Last week we walked to a hidden-away place that I had been meaning to visit for some time – it looked interesting on the Ordnance Survey Map (Landranger 87). In the triangle between Allendale, Ninebanks and High Staward is the intriguingly named Old Town, sited just north of the now abandoned Hexham to Allendale Railway which closed in 1950. There is much evidence of the line’s high embankment whilst the road beneath Old Town descends in a deep cutting underneath a long since collapsed railway bridge. It was here that the sign in the first picture was encountered – you can get through but definitely not in a van or lorry:
The railway is no more and but for a few farm buildings, so is Old Town – I suspect that is all there ever was.
As with all the best walks, it was largely unplanned and once we had descended the steep lane to the Allen River at Oakpool, we had the joy of an equally steep ascent on the other side. Turning right after about half a mile we headed towards Hindley Hill, emerged on to the A696 and then cut back across the fields to Bishopside.
The weather was a strange mix of very bright sun and dark clouds, the light breaking through every so often to illuminate specially chosen patches of the landscape: