DATE                                        29.01.13

DISTANCE                              ABOUT 6.48 MILES

WEATHER                              GREY WET AND WINDY 

START / FINISH                     CAR PARK (PAY AND DISPLAY AT ALLEN BANKS)

Allen banks

Today’s walk was going to be another one for the north Pennines people and there push for easy access. And as I am still not right with my walking ability it should have been a nice easy route to do…………so that was the plan.

After studying the map that Beck’s had sent me I quickly decided that I could do the route and extend it a bit to make it a full days walking, the only problem was the weather, it wasn’t very good but according to all the forecast it was really going to turn pants at the back end of the afternoon with gale force winds and heavy showers , its  something that even now I have problems with that is walking in strong winds and I still haven’t managed to work out a system to deal with them other than don’t get caught out in the open.

On arriving at the car park at the start of the walk, the first thing I realised is that I had to pay for the privilege ……………£4 of my hard earned pounds for the day, normally this would wind me up no end, but the one thing about the national trust and this site is that they keep all the facilities open and in good condition so even though I muttered under my breath about a “rip off “I don’t really mind.

Coffee made and gear on off I went, the first thing I noticed was a sign that the footpath was closed (good start) due to the heavy rain and what I think was a landslide and to use the diversion, however I was a man on a mission, I was going to check out the path and nothing was going to stop me. So off I went totally ignoring the sign.

Just before the swing bridge I again noticed a warning sign, nothing to get excited about.

A bit of repair work going on.

Surly they wouldn’t close the path for this?

But a bit further along there was yet another sign and this time it proved to be a bit more difficult to get past.

More problems with stuff falling on the path.

But again didn’t prove to much trouble, from this point my walk would take me along the very wet and muddy path to the footbridge at Plankey Mill where I would leave the route that Becks had sent me and go off doing my own thing returning back at Plankey Mill to walk the return section.

I had chosen to have a wander downstream then cut up a really steep bank up to the ruins at Stewards Peel.  Where once I had got my breath back I treated myself to lunch (which I had to share with a rather fat robin.)

Fat Robin.

From there it was a case of following a few different footpaths (and some rather fantastic navigating) back to Plankey mill where I linked up with the route that Beck’s had sent me.

From there it was a simple case of following the river Allen back to the car park (see map)

A few points worth noting , the paths in the woods where in shocking condition with the steps breaking down under the sheer amount of water rushing down and where very slippery, there was signs that the National trust people where addressing the problems , but I think that it was just too wet. So I wouldn’t recommend this walk until things dry up a bit.

The other thing was I found the mud to be very slippery add on all the wet leaves laying on exposed rocks and tree roots made sections of this walk very hard to walk on without slipping / tripping all over the place .

But the good news was that I arrived back at the car, got my gear sorted and coffee made just before the weather changed, another 5 minutes I would have ended up like a drowned rat.

About 6.5 miles of what have been easy walking (if it wasn’t so wet ) with about 1200 foot of lung bursting ups and downs , on dryer conditions it wouldn’t have been so difficult so keep away till summer time.

As normal a few photos;

Taken at the start of the walk looking back at the car park.

Swing bridge.

Looking down a swollen river Allen.

Warning sign.

A good place to sit and have a rest, there are seats scattered about on this walk.

Looking across towards the cliffs on the other bank (my return route)

The river Allen.

The riverside path (one of the better sections)

Small waterfall.

Bridge over the Kingswood burn.

The Kingswood burn.

The bridge at plankey Mill.

 Plankey mill there used to be camping allowed on this field.

My new route takes me downstream a bit, looking back.

Entering the woods again.

A few photos of the River Allen.

Old lime kilns.

 

Now at Steward Peel.

 

My route.

 

A few photos of the view.

 

Starting to head down again.

 

Small waterfall on the Harsondale Burn.

 

Back out in the open again.

Nice easy walking back to plankey mill.

Old building at Strother house.

Tree roots growing in rock.

 

Old ruin at Plankey mill (and a muddy path)

Riverside path.

A few more photos as I make my way back to the car park. (Just before the rain starts)

 

Day after thoughts

No aches or pains in the morning , which is a good thing , but I really struggled with some of the paths , slipping and sliding all over the place , I don’t know if its because of my arty leg or not , should have taken someone with me to see how they got on.

Make a note to myself; don’t do this again till it’s dried out sometime in the summer.

 

ALL 2013 WALKS                   ABOUT ME              NORTHUMBERLAND