With many of our children at University or already graduated and out in the big wide world, this is the walk when we are guaranteed to see them all together. For the last few years we have started from Corbridge on the last walk of the year and finished off in a local pub for a Christmas feast.
This year we had seventeen oldies and young ‘uns gathered together for the traditional photo by the market cross.
We set off north up the Stagshaw Road for quarter of a mile, before taking a right at Cow Lane and up to the footpath that runs alongside and below the A69. Having crossed under the A69 we joined Milkwell Lane briefly, before turning East along a footpath that crosses three fields and leads to a narrow belt of trees fringing the Corr Burn.
This footpath took us over the Burn and then up to the ruins of Aydon Castle where we stopped for our traditional Christmas nibbles and fizz. This 13th Century fortified manor house is a lovely place to visit in the summer.
After suitable refreshment, we continued the walk, circling the castle and heading back down through woodland to cross the Corr Burn once again. After crossing a sloping field we found ourselves by the tiny hamlet of Ridley and turned right to cross the B6321. We crossed two more fields to reach the busy A69 and negotiated a safe crossing. This is such as busy road and we were thankful for the refuge of the central reservation. After crossing two more fields we found ourselves in the tiny hamlet of Thornbrough with its pretty stone cottages and imposing manor house.
The footpath took us West out of the hamlet and back towards Corbridge and a mile of comfortable pavement walking brought us back to the market square. From there, it was on to the Robin Hood Inn for our Christmas feast!