Our lunch break was spent luxuriating in the warm sunshine, idyllic conditions. We had to press on though, there was a hill to climb. Following a trail blazed through the heather by a heavy duty mower, we descended to Crocky's Heugh, joining a well surfaced byway. A short distance further and we where once more ascending a fairly steep hillside. It was warm work, gradually though height was gained. The rock in this area is sandstone and very porous, hence the ground was extremely dry. Passing by the first two cairns we arrived at the third, marking the top of Cartington hill.
There was little option then but to backtrack, stopping for a short break by one of the previously passed cairns. Days like this are to be savoured, rushing would be a heinous travesty. Lucky certainly relished the sunshine, taking the opportunity for a quick snooze when stopped for a break.
Coming down by Primrose cottage, we had one of those serendipity moments. The path we wanted which led to Debden lake, was marked as private. Rather than trespass we headed out to the road. Opposite was a road that led in to Cragside. Once the home of the arms manufacturer, industrialist and entrepreneur, lord Armstrong. Now it is owned and managed by the National Trust. A quick peruse of the map and it looked as if we could avoid some tedious road walking by making use of the tracks and paths that led through the extensive grounds.
No one challenged us as we ambled through. It was delightful walking although Lucky was not keen on the high metal bridge that spanned the river far below.
Our way took us through a stand of humungously large pine trees, awesome.
A brief moment of trespassing led us on to a path beside the river Coquet and back to Rothbury
A splendid day, this was a new area for both of us and it turned out to be a little gem of a walk. As yet I am uncertain of mileage. My map measuring thingy is currently awol. However, I am sure Mike will put the mileage up on his blog and I will update later.