Our Christmas walk is one of the highlights of our walking year. It’s the one walk of the year where we can guarantee most of our children (now rapidly growing up) will turn up and walk with us. The enticement of Christmassy nibbles half way round and then lunch in a pub may also account for their presence. They also walk and chat together and, now that most of them are away at University, it’s a good chance for them and us to catch up.
Eighteen of us, plus two well behaved dogs, gathered at the Market Square in Corbridge to begin this walk with the traditional photo-shoot. We headed north to start with, along the main road, and then dipped down towards the River Tyne just opposite the Wheatsheaf pub. There’s a nice windy path that skirts through the front gardens of some fancy houses just here and it takes us down to the riverside. As we met the river we headed east along to the bridge. Thankfully the footpath wasn’t flooded, as is often the case in winter, and we got to the bridge with dry feet.
We crossed the lovely old bridge and headed south, towards the railway station but continued past it and above it on the B6529. Just as the road curves left at the end of the railway bridge, we passed through a well-hidden gateway in amongst the trees and then walked through a small patch of woodland before climbing up through sheep pasture to meet the A695. We crossed and skirted the edge of another field before a steep climb led us through woodland to reach Ladycutters Lane and a fine view back to Corbridge.
That was the last of the cross-country walking for a while and we now headed up the quiet road for a mile or so before stopping for Christmassy snacks at the next country lane junction.
Striking out east we followed the next metalled road for a mile or so to Burn Brae Lodge, a hamlet of handsome looking houses at the top of Prospect Hill. Winding our way down the hill we reached the A695 again and crossed the busy road to take a footpath down towards the Newcastle – Carlisle railway line. Crossing carefully, we then found ourselves at Tynedale Park sports ground. From here we followed the riverside path, now raised up onto flood defence dykes back towards Corbridge.
Christmas lunch was taken at the lovely Black Bull pub in the town; good food and company to kick off the festive season.