DATE                                       14.05.06

DISTANCE                              1.2 MILES

WEATHER                              DRY & WARM

START / FINISH                     CHURCH CAR PARK


Hartburn Grotto

After our walk up at Kielder the day before I decided that I had better not do anything that could cause the skin on my stump to get worse, it was red and angry but so far the skin hadn’t broken so having a day’s walking out someplace was out of the question …………but it seemed a shame to stay in the house so once again over coffee an very cunning  plan started to form , why don’t we go for a drive and visit a few places that we had read about but not had the time to get to ,  sounds like a plan my better half Yvonne agreed , we had already picked out a couple of local places and once again Google had come up with some info on them , parking , a brief history etc. etc. so that was that , gear was thrown into the car ( just in case we needed anything)  and off we went our first place was Hartburn and its woodland grotto,

A bit of info for you:

You will need a reasonable head for heights to enjoy a walk through this rural woodland, which hugs the steep sides of the Hartburn valley near Morpeth. The circular trails that loop around the woods – a mix of mature oak, beech, lime and sycamore, and 20th-century conifer plantations – take you right to the cliff edge, with severe drops to one side. Steps have been cut into the steepest sections of path to make progress a little easier. If you can bear to, look down to see the Hart Burn weaving through the valley below. At the curve of the river is Baker's Chest, a deep pool reputed to have been used to stash valuables during Viking raids. And hidden below the cliffs is a natural cave adapted in the 18th century into a bathing grotto. It is linked to the river's edge by a tunnel so that modest bathers could slip discreetly into the water. Look out for otters and red squirrels.

It’s local so we soon found ourselves parking up by the church in the small village of Hartburn, gear was sorted which meant I had a small rucksack and off we went, a small walk through the village and we soon found the entrance to the stat of this woodland trail, I have to say that we where both impressed, the footpath was in excellent condition and the whole area was covered in flowers , wild garlic and bluebells covered the floor , it didn’t take long for us to reach the Burn where the deep pool was used to hide the villages stash of loot but what really caught our eye was the “bathhouse” that had been carved into the sandstone , I have to be honest and say that we where both impressed that this was literally  just a small drive from where we live and makes us wonder what other gems are all around us that we never even know about , after a few photos and a mooch we headed back towards the car , we where fortunate enough to stop and talk to a local who happy told us a bit about the village and some of its history , we only walked about 1.2 miles but today wasn’t about distance it was all about chilling out and mooching around .

A few photos

One very fancy stone bridge

Same again


Cutting down towards the burn looking back


Our path took us down towards the burn; the floor is covered with flowers


The Hart Burn


The deep pool (on the far side)


Looking down the river


Yvonne getting ready to dive in after the “loot”


Looking up the burn


The burn a bit further along


Looking up the bank


Nice tree? Bush? I haven’t got a clue what type it is


At the “grotto”


Go on get in there Yvonne


Inside looking into one of the changing chambers


The fire place that was lit to warm up the swimmers (there must have been more water in the burn in them days)


Inside looking out, part of the tunnel what would give the lady swimmers some privacy as they entered the burn, sadly it’s mostly gone now


Heading back up looking down


A gap in the trees


Looking down the steep bank




Different type of house, we were informed that it was the undertaker’s house as well as a school house



Day after thoughts ; none needed as this isnt a walk and we still have more places to visit this afternoon .