Allen Mill 22nd August 2015

Part 2 of the walks linking parts of Isaac’s Tea Trail in Allendale. This is one of my favourite walks and I make no apologies for repeating it at least every two years.

We started out near the Allen Mill Regeneration Centre which sadly has lost its tea shop and its handy parking area. The first part of the route swoops down to the river East Allen passing the ingenious Salmon Highway through the weir that enables salmon to negotiate this tricky stretch of river. Continuing through woodlands and pasture we reached an isolated farmhouse, now renovated tastefully and with a beautiful adjoining garden that featured in the English Garden magazine. Amazingly the walk goes through the garden and exits just to the left of the woodstore!

After another half mile we encountered more beautiful cottages, tucked away in this sheltered valley that must be an absolute nightmare to drive into! The only access road is a rough farm track that stretches out to Oakpool Farm and the first semblance of metalled road. From here its a steep climb up Colliery Lane to the lunch stop; beneath the embankment of the old Hexham to Alston branch line. Its a quiet and peaceful place bounded by fields and offers a sheltered seat behind a stone wall for lunch.

The return leg of the walk passed through pasture land with superb views down the valley towards Catton and Allendale before descending again to the valley floor for the final 1/2 mile back to the cars, past more picturesque cottages bustling with chickens and beehives.

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