Wooler – Detchant.
An early breakfast meant we got away in good time with a mixed forecast for the day. A long rising road took us out of Wooler and on to Weetwood Moor, a large open space above the town. Luckily the council team were out ahead of us strimming the weeds and bracken. Dropping down at the far end we had a good view of the 16th century elaborate Weetwood Bridge over the River Till which we crossed to follow lanes to the Horton Farms. Seen in the photo winding up the hill. This is a thriving agricultural area and the farmers were out cutting the grass, thus aggravating my hayfever. According to local legend, the young St. Cuthbert tended sheep hereabouts. A fallow deer was spotted jumping through the grass. A drink/snack stop was taken on an old sandstone wall by old agricultural workers cottages. As soon as we left the heavy rain started with thunder in the air. Waterproofs on, we trudged along quiet lanes for about 3miles, there was very little shelter. Fortunately, as we took to the fields again the rain stopped and as we approached the rocky escarpment ahead the sun reappeared. I’ve visited this area in the past climbing at Bowden and Kyloe, well-known sandstone crags. Today we were looking for St. Cuthbert’s cave hidden in the woods. This is an overhanging sandstone cave where the monks fleeing from Lindisfarne perhaps rested with St. Cuthbert’s remains, AD875. It made a good rest stop for us looking out over the Cheviots. Climbing above it to a rocky tor gave even better views, now including the coast with Lindisfarne, The Farne Isles and Bamburgh Castle. And ‘they’ want to build a wind-farm here! I’m totally p….. o.. with our so-called planning departments at the moment, it seems to be a free for all for the developers.
We left the way at Detchant to spend the night in Belford a pleasant market town on the old A1 road.