Posted: Tuesday 05 June 2018
North East Associates
- Wednesday 23rd May -
So what’s a Kibblesworth? Well it could be one thousandth of a Mibblesworth or even a millionth of a Gibblesworth, but no, it’s simply a former North Durham pit village not far from the Gateshead Metrocentre and it was the start point for our May walk when fourteen walkers met at The Plough Inn on a dry but not very sunny day.
After a short walk through the village we set off and were very soon into open countryside with a steady climb southward to Copper House, where turning to look north provided a wonderful vista view of Tyneside, from the west end of Newcastle all the way to Birtley to the south.
Still heading roughly south and west,
a short climb brought us
to Pockerley Buildings
which is now a riding school.
Fortunately, they have relocated
the horses from the field
with the right-of-way
so all of our four-legged friends
were on the other side of the fence.
We than had a gentle descent through a lightly wooded area before entering a ‘Permissive Footpath’ - the mind boggles! - into Ouseborough Wood.
It was hard to imagine that this was a thriving industrial community in the early 19th century.
Beamish Burn was used to power four iron forges, a flint mill, a tannery, three corn mills, two fulling mills, a paper mill, a colliery pump and a blacking mill. The forges were major armaments manufacturers for the Napoleonic Wars and one, High Forge, was reputed to “cast the finest muzzle-loading cannon in England”.
Travelling through a mixture of wooded areas and open farmland we had a fairly steep descent down into High Urpeth which is on the border between Gateshead and Durham and this was the turning point for our walk.
After a short stretch on a road with no pavement we entered more woods and walked eastwards, following the valley of the River Team - hence Team Valley Trading Estate.
The wooded area came out into a flat open field, then we had a short climb up to Riding Farm. After some more open farm land we eventually came to the highlight of the walk – Clarty Lane.
Fortunately we had not had much rain in the week leading up to the walk, so clarts - mud for any non-Geordies - were very hard to come by.
What was easy to see was the magnificent display of May blossom, so we in the northern climes can now “cast oor cloots”.
Old Scottish Proverb – “Never cast a cloot until may is oot” - Don’t divest yourself of a layer of clothing until the May blossom is showing.
Following Clarty Lane northwards, our party returned to The Plough Inn where the Wainwright’s Bitter went down very well.
The specials board provided two meals for £12 and the 'Cobblers Casserole' - Liver, Sausage and Mash - was especially popular.
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