Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Day Five - Belford, Via Swinhoe to St Cuthbert's Cave

Oh I am being blessed with no rain. After a rather late start, still have not got used to the clocks being altered by an hour, I headed out for an unknown walk. Having decided I wanted to do a walk from Belford I went to get the map out to discover it has gone. I'm guessing that one of our guests used it and forgot to return it. Oh well. So I called in at the local shop in Lowick and they had a few maps but not a local one. So I drove to Belford where they have no maps but just as I was about to give this walk up as a bad idea when the newsagent lady came running after me with an A4 sheet with instructions for the very walk I wanted to do. Decided that this had to be an omen to do the walk,, but it went against the grain doing a walk without an OS map.

Typical English pastoral scene. Then I passed what looked like a castle, and now is used as a farm. I believe there is some discussion as to whether it really was Belford's castle. There is a moat, but why nestled in a valley and not at the top of a hill where there is a pill box.

Now it was not long after I passed this farm when I met my drama of the day. I climbed over a stile to see two ladies stuck behind a farm gate. In the distance I could see an older man walking towards us. Then the older lady started complaining to me that the gate was locked and what was she to do.

So I suggested that they shuffled underneath the gate. But the lady complained and said how could she possibly do this, "I am 70". So I said she only had one other option and that was to walk back to the lane and head back towards Belford. She then said she had sent her husband to get a key from the farm. Poor chappy. She kept on insisting that it was a public right of way.Then she went on to say that they were doing a walk to check it out for a group of people in their 70's and there was no way she could get them to crawl underneath, or insist that they walk all the way to Belford. Still she carried on at me as if I could magically conjurer up a key. By this time hubby joined us and complained that the farm hand did not have a key and it was not a public right of way. But he still insisted it was. Well by this time I had had enough of them and left them to their mumblings. But I did check later and I was right it was private land!

Tried to sneek a picture - younger lady looking rather frustrated!

Then I arrived at Swinhoe, where there is a horse riding centre. Now I must be a real townie because I found myself thinking "Oh isn't it cute a blacksmith shoeing a horse, didn't think they still did that". Oh what a plonker I am, what did I think happens to horses shoes! Oh dear I have a lot to learn!

Now I know these are cows!

So lovely to see so many primroses growing in the woods.

St Cuthbert's cave not far away now.

Looking the other way was this view of Holy Island.

Hurray - St Cuthbert's Cave. Oh this place brings back sooooo many memories of times with my husband and children. Today lots of others too enjoying making more memories.

I decided it was a bit too busy to have my lunch here and made myself wait longer to have it at Cockenheugh Crags.

Now the next picture is very special for our family. It's probably one of my most happiest memories as a family. We had walked one October half term to these crags. We didn't have masses of money and so we tried to be creative with our activities. So we took stuff to make a small fire in the cave and we cooked sausages and grilled bread. Whilst the food was being prepared our four children invented a game and were running around all these rocks, hiding and reenacting. It was so special. We all walked back stinking of the fire but having had a great time.

These lambs were so funny - they would get a certain distance in front of me and then run like mad, then they would come back again and check me out and run.

Well Belford was in sight and I have to admit to being glad as my feet were hurting, blooming bunions! Think the last few days have sadly worn me out - oh dear I'm getting old! Guess tomorrow needs to be a bit of a stroll.

Meanwhile my fitbit watch is happy - 22,578 steps, 8.72 miles, only 70 floors today!

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