Walk: Ebchester and Milkwellburn Wood
Weather: Cloudy but mild for February
Distance of walk: 9 miles
Off we went…
We started in the traditional way, with a warm up and welcome to two new walkers, Sue and Bev, and then off we went. We followed the Derwent walk North and then took an old lane into Ebchester. This took us past the Church of St Ebba, who gave her name to Ebchester. A short walk through the village took us to the start of the walk proper, at the River Derwent.
Near the River Derwent there are some odd sculptures made from scrap. An example of these is a bench made from horseshoes.
Into the woods…
We ventured into Hepper Hill Park Wood. This turned out to be much muddier than we had seen when we first walked this route in 2017. Mud or clarts would be a theme that ran throughout the walk.
Crossing Lead Lane into Meirs Wood, we took the opportunity to clean our boots in the puddles. After a short climb, we were back to a clarty, but very picturesque, track.
Further into Meirs Wood we stopped for our first group shot of the walk. Everyone was still in high spirits so there were plenty of smiles (as always).
Shortly after the group shot we encountered a broken stile and a metal gate. Most of us chose to attempt the stile or duck under the gate. However, Anne decided that vaulting the gate was the way to go. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well and she ended up on the floor but unhurt.
It’s a dog’s life…
Continuing on up the road past Hollings farm we found a small dog that appeared to be lost. After he tried to follow us we did some thinking and decided that the best course of action was to take him to the farm that we had just passed. So, Anne escorted the dog back along the road, as it certainly didn’t want to be carried. She flagged down an approaching car and found that it was from the farm and the dog was in fact Benson, who swiftly jumped into the car. Adventure over.
We walked down past Hollings quarry and into Milkwellburn Wood, enjoying the beautiful woodland and not enjoying the mud. The path from Milkwellburn Wood lead down into Blackhall Mill, where we stopped for tea at Riverview Patisserie and Bakery. There were no seats inside and as the weather was so good, we sat on a grass mound to eat our sandwiches, cakes, scones and drank our tea and coffee, to the amusement of the locals.
Towards the end…
After refuelling, we headed up into Hamsterley and back onto the Derwent Walk. This took us back to the cars and a cool down, before the goodbyes and setting off for home.
It was great to welcome back Chris and Diane, as well as a smaller group of regular Nordic Nuts. The new walkers, Bev and Sue fitted in really well and I hope you will join us again.
I hope you all enjoyed the walk and thank you to Martin, for his help as always at the front.
The next walk is on 3rd March and takes us around Thrunton Wood. I hope you will be able to come along.