I can’t believe I missed out on posting the blog for this walk at the time. Probably something to do with moving house a week later I suspect but unforgivable nonetheless.
Like the previous walk from Ponteland, this area is surprisingly un-walked by our group and has much to commend it. We will definitely walk around here again.
Starting out at the popular Bolam Lake we set off through the woodland that skirts the water before crossing sunlit pasture towards Shaftoe Craggs. Bright sunshine left many of us ruing a lack of sunglasses on this walk, not to mention sun hats!
Slicing through the hillside here is the limestone slash of Salters Nick, a long since disused drovers’ track through the Northumberland bad lands. No doubt worn away by generations of packhorse hooves and stout leather boots, this narrow gulley has an eerie atmosphere even on a sunny day.
Moving on from Salters Nick we crossed marshy grassland pasture before climbing up to the spectacular Shaftoe Craffs for lunch at the trig point.
These rugged limestone outcrops shine out against the surrounding greenery and their stark profile has attracted walkers and day trippers for many years. There are also stories of wedding parties celebrating here too with drinks flowing from the Devils Bowl depression in the topmost rocks.
Descending gently back down we traversed farmland, passing an interesting looking walled garden (mostly overgrown) next to a stout and handsome Georgian style house. From here it was back to the start point via Sandyford.
A welcome sit down and a cup of tea was enjoyed at the Bolam Lake café.