DATE                             18.01.17

DISTANCE                   ABOUT 7.11 MILES

WEATHER                   DRY BUT DULL

START / FINISH         CAR PARK AT THRUNTON WOODS

 

For today’s wander I would be joining the guys and girls from the https://www.meetup.com/Northumberland-Walking-Group/ and having a wander around Thrunton woods, as many of you good readers (all four of you) will know I have spent a lot of time mooching and wandering around Thrunton woods over the last few years so it’s an area that I know very well, however as the route isn’t published its sort of like a mystery tour for me.

I was looking forward to meeting up with the gang again and getting quite excited about getting out again  (how sad am I?) but if the truth was known just getting out anyplace with anyone is great I really do enjoy my days wandering around and going to Thrunton is always a great place to be , Thrunton woods has all sorts of terrain and as such I have used it as a sort of training area for my never ending quest to learn to walk again or relearn after I have been out of action for a while or even when I have had new components fitted . it has all sorts of terrain to practise on from easy forestry tracks , muddy bike tracks , slippery pathways weaving in and out between the trees with many hidden tree roots just waiting to catch you out , there are several seriously steep sections all filled full of hidden trip hazards that are waiting to catch you out , large very boggy peat bogs , miles of swampy grassland , sandstone paths that have zillions of lose rocks and boulders waiting to catch you out ……………Yes Thrunton woods has it all .

But it has trees to shelter you from the strong winds and help keep the worst of the weather out, views that are spectacular, heather that is breathtakingly beautiful when it’s out in flower, secret caves, old hill forts long forgotten, stone quarry’s that are no longer used, huge sections of very old native trees all grown into different shapes and of course mile upon mile of fire trees with a sparkling burn running right through the middle of it all.

On previous trips up here I have seen loads of deer, foxes, rabbits and so many birds I have lost count of the different varieties, the ponds are teaming with frogs and newts at certain times of the year, but the most important thing is everyone who walks in these woods always comes back feeling refreshed and in a good mood it’s like the area just takes all the badness out of you so you go home feeling so much better. So yes I was looking forward to a day’s wandering.

The only downside was that my new walking buddy Edwina couldn’t make this walk, however Bob dog would be coming along so I would have some company on the drive up and back again, not that Bob speaks a great deal in fact he tends to get his head down and sleeps the entire trip, then springs into life the moment the car stops. Naturally we had our normal stop on the drive up at our sarnie shop where I treat myself to a roast beef salad sandwich, with extra roast beef for bob and I’m not really sure what happened but we got double the extra beef so Bob was feeling very happy when I told him and went as far as to demand a bite to eat there and then.

On arriving at Thrunton, gear was sorted, bob was let out and I went to meet the rest of the gang for the day, Margaret was the leader and showed us the map of the route that we would be doing, personally I really didn’t care where we was going , just getting out is enough for me and I am more than happy just to tag along at the back of the group as I really do struggle to keep up , there is something about this knee I can walk all day with no problems but if I try to go that little bit faster I find that the knee just can’t keep up with the demand I put on it , of course I still have a bit of play on the cylinder that might help but it would be at the expense of losing a bit of the other function of the knee …a sort of trade off so I am very reluctant to alter the setting to much just for that little bit of extra speed .

As it was the route that Margaret picked wasn’t difficult, (see map above) in fact it was all on forestry tracks and for once I didn’t drop too far behind and as the day wore on I found that I could keep up without too much difficulty, I’m not sure if this was because I was walking faster or the group was walking at a slightly slower pace, either way it was nice to wander along and have a chat with the other walkers something that’s still new to me , normally I’m too out of breath to chat or I have to concentrate on the ground I find it hard to do two things at once , then after coming round a bend we saw the car park in front and that was the walk over , I think that everyone was suppressed how quickly we had done it and I even checked my GPS to confirm that we had walked 7 miles as it seemed much shorter , all I can think of is walking on these tracks the pace is much faster and with no big hills to slow us down we got round a lot quicker.

After we said our good buys and thanked Margaret for sorting the walk out everyone headed off to the pub, being an old miserable old git I didn’t fancy going to the pub when there was still a couple of hours of daylight left so we (Bob dog & I)  decided to head off to have a look around the old ruins at Edlingham Castle and see if the old church was open , I’m not a religious person but the old church is a delight to look around some info : St. John the Baptist Church is a Mediaeval (11th century) The church is mostly Norman, from two periods, the late 11th - early 12th Century and late 12th century, The chancel arch and the south porch, with its rare Norman tunnel vault, are late 11th century, and the north aisle arcade is from the late 12th century. The columns are circular and the capitals are scalloped with bands of nail-head. The defensible west tower may also have begun in the late 12th Century, but completed later.

Then it was a short walk to the ruins again some info: By 1174, a manor house at the location was in the possession of a John of Edlingham. In 1294, a descendant, Walter of Edlingham sold it to William de Felton, who strengthened it by building strong ramparts and a gatehouse, fortifying the main hall and adding other buildings inside a courtyard. In 1396 Elizabeth de Felton inherited it, marrying Sir Edmund Hastings, who added a strong solar tower. Their descendants occupied the castle and estate until 1514; it was then it was purchased by George Swinburne; a constable of Prudhoe, whose family held it until the 18th century.

During this time it gradually fell into disrepair, with most of the buildings dismantled to build nearby farmhouses in the 1660s, but leaving the solar tower intact. In 1978 the Department for the Environment acquired the site and conducted extensive archaeological excavations, prior to which rubble filled the solar tower to a height of three meters.

The site is now in the care of English Heritage and is easily accessible from the nearby church of St. John the Baptist Church William de Felton is buried there. There is an interpretation board on-site, while more detailed leaflets are available from the church for a small donation.

Then it was time to head back anyway a Link for more info on the castle: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/alnwick/edlinghamcastle/

we had walked just over seven miles with 1183ft of the ups and downs all of it easy walking as normal a few photos from today

And we are off

Looking back at this point we are on the green trail

 

At Callaly Crag and the views start to open up a bit

 

A bit further along

 

Same again

 

Another person taking photos

 

The one and only Bob dog

 

Looking towards Castle hill

 

Last look before we move on to a different section of the woods

 

Group photo

 

And we are off again

 

Looking towards the distant crags (not our route for today)

 

Old trees that have been stacked and left

 

It gets a bit windy up here at times

 

More of the same

 

Holly tree

 

Looking up towards Coe crags

 

The track now taking us down the side of Coe hill

 

A couple of photos as we make our way along

 

A very old tree growing by the Coe Burn

 

Err  more trees ! and the car is parked just around the bend

Looking towards the St. John the Baptist Church

 

A few photos from the inside

 

Now heading towards the ruined castle

 

A few photos around the castle

 

Bob dog mooching around , he had great fun running along the walls

A few more

Last photo of the church as we make our way back

 

DAY AFTER THOUGHTS

Home, gear sorted and packed away then hot bubbly bath, after a quick check of my stump there was a couple or sore spots where the skin had started to rub off but nothing to get concerned about, I should have stopped and put a wipe of cream on them but at the time I couldn’t be bothered as I was nearly at the car, but it is a reminder that I need to stop and do something straight away before it gets sore otherwise I might not get away with it next time. Other than that I had no aches or pains so another good day , bob dog went straight in , woofed his tea down and curled up in front of the fire and didn’t move for a couple of hours .

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