Northumberland has had a few snowfalls during December but this walk started out in very cold but clear conditions. Starting from the village of Langley, near Haydon Bridge, we walked past the Langley Furniture Works and down a steep, frozen field to cross the A686.
Following a minor spur of the A686 we headed up through outlying cottages of Langley and past a field of miserable looking Belted Galloway cows munching on come cold looking hay.
A sharp left off the road led us to a gate with a cattle grid and from there we followed the farm track of Sillywrea farm. After crossing a couple of fields via a stone stile we descended a steep hill down to the farm buildings themselves. By now, glowering dark clouds were gathering on the northern horizon and the wind was picking up.
Having passed through the farm yard we followed the farm access road to pick up the minor road we had left about a mile back. After half a mile or so we turned right to enter fields pimpled by old excavations and straight into an oncoming snowstorm. Stinging horizontal snow battered our faces and we took shelter among some gorse bushes and huddled down to eat our lunch. The wind and snow continued unabated and we decided to carry on quickly with the walk rather than wait until the snow had stopped.
Passing down a pretty, sunken lane bounded by high hedges on either side we emerged at a minor crossroads occupied by a small cottage. This was once a holiday let but it now looks to be privately owned. The road continues down towards Langley Castle but our walk took us South at the next junction and past the large farmsteading of East Deanraw.
Just before the expansive buildings we crossed the Deanraw Burn and climbed up past a conifer plantation that afforded us much needed respite from the continuing windblown snow. The final leg of the cross-country walking took us through a very wet field scarred by deep, deep tractor ruts filled with icy water. With the stinging snow now blowing directly into our faces it was an unpleasant half a mile or so until we reunited with the A686 and then continued on to Langley and the end of the walk.