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A Short Walk from Rock in Northumberland

May 21, 2014

Our stay in Northumberland was in the tiny village of Rock, an excellent touring centre for the northern and very scenic part of this often overlooked county.Northumberland 005

Rock is an estate village, much of it still belonging to the Rock Hall Estate. Rock Hall itself is 12th century in origin and was for a long time the home of the Bosanquet family. During World War Two the house served as an army training establishment and then as lodgings for German prisoners of war engaged in agricultural work. More recently it has been a Youth Hostel and a prep school. Nearby is the parish church, with the mightiest organ I have seen outside of a cathedral – it must blast the congregation away if played at full pelt.Northumberland 007

On the evening after our voyage to the Farne Islands, we set out to walk the woods and meadows of the Rock Hall estate, on a short circular walk that is mostly on, as they dub it, “Permissible” paths.

The rain started soon after we set out and soon turned into a prolonged downpour, with the rolling echoes of thunder playing in the near-distant eastern hills. But despite our soaking there was a most wonderful light in the sky, between the darker clouds of rain.

We strolled up a fine path through the Lady Well Plantation, a charming woodland walk alongside a tiny stream to the Kiln Plantation, and then across fields of oilseed rape to The Avenue, a broader track lined with beeches and oaks, which must surely have once been one of the original drives to Rock Hall. I had a thought for those German POW’s walking up it on their way to these same fields.

This is a grand stretch of pastoral countryside. Particularly fine in May, with the birds singing at their heartiest, the freshest of green leaves on the trees, particularly the splendid beeches, and stretches of bluebells across the woodland floor.

If you find yourself in Northumberland and want to do this walk in Rock, the parking place is just below the entrance off the road to Rock Hall itself. There is a signboard map of the walk on site. Map reference Northumberland 231NU203203 OS Alnwick and Amble Map. The walk will take but an hour or two!



2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2014 11:55 pm

    That will make a lovely Youth Hostel. Makes a change for them to be acquiring nice, new buildings – usually, if they have a decent building, they’ve recently been selling them off!

  2. May 23, 2014 6:37 am

    No it isn’t going to be one, rather it used to be. Sadly the days when you could tour from hostel to hostel are long over.

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