… and so it was that Footloose set off on the fourth walk along the Wansbeck on a bright but breezy autumnal day. We parked in the hamlet of Middleton – a lovely small village with a Hall, a telephone box next to a bus shelter, a pub (the Ox) and some delightful stone houses; and headed east to a bridleway which would take us south east to the river. Alas, the route was flooded, so we retraced our steps, through the village and followed the path due south which we had used previously.
At the river, we meandered eastwards, stopping for a coffee break on a convenient log in some rough pasture near to a loop in the sinuous channel. The flood plain here was quite wide but we were able to keep close to the river’s course, until the path diverted slightly to cross the old Wannie Line railway track. This must have been a very picturesque journey during the early part of the 20th century before the closure.
The path continued more or less straight through grass fields until it reached the Bolam to Hartburn road, which we then followed through Low Angerton, past the former Angerton Station, before turning off to the west just south of Millgreens Plantation, where we stopped for lunch.
Our route now became fairly easy to follow, being more or less due west, through grass fields with sheep and cattle grazing. We passed Bickerton Farm, crossed the Devil’s Causeway Roman Road (of which there was no sign on the ground) and continued on a well marked track through grass fields and alongside woods until we reached the Bolam – Scots Gap road again. A semi-derelict barn, a fine horned Limousin cow, and an abandoned potato harvester were the points of interest on this stretch of the walk.
We only walked a few yards along the road, before turning off right in front of Middleton Bank Top Farm along another path through more grass fields with cattle and sheep grazing. We eventually came back to the Wansbeck, and crossed onto the northern bank via a substantial bridge. From there, we retraced our outward route back into Middleton, the car and home.
It had been a lovely walk in pleasant autumn weather, with good company and chat. Number 95 in our series of Footloose walks – I wonder what our 100th milestone might be ?