4 Mar


The Darlington Dales and Hills Ramblers headed north today to take in a circular walk from Alwinton in Northumberland. Now, whilst this was an Alwinton Round it wasn’t THE Alwinton Round (I did all 20 miles of that a couple of years ago on a stinking hot day and it nearly did me in!) This was a 10 mile circular taking in 3 hills and a lot of gorgeous Cheviot hillside.

The weather, however, was vile. We arrived and within 5 minutes of starting the walk we were walking in a blizzard. So we had snow in our faces, and snow under foot, which was slippery, and for some reason seemed to want to ball up underneath my gaiters.

It stayed like this for most of the walk, particularly on the higher hills, but it made the views pretty spectacular. Coupled with this we had the sound of explosions from time to time as the red flags were flying and the military were out practicing on the hills on the other side of the Coquet River.

By the time we were heading back to Alwinton, the weather had decided to stop snowing, and it felt a little warmer. The views were lovely of the hills with their icing sugar tops.

I think Northumberland is picking on me. It’s SO SO beautiful up there, on sunny days, with faultless views for miles and miles, yet whenever I lead a walk up there the weather turns nasty. I thought, with the glorious weather this past week, that we were sure to have a fabulous day for walking today. Who could have expected snow in March?! Crazy: I thought spring had already arrived seeing as it was 17 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

Still, it was a fantastic walk. Perhaps next time I lead a walk up there for Darlington Dales and Hills the sun will shine.



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