Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Route via Coalburms (post lost and found from over the summer)

It is a beautiful Friday and the conflicting need to tidy the house and desire to set off on a long lurcher ramble was won by the latter - hands down.
So we are heading to the head of Moor Road and from there heading across country to Coalburms, a tiny place with nothing to recommend it except a little blue mug symbol on the map.
Rover and Amazon are a little disgruntled by all of this time on the lead and I am a little disgruntled by all the flies drawn by our sweat, but the road is carrying us onwards and upwards very swiftly and we can enjoy the rarified air of the moors soon.

Well the best laid plans of mice and men ... The walking has been fine for the most part but just when things should have been easiest I couldn't find the way out of the last field before the road, so we ended up in a little wood full of nettles and brambles before deciding the barbed wire fence in the field would be easier.

But that was not the worst. We got to  Coalburns to find the sign for the Fox and Hounds welcoming us. Unfortunately the door was closed fast against us at about 1pm. Denied! So we have turned around and looked for somewhere shady to have lunch.

On the way we passed the field, and from the roadside I spotted what was invisible from the field: a signpost. To be fair it was nearly invisible from the road too, thanks to 2m tall bracken. So I pulled and trampled until sign and stile were visible from both sides and continued on.

A dull day in Stanleyburn Dene

We are off on a set piece walk today but in the opposite direction because there was a letter to put in the post. Actually I think it might be an improvement because there was a bin this way and they disappear soon enough down Moor Road. 
We are heading down the public footpath through Prudhoe Hospital and the dene is opening in front of us:

Which is nice. Clearly part of the grounds of the old Prudhoe Hall which became the hospital, it suffers from Cragside envy as evidenced by the attempts to turn two minor streams into something sublime and of course the ubiquitous rhododendron bushes.

Whatever the human impression, the dogs love it. Any woodland turns them into happy little hunters, although Amazon has become very much an "at heel" dog as she has matured and leaves all the adventurous stuff to Rover - until she hears the hunting call of course! It is strange to think that they are nearly seven years old now, so in dog years my "puppies" are now older than me! I think the hardest thing about owning dogs is watching them grow older, seeing them slow down and take less risks than formerly. Rover will be the puppy for as long as he can, but Amazon, old before her time in her bid to be dominant, is showing her age.

She has finally left my side after crossing South Park - a nice little meadow this summer, now just another grassy field. She knew it was the last chance for freedom before going back on the lead on Moor Road, which is a rarely used single track lane here. She is now back, as is Rover, and it is their job to pull me back up the road into Prudhoe.