DATE                                26.01.10

WEATHER                       DULL GREY& COLD

DISTANCE                       ABOUT 2 1/2 MILES

START / FINISH              ROADSIDE PARKING AT SHILLMOOR

 

RIVER COQUET

Not really sure  that I would class this as a walk as such but seeing as how I did it I suppose I should right it up …where to start.

As an amputee I was very disappointed about the lack of information about walks for the disabled  around Northumberland and its National park so after teaming up with the Northumberland national park ranger service  we decided to see if its possible to put a few together, not as easy as it sounds, for example some of the possible problems that we had to take in account where  Toilets, good access in and out in case things went wrong , a nearby road (in case of things went really wrong) no steep bits , no lose shale etc. , fences , stiles etc. etc. in fact the list was endless and with money being tight we certainly couldn’t throw money at it to make the problems go away.

So this river side walk was one routes, I decided that I would walk it on my own on a cold dull damp day when the ground would be at its worse with the thinking if I could manage it when its at its worse it could only get better, at the same time I would make a note of any cheap improvements that might be needed if it ever got the go ahead.

Some of the advantages of this walk could be there is a road always less than 400 meters away (alough you couldn’t see it) there is a lovley drive along the valley to the start point , passing a well maintained toilet block , walking along the river is always pleasant with it small waterfalls .

Small waterfalls on the drive up.

There is a medieval site to walk past (which really means the odd grassy hump in the landscape) but most importantly it would give the disabled visitors a real chance to see what its like up this neck of the country park and hopeful temp them to try a few more walk after all the scenery is well in my opinion very special.

So armed with my trusty camera, note book I set off on a cold winters day, where their was still the odd patch of snow laying about and the ground was soaking wet which should make it easer to pick out any boggy areas that might cause problems, in other words I chose a day when the route would be at its worse.

I decided to park up on the roadside layby opposite the small farm at Shillmore and well basically follow the river Coquet down stream towards the bridge at Linbriggs where I would join up with the road and walk back along the road back to Shillmore, the road itself is extremely quite with only a handful of farmers and walkers using it, so getting knocked over by a boy racer shouldn’t be a problem the advantage of this was it gives the walker a better or should I say a high level view of the surrounding hills where as when walking along the river side the views are limited to just the river bank .

Distance wise it was about 2 ½ miles but could be cut a lot shorter if you wanted it to be.

 A few photos:-

Looking back towards the farm at Shillmoor.

A bit further along the Coquet looking back at the farm with Shillmore hope law (501 meters) towering above it.

A bit further along.

At a place known as Irvin pool (don’t ask because I don’t know)

Small unnamed water fall coming down off Passpeth sike.

A bit closer.

Calm section of the Coquet

Looking downstream

Looking back at what is an medieval village (grassy humps)

Bend in the river; there are several paths at this section, some high some low.

I took the higher route, looking down the river.

Looking back.

One of the many sheep paths on this section.

Looking back.

Another set of small waterfalls / rapids, unfortunately I couldn’t get one photo showing them all.

Last look down the river time to leave it now.

Easy grass path towards the road.

 

A few photos taken from the road.

Back where I started at the farm.

after thoughts , I did quite a few of these smaller walks , putting in my thoughts and recommendations down on paper and sending them in for further attention / action  sadly after years of trying nothing was done ,I tried other organisations such as the limbless association , JLAF , natural England  even my local limb centre to try to get these route or even something up and running  sadly despite “words” of how it was a brilliant idea was and how they would love to help nothing was ever forthcoming ,  I think it was a pure PR exercise by the head people and so I simply gave up . A shame really.

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