Here we were at Blanchland for the third time this year and the second time in a week. This time it was for the walk though and not a recce.
We welcomed a new walker to our group, Chris. He is Sylvia’s husband. Sylvia had come on her first walk with us earlier in the year and had enjoyed it so much that she recommended it to her husband, who decided to try it out. Juno, the Border Terrier would also be with us again.
As The White Monk Tea Room didn’t open until 10:30, the time that we were scheduled to begin the walk, we had to use the facilities in the village and settle for a takeaway tea from the Post Office.
Before we had started, Anne had disappeared. Whilst still wondering where she had gone, she reappeared with a carrier bag full of something. It turned out to be Rowan berries and probably about 2kg of them. She was intent on making a Rowan jelly of some kind. Foraging would be today’s theme.
Once everyone had arrived, we warmed up and then set off for the hills and moors of Blanchland.
Julie is really interested in wild mushrooms, so on the way round she picked anything that remotely resembled a wild mushroom. She was ably assisted by the group who pointed them out whenever they spotted one.
We sat down for lunch at Riddlehamhope, about half way through the walk. It had been a little cloudy in the morning but, as we sat down, the sun came out. We were bathed in warming sunshine as we ate our lunch. Lovely!
At this point, Julie uncovered her mushroom treasure. Anne, Martin and Julie had their heads in mushroom books, trying to identify the types. We don’t know a great deal about mushrooms, apart from the obvious ones. It looked like there were various types of Bolete’s and Blewit’s, but we weren’t confident. It didn’t really matter, as this was just practising for fun and none of them would be eaten.
We set off after lunch for the fell top and the beautiful views over the Tyne Valley. We reminded Claire what could be seen in the far distance. Yes, it was her favourite walk, The Cheviot. She has fond memories of that one, or is it nightmares. We can’t quite remember.
A dog’s life
On joining the Carriers’ Way we had to follow paths through heather. This was great fun for Juno, as they were like tunnels for a little dog. Continuing on over the fell we reached the shooting hut at Blackburn Head. We had a little rest here and a look in the hut.
Leaving the hut, we came to a stile over a fence. Juno didn’t want to go under the fence and decided to go through the fence.
Towards the end of the walk, we ended up back on the path that we had started on. Anne had her eye on some Sloe bushes that she had seen on the way out. She sped of to ensure that she got there first and got the best of the berries. Many of us helped her out and managed to get over a kilo. Enough for Anne’s Sloe Gin recipe.
We finished the walk back in the car park and cooled down as usual. Then it was off to the tea room for a cuppa and a bite to eat. A lovely way to round off the day.
Thanks for coming along and see you on the next one.
Julie and Martin