DATE                                22.12.16

DISTANCE                       7.6 MILES

WEATHER                       BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH              CAR PARK AT ETAL

 

It seemed that I hadn’t been out anywhere for ages , and due to various things like work and stuff I found myself in the position that if I didn’t get out on my one and only day off , that would be it for a week or so , Time for some serious thinking , firstly the weather had to be taken into consideration, and once again I consulted my trusty weather app on the IPad , now as you all know the weather gods had been a bit pissed with me and blessed me with some shite weather on my last few walks , so being the creep that I am I have been dancing naked around the fish pond in my back garden singing there praise songs hoping to get back in there good books ( at this point in time I’m not really sure what my next door neibours think and if an offence has been committed) Then right out of the blue I had yet another brain wave (boy am I on good form today)   why not ask my brand new walking partner the lovely Edwina if she would like to join me with her little pooch Rosie dog for a wander , much to my delight she was up for it , great ! That left me with only one problem where should we go, I wanted to head down south someplace but according to the weather it was going to be mostly rain so it looked like we would be heading up north someplace and according to the weather people the further north the better the weather. The only other problem that we might encounter was lack of daylight as it was the shortest day (well nearly) so we wouldn’t be doing anything massive (not that I’m up to anything big yet)  but it did remind me to check that my head torch was packed away in some secret compartment on my rucksack.

Bob dog instantly noted that the rucksack was out and informed me that he would be joining me for the day as well, and whilst I was sorting stuff out he had noted that his treat bag was getting low and I might as well top that up with his tasty treats...

After a few more p.m.’s  to Edwina  it was decided to wait till the morning pick up and then decide where we would go, that way we should have a much better idea where the good weather was going to be . and so the following morning gear was thrown into the car, Bob dog jumped into the back and settled down and we was off (with the normal stop for roast beef sarnie ….and yes I did get Bob’s extra slices before you ask) However on meeting up with Edwina things changed she had produced a couple of maps containg walks up at Etal castle along the river Till and would I like to head up there for the day, well I was delighted to try this area out, it’s been donkeys years since I’ve been up that way and to be honest I don’t think that I have ever wandered along the river before so that was everything sorted and so a bit later we found ourselves parking up  in the free car park at Etal (I like the word free car park) , gear was sorted , pooches was dressed in there winter walking coats and we were off .

I have to say that I was very impressed with the small village of Etal , it is a lovely small village with loads of quant buildings and things to see and do , naturally everything was shut , but we was hoping that the Pub would be open on our return so we could treat ourselves to a after walk drink , but sadly it wasn’t , anyway getting back to the walk , with Edwina taking point with Bob and Rosie dog running back and forwards off we went , our route (see map ) above was basically a wander along the river mostly following a very well maintained path but at one point Edwina using her gold star navigating skills took us off the main path and I believe that we might or might not have been involved in a little trespass as we went our own way along the river , then at a certain point in the Afternoon we decided that really we should stop and think about turning around and start heading back before it got dark , as it was we just got back to the car before it went dark (good timing or what?) , the one thing that I did notice was without all the light pollution how clear the sky was and how quickly it got dark .

The walk along the river, with the bright / clear blue sky was a joy, today the weather gods looked after us and we couldn’t have asked for better weather, the river itself has loads of very small rapid / small waterfalls which made the river interesting to walk along, the trees had long since shed there leaves but still looked very impressive, and I made a mental note that we should return in the summer months and again in the autumn to see them at their best.

Dotted along the river there are several “things” that I am certain have a rich history but as I write this blog up I haven’t found out anything about them other than “they are there” so who knows the may be the next time I am up this way I might know .

We walked about 7.6 miles, mostly very easy and enjoyable, and like I said earlier I do think that by coming back at different times of the year the whole walk could feel different.

As normal a few photos

The castle

 

Same again

 

The ford (wouldn’t like to drive across it today)

 

Not really sure what this is at the moment

 

Nope haven’t got a clue what this was either

Info board

 

Posh seat (with a bob dog)

 

A few more photos as we make our way along the riverside path

Not sure about this bridge (there is certainly a story behind it)

Looking back along the river

 

Edwina

Lots of limestone cliffs dotted about

 

A few more of the river with its small falls

 

Bob dog waiting

A few more as we make our way along

 

Lovely old section of the walk amongst the Beech trees

 

A couple more

 

This is as far as we went today, more to do with the short days than anything

 

A few more as we make our way back

 

Edwina took us on a slightly different path back at this stage, looking down

 

Sun’s getting low now

 

Looking down on the river till

 

A couple more as we make our way back

 

Back near the car now, not really sure what this or was

 

Day after thoughts

Towards the end of the walk I started to feel tired, I’m not really sure why (looks like I am not as fit as I would like to think) and when dropping Edwina off I really had to stop myself from letting out a moan as I got out of the car, however once I got home and started to sort my gear out much to my delight I found that I wasn’t too stiff or achey , and when inspecting my stump (I know that sounds so wrong ) after a hot bath I was pleased to see that I had no hot spots or red sore spots so I will mark this up as another good result .

It’s hard to describe todays wander other than it’s a very beautiful part of the country, I should imagine that it gets very crowded in the summer months but today we felt like we had the whole river to ourselves ……………a smashing little gem of a walk that I think even the most “get away” from it all walker would enjoy and should do, thank you Edwina for taking me there.

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