This has been my most usual dog-walk over the last year or so.
We live on Alnmouth Road in Alnwick. Almost all our walks start by nipping along to a little unnamed minor road that leads towards the sewage works:
We turn right, and pass under the A1…
…and then go over the River Aln on a wooden footbridge that bounces in the middle:
From here, we have three choices: to turn either left or right and follow the river, or to go up through the woods on to the ridge that you can see in this photo:
Over the summer this path gets more and more overgrown with nettles and brambles (one of the benefits of living and walking in Northumberland is that it’s so e m p t y, but that does mean there’s fewer people tramping the paths down and getting hoity-toity when they aren’t maintained). We’ve been going at a fair old rate (Cap off his lead since we passed the little gaggle of houses at the top of Sewage Lane), but here we slow to a delicate, high-kneed, dancing crawl. Maybe wearing crocs wasn’t such a good idea, but it’s hot today. We hear buzzards crying somewhere around us, then see one flying off towards the coast.
Eventually the undergrowth thins and we zip through the woods…
… and emerge just shy of the hamlet of Denwick on a rough track which is technically a public highway but certainly lives up to its billing as unsuitable for motors (the bit here isn’t too bad, but the middle section is murder):
The track takes us back at an acute angle, parallel-ish to the top of the ridge we’ve just travelled, dropping down between a wheatfield and a sheep pasture, and through a big open hay meadow which was cut a couple of weeks ago and is looking neat and green. All this time there are more buzzards, calling incessantly, and we see two more in succession soaring above the trees to either side. The path brings us back in a loop to the bridge – here we meet four lads taking a football out to kick in the meadow, the first people we’ve met in an hour’s walking, and then a family sitting on the bank, and playing in the river. We go back over the bridge – Cap lies down and takes a refreshing slurp – and make our way home.