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Walk leader



“Red Kite Trail”. Cat Nab (Derwenthaugh) – Nine Arches Viaduct – Rowlands Gill – Lintz Green Station - Lintzford – Chopwell Wood -. Victoria Garesfield – Hookergate Lane – Spen Banks Wood – Thornley Bank – Low Thornley – Derwenthaugh.


Stayed fair for the first time in a week. Generally overcast with occasional sunny periods. Warm and humid in places.


George, Sandy, Ron, Olwen.


Carol - baby-sitting.

Bernie - holidaying in Austria.

Ashley - cycling in Scotland.

Michael and Michelle - entertaining David and Joan.

Evelyn - working at home.


Underfoot conditions varied, as some of the unmetalled stretches had dried out quite well after a period of constant rain. Others were very muddy and sticky. The outward half of the walk was mainly along a disused railway line, some of which had been tarmaced. This made the walking easy. The return journey was muddier and on narrower, twistier paths and tracks. We met a lot of people en route, cyclists and dog walkers. Very few appeared to be doing the complete circuit.

We spotted a red kite at Nine Arches Viaduct, but were too slow with the cameras to get decent pictures. It circled around for a few minutes and we got a good view of its outstretched wings. We found a good lunch spot on a proper seat under the trees overlooking Rowlands Gill, where we saw another red kite in the distance.

There was an interesting station building at Lintz Green Station which had been converted into a house. We passed an abandoned new build as we descended to Linztford Mill, where there were several impressive houses converted from the former mill.

We also passed a man with a very small dog and a very large camera. There was a pleasant aroma of newly sawn pine logs in Chopwell wood.

Hookergate School had impressive playing fields and a large collection of CCTV cameras and floodlights. We met a man who had been out shooting wood pigeons. He had bagged about thirty and told us that the farmers were keen to keep the numbers down because the pigeons broke into the seed pods of the oil seed rape and caused the seeds to disperse, resulting in rape growing where it was not wanted.

From the lane due south at Barlow we had good views over Newcastle and Gateshead: the Tyne Bridge, Millenium Bridge, The Sage, Byker Wall and St James’ Park. There were also good views of the Gibside estate including the remains of the main house and the column of Liberty. We had our second break under a tree at the side of a field full of straw.


Birds: Two red kites, one of which circled quite close overhead for a few minutes at Nine Arches Viaduct. House martins, swallows, hens, magpie, lots of wood pidgeons, heron and a moorhen. Also heard some unusual birdsong which could not be identified.

Mammals/others: Lots of friendly dogs including three Italian spinone and a retired greyhound. Small herd of highland cattle with a very young calf.

Plants/Trees: Lots of toadstools including several fly agaric and lots of colourful flowers including himalayan balsam, hedgebindweed, buttercups, willowherb, thistles, elderberries, rosehips and brambles.


The Badger, Ponteland. Good Meal, nice desserts.

Photo Gallery


August walkers


From the viaduct

red kite

Red kite



Mine workings

Highland cattle




Wait for me!

fly agaric

Fly Agaric

himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam



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