The Allen Banks walk is a lovely walk along the banks of the River Allen and in the woodland and farmland surrounding it. The area that we walk in is mostly managed by The National Trust.
We will start at the car park just off the A69. If you are a member of The National Trust, don’t forget your membership card, the car park is free for you. Otherwise, there is a small fee for parking here that goes to the upkeep of Allen Banks.
Storm Desmond severely damaged the Allen Banks area back in 2015. Since then, the National Trust have rebuilt the paths around the river and woodland, that were washed away. The job that they have done is wonderful and really compliments the area.
Along the River Allen
Throughout the walk we will follow the River Allen. The River Allen is a confluence of the West and East Allen rivers, that have their source is the North Pennines. The source of the East Allen is at Allenheads, where we had a walk in June 2018. The source of the West Allen is near Ninebanks.
Our route takes us high above the river for a while, giving amazing views of the tree tops. We also visit some lovely locations up in the woods, like the summerhouse, where we can sit a while and enjoy the experience. We descend back down to the river before continuing on towards Plankey Mill.
After walking up river for a while, we reach Plankey Mill. There used to be a watermill here, hence the name. There is also a bridge here and this is where we cross the river.
From here we can join the National Trust permissive path and walk back down river. This path closely follows the river bank and is beautiful.
Less than a kilometre along the path, we will reach Morralee Wood. This is an extensive woodland to the east of the river. Many paths weave their way through the woods and we will take one up to a small lake known as The Tarn. National Trust describe this as a Victorian boating lake.
From The Tarn, we head back towards the river. We join the path downriver at the location of what was known as the “wibbly-wobbly” bridge. This was a suspension bridge that bounced and moved a lot. However, it was wiped away during Storm Desmond.
We can walk the rest of the way back to the car park, on the east side of the river though and cross back over the road bridge adjacent to the car park.
Hope to see you there,
Julie and Martin