Time to reflect on a year of walking

SHORTLY before Christmas, more than 40 members of Morpeth Footpaths Society met at the Dyke Neuk Inn on a glorious sunny December morning for the final walk of 2012.

The walk took us along tracks and over very muddy fields due to the recent prolonged and heavy rain, before returning a couple of hours later to the Dyke Neuk for the highlight of the day — the annual Christmas meal.

While enjoying the excellent food and testing our brains with a Christmas quiz, we also had time to think about the walks we had been on during 2012. We ventured north as far as Berwick, travelling by coach, south to Wolsingham and Hamsterley Forest, and west to Hadrian’s Wall with a memorable walk around Greenlee Lough.

Local walks included a muddy start to the year — the mud became a familiar theme in 2012 — walking from Hepscott to Choppington Woods, Ashington Woods and the popular Morpeth to Mitford and Stannington evening walks.

Our longer walks, which take place on the first Sunday of the month, saw us re-visiting the Cheviots on several occasions, with walks starting from Alwinton, Harbottle and Bewick Moor.

Personally, my favourite walk was from Seaton Sluice to St Mary’s Island, which took place in March. This combined history, walking along the old waggonway, riverside walking and finished on the coast by St Mary’s Island on a beautiful Spring morning.

The programme for 2013 is on the website and this year, as well as our longer walks and three Tuesday evening walks in summer, we are also including a Saturday walk, starting from Rothbury on July 13.

We also have two walks with coach travel, which will take us up to the Scottish borders and along the River Coquet.

For information about membership and joining us as a guest walker please call Sarah Howells on 01670 513757, or visit the website www.morpethfootpathssociety.org.uk

We offer a car share policy so if you don’t drive you can still join us. If you want to get fit and see more of our beautiful county and beyond in 2013 join us on one of our walks – you will be made very welcome.

The next outing for the group is on Sunday when members will try the Clavering Heritage Walk.

It will be led by John and Kath Mountain and will cover 6.3 miles, taking about three hours.

It is mainly across fields and will probably be muddy.

Members will meet at the Beacon Hill junction at 10am.

SARAH HOWELLS