over the town and valley are stunning from this spot and the nearby houses claim an enviable position.

We swooped under the busy A69 and headed for the quiet lanes and fields of the surrounding countryside. Our first point of interest was a small bridge crossing a small burn. The Cor Burn that gives its name to the town!

For late November, the weather was remarkably kind – a little nippy but barely a breath of wind and not a drop of rain. Climbing slowly upwards we soon reached Low Houses, a short terrace of estate lodgings that seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Leaving them behind we soon reached the noisy, rather smelly Stagshaw Kennels where we were greeted by two dozen foxhounds baying and bouncing around behind a high fence.

Lunch was taken in a nearby copse, lit horizontally by golden November sunshine. The final leg of the walk took us via the beautiful hamlet of Halton with its fine stout castle walls, crumbling pele tower farm and perfect little church. Tucked behind the church is a large topiarised mouse in yew. Heading downhill we passed the impressive Aydon Castle and walked through a lovely steep sided wooded valley before reaching the A69 and the return loop of the walk; this time we crossed over the busy road before heading back to town.

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