42 Wooler – Ford

Wooler to Ford 11.9 miles (19Km.)

Brewery now only Farm

Brewery now only Farm

I combined the last three sections and split it at Twizel Bridge. I was pronouncing it as the puppet character of my childhood but when I finally board a bus at Berwick to retrive my car I’m told it’s Twyzel.

The GEW leaves Wooler with those on St Cuthberts Way, but there are no pilgrims in sight today. I expect to recogonise ‘Brewery Farm’ but only the sign draws my attention. The views back to Wooler and the hills beyond shouded in mist would be much improved with a show of sunshine. I’m thankful of the dubbin which repells the wet from every blade of grass my feet swish through. It’s another day for leggings although the rain keeps off.

Doddington Ice Cream serve yourself

Doddington Ice Cream serve yourself

Crossing the river Till by the delicate Weetwood bridge leads to another climb across grassy fields towards an area shown on the map as being littered with cup and ring marks. I can’t even see the stones among the bracket covered hill never mind any marks on them. Still I’ve searched for these before and when found they didn’t give me an adrenaline rush.

Doddington Bridge Closed but the notice revealed more

Doddington Bridge Closed but the notice revealed more

Wooler still looks very close but now Doddington is in sight offering a goal acheived. Here I make a detour having earlier on my cycle ride spotted a cow selling ice cream. I popped my pound in the honesty box and selected a tub of Heather Honey Ice Cream, it was delicious. I now discover that the honey comes from Chain Bridge Honey farm just up the road on the GEW.

It wasn’t all good news at Doddington because down the track a notice read ‘Bridge Closed’. Well this shouldn’t have been a problem because the GEW doesn’t cross the bridge which has paths converging on both banks. In their wisdom and no doubt due to ‘Health and Safety’ all approaching paths had been closed as the adjacent legal notice made clear and I know that contravention of such a closure notice could laed to a fine of £1,000.

Kimmerston - Dovecote above a barn doorway

Kimmerston - Dovecote above a barn doorway

How I got around the problem is irrelevant because I very much hope that readers who set out on the GEW in 2012 will not encounter the closure either because the bridge will soon reopen or Northumberland County Council will reconsider their unreasonable action after my letter of complaint.

Ford village

Ford village

Back into farm land around Ford there are a few little issues that I feel the Highway Authority need to deal with but arrival at Ford village dispels all grumpy thoughts. This is a delighful planned village set back off the main thoroughfare. In 1859, Louisa Marchioness inherited Ford Estate and transformed Ford with new housing as we see today including her painting of the schoolroom which is now the Lady Waterford Gallery.

This is one part of the Ford and Etal Estate which covers some 6000 hectares (15000 acres) in these parts, owned by Lord Joicey and his family since 1908. Perhaps a clue to the problems on some of the paths.

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Great English Walk map of section 42

Great English Walk map of section 42

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 42

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 42


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