Well this post is a bit late as I usually do it immediately after the walk. However, I forgot this time. Anyway it’s here now, the Allenheads walk blog.
After breakfast at the Hemmel Cafe, we started off with a warm up, as usual. Then we left the village to the East, up past Easthope reservoir. This was a stiff start up a long hill and showed the real benefit of a warm up. We had to avoid the path that cuts off the corner at the top of the hill as the ladder stile was broken. It was actually broken by me and I have the scars to prove it. The blog from the recce explains what happened. Once we were all up the hill we could regroup and head off towards Byerhope.
After the hill at the start, the relatively flat walk along Byerhope Bank was a welcome relief. The views along the valley are spectacular, and it was great to admire them for several miles.
We had a stop at the cairn for a group photo. The weather looked a little dull and cloudy on the photo but apart from the cool breeze it was good, and we could see the sun breaking through the clouds in the distance.
Coming down from Byerhope we crossed the road and then headed down to the River East Allen, where we could cross a ford. Luckily the water was only a couple of inches deep, so apart from a few wet feet we all survived. One of the group went for a paddle and had a drink from the river. Not a person of course, but Juno the dog.
We continued along the banks of the river up to Spartylea. This is a lovely part of the walk and we could see brown trout darting through the water.
We were having some difficulty thinking of a good spot for lunch. Then I remembered the churchyard at Spartylea. It is a grave yard but it’s very peaceful, with benches and grass to sit on. All we could hear were the birds and the odd baa from a sheep in the adjacent field. The sun decided to come out properly and made lunch even more relaxing.
With lunch completed we walked up to the road and followed it past Coatenhill Reservoir. This was a change to the original route, so we weren’t sure what to expect.
Again this area provides great views of the valley and we could also see the path on the other side, that we had followed in the morning. Having seen lots of sheep on the walk we were surprised to find a field containing goats. I’m not sure of the species of goat but they did look like feral goats rather than the goats normally farmed for milk.
We joined the original planned route for a short road stretch before taking the minor road off to Peasmeadows. Again, this was a deviation from the original route but, as it turned out, was one of the highlights of the walk.
We followed the path down towards the river and then lost the path in front of a house. Luckily the owner directed us towards what looked like her garden but turned out to be the path along the river.
The scenery varied from steep banked riverside to grass, all beautiful. At one point the path crossed a bridge and opened on to an area with a picnic table. There was what looked like a man-made concrete fish ladder. Amazingly, we saw fish jumping in the pool at the bottom of this.
We continued on to emerge at the small village of Dirt Pot. It’s an odd name and is likely to be related to the lead smelting that took place here in the 18th century. A little bit more road walking was required before we could turn to cross a bridge and walk away from the road. This path met a bridleway that took us down towards School Plantation and back into Allenheads.
I think that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the walk. We certainly did and it was great to see you all there.
We hope to see you all on one of the upcoming walks. If you’d like to find out what’s coming up, take a look at the list of walks on the web page.
Julie and Martin