Just half of Footloose, Robin and I, went south for a change, to the village of Hedley on the Hill, where we parked up in the main street. The day was damp, but not sufficiently wet to stop our walk, and our first steps were along the road out of the village, where we admired views along the Tyne Valley to the west.
After about a mile, we turned off left to follow a bridleway which at first skirted some coniferous woodland before entering West Riding wood proper. The track was easy going and undulating for the most part, with the Lynn Burn tracking our route below and to our right. Just before Spring House, we came across a couple of lorries ‘resting’ from their forestry duties.
We continued for a while walking through woodland before emerging between grass fields again, past Hollings Farm, before joining a minor road. This climbed past Ravenside Farm and then Labourn Fell Farm where we delayed by a conversation with a group of cows, some with calves at foot.
On past Bowser’s Hole Farm, we crossed another minor road and then followed Engine Lane as it went past the Northumbria Gliding Club fields on Hedley Fell. It was a murky, calm day, so there was no flying activity; but it seems from their website to be quite an active club https://www.northumbriagliding.co.uk/
We followed the Engine Road past Dukeshagg Farm, joining Moor Road as it dipped into the small valley created by the Stanley Burn, before turning off left into Lumley’s Lane at the smallholding known as Humbles Wood Farm. This was a super green lane which followed the contours for a while, passing alongside Hyons Wood and crossing the upper reaches of the Stanley Burn. We then climbed steadily to emerge onto Edgewell House Road at a covered reservoir near the hamlet of High Mickley.
Walking through the village didn’t take long, and we admired the lovely stone built houses which fringed the road. Where the road turned north towards Mickley Square, we turned south along a good track called Ward Lane. In a small copse of trees adjacent to the track, we stopped out of the chill wind to eat our sandwiches.
From here our path lay due south, past Broom Hill, Mickley Moor West Farm and then over a meeting of tracks (Modigars Lane runs east – west), before climbing towards Hedley on the Hill and our destination. On the map, it showed that we had passed an ‘adit’, a term with which I was unfamiliar, but Wikipedia came to the rescue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adit
We emerged onto the road and back to the car in sufficient time to call in on the way home for a coffee with Pat in Heddon. We had seen very little in the way of rain, unlike many parts of the region apparently, and had enjoyed a very pleasant walk through unfamiliar territory. Looking at the map, the number of paths criss-crossing the area suggests it might be somewhere to visit again.