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Posted:  Saturday 05 May 2018

North East Associates
are guests of the Duke of Northumberland

- Tuesday 24th April -

The venue for our April walk took us north from Tyneside to Alnwick – famous for its castle which is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland and has been used many times in the movies, especially the Harry Potter series.

 

Not too far from the castle is Hulne Park, entrance above, which is part of the Duke’s estate - kind of like a big back garden! - and which is open to the public on most days, though with some restrictions – no dogs, cars or cycles, keep to designated paths and no entry before 11:00am.  However, our walk leader, Bill, managed to negotiate a waiving of this ‘time’ regulation for our group.

On a fine spring day sixteen of us set off on the “blue” trail which has a distance of six miles and very little climbing.  The park itself comprises several thousand acres most of which were landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century.

The first half of the walk was in a north westerly direction through mainly open farmland and skirting round the base of Brizlee Hill.  Turning eastwards and crossing over the East Brizlee Bridge we followed Palmstrother Drive - not a palm in sight! - down to the edge of the River Aln.

There was then a stiff climb up to the remains of the 13th century Hulne Priory.  This was a Carmelite - White Friars Monastery and because of its location in the troubled “Border Country” it soon was given a surrounding wall to help protect it from attack.

In the 15th century a fortified Pele Tower was built too.

After some perusal of the ruins and the dog cemetery we were off south-easterly down Lady’s Well Drive back to our starting point, passing along the way the Lady’s Well, the Trysting Tree and lots of sheep with newly-born lambs.

~

Those of us
at the rear of the walk
were fortunate
to witness
a group of four deer
crossing the path.

As always, our walk was concluded with a well-deserved lunch, this time at the Hogs Head Hotel which is just off the A1 – although eating was slightly delayed to allow those drivers who got lost to catch up!

Ged Downey

pictures:  john farrington, ged downey

(ged  04/05/2018)
(jf  24/04/2018)

(ph  05/05/2018)

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Spring 2018


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