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River Wharfe

Train in Alston Station


Walk leader



Alston Station – River Nent – Blagill – Foreshieldgrains – Hard Rigg – Clargillhead – Clarghyll Hall – Ayle – Randalholme – Alston Station (9.4 miles).


Cold, contrary to the weather forecast. Windy and overcast with only one sunny period.


Bernie, Michael, Michelle, Ron, George


Ashley - injured.

Sandy - working.

Ken - on holiday in Florida.

Evelyn - sore throat.

Carol - not available.


We saw a steam train just before we started and also the last train of the day arrived just as we finished. We walked through the centre of the town and alongside the river Nent. It was interesting that the riverbed was formed from large flat slabs of rock, which did not appear to be limestone. In one place, the upper surface of a slab had formed a series of cups, probably due to prolonged water contact. We also saw a waterfall made out of large slabs of rocks.

There was a dinghy in a field, and we passed a group of people playing rounders in a field. We declined to join in.

It was very wet underfoot in places. There were lots of sagging gates, which were hard to open and often required some engineering input from Ron.

We tresspassed into a field for lunch. Despite the overcast conditions, there were good views of Cheviot, the Border Hills and Crossfell. George disappeared momentarily into a bog.

We passed the pottery at Clargill Head, which we had often seen signposted as we passed the road end going to the Lakes. We skirted around Clarghyll House, an interesting looking pile, which seemed to be modelled on a Border fortified house from an earlier century. There was lots of renovation of the outbuildings still in progress.

We had to protect Bernie from a group of inquisitive steers and a larger herd of cows.

Afternoon tea was taken overlooking the Ayle Burn at Laura’s bridge (well constructed), where we had the only sunny period of the walk. Coming into Ayle we were directed back on to the public footpath by a man whose garden was full of scrap cars, old pedal cycles and a small speedboat. There were several nice stone houses in Ayle.

The edge of the caravan park at the confluence of the south Tyne and the Nent had been undermined by floodwater, leaving several caravans sticking out over the edge. Some of the decking was only supported by thin wooden props.


Mammals: a red squirrel with a very large bushy tail ran along the vertical surface of a stone wall, ran circles around an oblivious Bernie before finding refuge up a tree. Good views of red deer on two separate occasions. Three white alpacas and a confused sheep in a field. Several cute small calves, rabbits, a stoat or a weasel.

Birds: buzzard, house martins, flock of lapwings, meadow pipit, ducks, curlews, several grouse and at least one other unidentified bird of prey. Chickens, one of which had 4 white chicks and 3 black ones.

Insects: cabbage white butterfly.

Lots of dead moles on fences; bog asphodel and mushrooms.


Cart’s Bog – usual good fare. Joined by Sandy, Evelyn and Ashley. Evelyn had a huge portion of lamb, which was very tasty.

Photo Gallery


Steam engine passing signal box



Four walkers


Signpost of the trail


Walking across the moors


View towards the Cheviots

Money tree

George, Michelle, Bernie and Mike



Isaac's tea trail



Bolton Abbey




Clarghyll House


Afternoon tea stop


Waterfall on River Nent





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