After a couple of weeks at home we are on our travels again this time taking an extended tour and heading to Scotland for the first time since 2017. A trip to Scotland is a long way from Wiltshire so we decided to break the journey up by staying last night at the CAMC Poolsbrook site. It is very convenient to the M1 and has the added bonus of having a pleasant walk around the neighbouring country park.
Today we have travelled another 180-miles further north and pulled into East Cawledge Park CL near Alnwick. Northumberland is not an area we have walked in much so our itinerary is to stay here for a week before heading up to Fife.
It does not take us long to get pitched up and we are soon lacing up the boots and heading out for a walk from the caravan site. We walk down the entrance driveway and then turn right on a track heading towards Aln Valley Heritage Railway following the waymarkers towards Alnmouth.
We pass the gated entrance to the railway and continue on the clear path.
This track leads us down the fenced railway line where we turn right and continue to head towards Alnmouth on a footpath along the Aln Valley Cycleway.
This is the route of the former Alnwick branch line which ran from Alnmouth Railway Station on the East Coast Mainline to Alnwick, a distance of two and three quarters miles. The line opened in 1850 and operated a freight and passenger service until closure in 1968.
A mile stretch of the line is now used by the Aln Valley Railway, it is their intention to try and re-establish the line from their newly built Lionheart Station, near the A1, through to Alnmouth Station. In 2017 they opened a mile of the line from the new station to Greenrigg Halt on the opposite side of the Cawledge Viaduct.
After passing Greenrigg Halt the path leaves the side of the railway line and joins a track. Here we turn right and walk up to Greenrigg where we turn left on a minor road which we follow to reach a road junction at Bilton. Here we turn left and walk downhill to cross the railway line and entrance to Alnmouth Station. We continue straight on at a roundabout towards Alnmouth to join the English Coastal Path.
The coastal path route goes close to the road and then crosses the River Aln at the Duchess Bridge. After crossing the river on a walkway besides the bridge we go right to stay with the coastal path to walk beside the river on a path waymarked as Lovers’ Walk.
We now pause to look back at the fine Duchess Bridge. This was built in 1864 and has a plate on the south parapet stating “To Eleanor Duchess of Northumberland the public are chiefly indebted for this stone bridge and footpath to the station”.
We follow the path around and are soon besides Alnmouth Harbour. In the 18th century grain and cargo were shipped between Alnmouth and London. Then in 1806 a major storm hit the Northumberland Coast and changed the course of the River Aln to how it looks today. Apparently this resulted in the river being much shallower and more difficult for ships to use. Therefore the port declined and the harbour is now used for fishing boats and pleasure craft.
Across the river a wooden cross marks the spot where the village church once stood before the storm of 1806 altered the course of the river and cut the church off from the village.
We join Riverside Road and follow it until it becomes Northumberland Street, and walk along this main street through the village to reach a roundabout where we go straight on into Foxton Road. We follow this road out of the village and then just after passing the last house on the right take a footpath which leads us uphill to the Night Fold Field Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar. This is the 313th trig I have bagged.
Now we have to make up our mind on the route to take back to the caravan. I had originally planned a circular walk, but time is getting on and we have still got to eat so we decide the sensible option is to retrace our route. We therefore descend the hill and turn back into Alnmouth and then turn right at the roundabout and follow the road to cross Duchess Bridge.
From here it is a straightforward process of retracing our route back along the road and then rejoining the path besides the Aln Valley Railway to return to the caravan.
Our wander has covered just over eight and a half miles and has been a pleasant stretch of the legs after a couple of lengthy days travelling.
To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Maps: OS Explorer Map – 332 – Alnwick & Amble
20th May 2022
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2022)