Steering Group member Beverley Dawson looks back at last months guided walk from Gelt Woods to Hayton, taking in some distant Lakeland views on the way.
A small group met at the Moot Hall and car shared to Low Gelt Bridge. Once booted we set off across the bridge, turning left and walked up the hill until we reached a footpath sign on the left. Following the well-trodden path we passed the motocross site on our right and walked around the sand quarry till we reached the woods above the Gelt River.
The walk continued through the woods until we turned right and went downward arriving at Townhead, Hayton. Walking through Hayton village we all admired the pretty cottages and lovely gardens. Opposite the village green we turned left, passed the Church and into the recreation field behind the junior school. Walking into a field beyond we were able to see lovely views towards the Lake District fells. One of the joys of this walk is its variety and great views over towards the Solway and Lake District.
Once across these fields we crossed a lane and entered another field. Walking along the field edge we again enjoyed the Lakeland views. The path went through a kissing gate, beside 2 cottages coming out onto a very quiet lane. Again turning left we entered How where we found a bench and sat and ate our lunch.
Once fortified we started off along the quiet lane, passed How Mill level crossing eventually taking a footpath on our right which ran parallel with the Newcastle-Carlisle railway. Along this path we passed a very nice new-build house on our left. The walk leaders had seen how this had progressed since they first planned this route at the beginning of this year. Much hard work has taken place and it will soon be finished. We crossed the railway at a crossing and entered a small hamlet called Hard Bank. Again walking along an extremely quiet lane we came to a track on our right. This track leads into a lovely meadow with many wild flowers. Navigating the only wet part of this walk we came out onto another road, turned left and walked to Ring Gate.
A field of young bullocks persuaded us to continue the road walk down to the lonning, which leads into Greenwell. There we rested on a bench in this idealic hamlet, had a much needed coffee and biscuits and then following the lane in reverse a short way, crossed over a stone wall onto a path beside the River Gelt again. We greatly enjoyed this short part of the walk beside the river ending up near Middle Gelt Bridge where we finally entered Gelt Woods.
The lovely woods again gave us great pleasure and eventually lead us back to our cars.