All kinds of plans to bag all kinds of things on Tuesday were abandoned due to an attack of Lambing Shower Lassitude (LSL). This is where I just can’t be arsed in April.
So me and the Pooch set off in determined style in incipient showers on Wednesday morning. We went to Allen Banks, a National Trust patch of rather smashing woodland just a bit to the left of Haydon Bridge. The plan was to walk up the valley by the river, wander over to Catton Beacon and return on various lanes and footpaths whence we came.
Wobble number one was The Wobbly Bridge. This wobbly bridge was built in 2013 to replace a previous wobbly bridge that got so wobbly in a flood that it wobbled off towards Newcastle never to be seen again. We didn’t need to cross it, but, just for fun, we did. Then we crossed it back again. Lucky wasn’t specially happy about this as he doesn’t really enjoy a wobble bridge.
We pressed on along the slutchy paths alongside the River Allen till we got to Plankey Mill, where we crossed the river on a huge bridge and continued even more muddily upstream.
We passed The Wobbly Limekiln (see pic) This has been fenced off so there’s no danger of any of it collapsing on anybody. If , however, you’d care to view the limekilns, you need to be quick before they fall down.
Finally, after much up and down and yet more sloppiness and in yet another attack of drizzle, we lunched, just before Cupola Bridge, sheltered from the worst by hedges.
A quiet lane took us to the field paths leading to Catton Beacon – a trig on a quarried ridge with fine views towards the Cheviots.
Then we hit The Wobbly Stile. This was a ladder stile which wasn’t properly connected to the ground on either side of the wall. In fact the Northern side flapped hopelessly in the air. Any attempt to use the stile to cross the wall made bits of the wall fall off. A very wobbly crossing of the wobbly wall was achieved. Its now a bit lower than it was. If there’s any traffic on this path, the wall will soon be low enough to step over and the stile will no longer be needed at all.
Another stile a bit further North was a bit wobbly too – but only 1.5 on the wobbler scale, which is quite low and not too risky if you’re careful.
Paths around Langley Dam (a pretty spot) and more quiet lanes brought us back to Plankey Mill and a wander downstream on the East side of the Allen brought us back to The Wobbly Bridge, which we crossed for a third time, much to Lucky’s delight (not!)
The walk’s a bit short of ten miles and has six wobbly bits. Which is enough for anybody, I would have thought.