On a grey, but dry Sunday, April 14, Morpeth Footpaths Society met at Tanfield Railway car park for a seven-mile circular walk.
We left Andrews House Station at the same time as the 10.30am steam train, crossing Gibraltar Bridge to a farm track.
Suddenly, we caught sight of a red kite soaring over the field to our left before it flew away to the woodland to our right.
We continued on the track down into the valley, then followed the Causey Burn, crossing several wooden footbridges until we arrived at the mighty Causey Arch, which is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world.
The bridge was built in 1725-1726 to take coal to and from the River Tyne.
After climbing the steep steps up to the bridge we stopped for a coffee break, trying to imagine what this area was like in its industrial heyday.
We then left the historical area and continued along the public footpath on the other side of the busy main road to Stanley.
This took us over farm tracks and fields until we reached Beamish Hall.
After a short walk along the road, past the rope bridges of the Hall’s Wild Ropes Activity Centre, we had lunch at the Beamish Burn picnic area.
We then continued our journey, following the burn, which then led to a steep ascent and further walk, which led us onto the Great North Forest trail.
We descended back onto the main road and there was a short walk to East Tanfield Station.
Two of our members opted to take the train back to Andrews House, but the rest of the group followed the burn (and railway line) back through the woods to Causey Arch.
We then retraced our steps, with a brief stop to admire the rock climbers in the quarry area, before arriving back at our start point some three-and-a-half hours later.
Some members took the opportunity to visit the tea room at Andrews House Station before making the short trip back to Morpeth
The next walk for Morpeth Footpaths Society takes place on Sunday, May 5, when we will be meeting for an eight-mile, four-and-a-half hour walk to Percy’s Cross near Powburn.
The walk is not too hilly and the route travels along the old railway and the Breamish River. However, it can be muddy.
Car sharing is recommended.
Participants should meet at 10.30am at Powburn car park. Take the A697 to Powburn. In the village, turn right between the Cheviot B&B and the play park. The car park is at the rear.
Visitors of all ages are welcome (sorry no dogs).
Please call Tracey or leave a message on 07557 109418 if you wish to join us.
For more details of these walks and our 2019 walking programme, visit www.morpethfootpathssociety.weebly.com or our Facebook page, where you can also see details and pictures of recent walks.