Harbottle Wood – 5th May 2019

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Group shot with Simonside Hills in the background

We met up at Holystone picnic area for our visit to Harbottle Wood. There was some confusion over the actual starting point and some arrived spot on 10am. It’s difficult to check the details these days when there is no phone reception in the area. No matter, as it was only a small group.

It was a little chilly, so a warm up was appreciated. Off we went on the road up the southern side of Harbottle Wood, gaining some height in the process. There was an added benefit to walking up the hill in that it warmed us up further.

Harbottle Wood

Once in the Wood we could stride out and enjoy the scenery and the lovely tracks that make Nordic Walking a pleasure.

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Striding out along the woodland tracks

We followed the main track round towards the northern edge of the Wood, where Harbottle Village is located. Before we exited the Wood we turned a sharp right to look for the path through the trees. It’s not easy to find but once we had we were off again.

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Emerging from pine woodland


Emerging from the dense pine woodland we found ourselves in an area that had been recently harvested. The ground had been quite chewed up by the heavy tree felling machinery but there were some interesting things left behind, like a pond alive with pond-skaters.

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Watching pond-skaters

Native Woodland

Quickly getting though the harvested area, we entered a section of the Wood that still has many native trees. This bit feels completely different and is less claustrophobic than a pine woodland can be. The views up towards Sharperton were very pretty.

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Looking at saplings

The path leads round to an area that has been recently planted. The consensus was that they were beech trees, I think. Some of the saplings were fairing better than others.

Lady’s Well

We were close to the end of the walk here but there were a few more delights to see, like patches of bluebells, as we walked back.  After a short cool down we decided to visit nearby Lady’s Well. We were intending to walk there but decided to drive there as it was on our way back.

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Lady’s Well

It is rumoured that early Christians were baptised by St Ninian here.  A statue of St Ninian is situated at one end of the pool.  The pool is actually from a spring that is used to supply water to Holystone Village.

To round the day off we visited Tomlinsons in Rothbury, for refreshments.  Thank you to everyone for coming along.  Hope to see you all soon.

Julie and Martin x


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