Jo’s Monday walk : Aydon Castle

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I still have a sackful of balmy, Algarve images to post but, here in England, the Autumn colour is fading fast.  I thought I’d share this walk to Aydon Castle before the leaves have all departed.  Though it’s just over the border into Northumberland, I’d never heard of this 13th century, fortified manor house until a couple of weeks ago.

I know lovely honey coloured Corbridge, where my walk starts, quite well.  It’s riverside walks often tempt me.  This is Roman Wall territory and there are any number of sites you can visit to delve back in time.  Today though, I’m after a good tramp in the outdoors. No, don’t ask ‘which one?’

The walk starts from the free car park, just over the bridge, where you will also find a helpful map and suggestions for other trails in the neighbourhood.  Cross over the bridge and head gently up through the town, bearing to the right.

Corbridge is a very genteel and affluent looking place.  Not easy to imagine the Scottish border raids that once were a regular feature of this area. Livestock were often brought in from the fields at night, and a watch placed at each end of town to protect them from marauders.  Way before that, Corbridge was the most northerly town in the Roman Empire.

Keep a watch for a signpost off to the left.  Aydon Castle is one and a half miles from this point, initially following a narrow lane and then a footpath beside a lovely old stone wall.  It’s a bit of a surprise to find yourself walking next to the noisy A69 but, once you cross the road bridge over this busy highway, you are again enfolded in English countryside.  Did you notice the kilns off across the fields?  It was my intention to circle around to see them on the return leg, but that didn’t quite happen.

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The sheep are quietly contemplative, their fleece crisply white against the shimmering autumn foliage.  Ahead, the trail drops down into the woods and weaves in and out of dappled shade.  It’s a bit of a climb up towards the Castle.

Suddenly the solid walls are right there in front of you.  Robert de Reymes, a wealthy merchant, built a manor house here, beside the Cor Burn, in 1296.  It was originally a 2-storey building but in 1305 he obtained a licence to add battlements, crenellations and curtain walls.  Despite this it was pillaged and burnt by the Scots in 1315.  Two years later the English recaptured it, only to lose it again to the Scots in 1346.

In the middle of the 16th century the building was renovated, and mid 17th century it was converted into a farm.  It remained a farm until 1966.

It is a remarkably solid building.  Information panels showing the floor plans are strategically placed and, on the ground floor, there’s a charming storybook on a sturdy wooden table.  Sunlight dances off the wall hangings in the regal hall.  I find myself gazing at the rough roof tiles, high above the timber beams.  The patterns intrigue.

Outside, Autumn continues to glow.  I hope for a tearoom attached to the Castle, currently managed by English Heritage, but a small shop has to suffice.  Lunch proves to be a bar of fudge and a hot chocolate, clutched for warmth. Still, it’s a fairytale setting and I’m not disappointed.

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Leaving the castle behind, there are decisions to be made.  Left or right?  Left is a longer walk, which passes by the pottery kilns, but the light is already beginning to fade.  I’m afraid that good sense prevails.  A country lane eventually leads back to Corbridge.

I have some bad news for you.  The Castle is now closed until April next year.  I caught the last weekend, but the location is still lovely.  The English Heritage website provides all the details, and if you want the full 6 mile circuit, pottery kilns included, this is how.  There are some great pubs for food in Corbridge, if you’ve time to linger.  Here it’s time to put the kettle on and settle in for a good read.

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Many thanks to all for your wonderful contributions again this week.  Your enthusiasm and support drives me ever onward.  Hope you enjoyed this week’s walk.  It’s easy to join in, if you’d like.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.

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Debbie has a delicious waterside stroll for us this week.  But do take care of your ankles!

Walking the Path of Customs

Desmond has a barrow in the market place.  Molly is the singer with the band.  Thanks Drake!

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da 

Pink houses, peach houses, or how about lemon?  Jude, in colourful Colchester :

A brief look at Colchester

Violet has found us some more delights this week!  And it’s not even snowing!  (Yet!)

Polar bears in a park

Anabel tests her fitness levels and comes out on top!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

And looking at glorious locations, not much can top this.  Thanks, Lady Lee!

Monserrat, Spain – the trip of a lifetime

Jackie’s in Jamestown.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t named after my son :

Day 4 – Jamestown 

Woolly is waving goodbye this week :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-The-Promenade

While Paula has a very special, luminous night time stroll to share :

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in November

And Susan has searched out some very beautiful fountains in Central Park :

Central Park’s North End

You can almost hear the noise from Carole’s Mute Swans!  They’re fabulous :

Swanning Around

Next please let me introduce Unicorn and Bear, a hiking couple from Canada :

Grouse Mountain and Lynn Canyon, North Shore of Vancouver

Miriam’s feeling a bit adventurous this week, and why not?

Waterfall Therapy in Trentham

I wouldn’t get far on Kathryn’s walk because there’s a recycle book store.  Serious temptation!

Campbell downtown

That’s it for another week.  Hope you all have a good one.  See you soon!

 

158 comments

    1. Morning Kathrin! The sun is trying to creep over the horizon but I don’t know if it’s going to make it today 🙂 I have another leafy walk again this week but then I think Autumn will be officially over. Apart from the loss of my Dad it has been beautiful. Thanks a lot 🙂

      1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Jo. I’m glad the castle and fresh air could bring you at least a little comfort and peace–or just much needed freedom. Sending warm thoughts.

  1. Just catching up with this week’s walk Jo and have thoroughly enjoyed coming along! Love the history behind your walks and the the gorgeous photos! The autumn foliage is so pretty feel like I could be on the walk myself! A lovely post in these rather crazy times! Xx 😃

  2. It is always a good day to visit a castle! And, to be honest, I do not think I will ever get tired of them. The plus in here is the countryside and those beautiful wooded areas. I even love those sheep looking at you while you were taking pictures. #OurWorldTuesday

  3. Such beautiful countryside, especially with the autumn leaves. I’m always so envious of all your European castles over there. How are you doing Jo? Hope the healing process is going ok. x

  4. Whoa, that first photo is a stunner! And I love the trail up to the castle. But the castle itself…I think I once lived in one of those because they seem so comfortable, or familiar somehow. I probably was a slave and washed dishes and emptied chamber pots! Love the leaves on the stone wall, too!

    1. Such a poignant setting, Mr. Naughty Fish, but I spared you the grim photo of the latrine/hole in the wall. 🙂 🙂 I’ll stick with the romance and the bedtime stories, and bob a curtsey in appreciation of your kind comments. Thank you, sir 🙂

      1. interesting! it’s cool to see how people lived in the past and other places…hold the evidence, I’ll take your word for it on this one!

  5. What a gorgeous walk Jo and that castle and setting definitely looks straight out of a fairy tale. My Lamby would fit right into that English countryside. Lovely!

    1. I hope he’d receive a warm welcome from his English cousins, and they wouldn’t laugh at his accent, Miriam. 🙂 🙂 Hoping for just a little more Autumn colour before it’s all over.

  6. come sempre molto interessanti ed istruttive le tue passeggiate, quel contrasto tra il grigiore delle pietre e i colori smaglianti dell’eutunno sono una vera delizia
    felice notte Giovanna

  7. I think this is my new favourite of your walks, and in summer I’d probably love it even more. Great countryside, the river, rugged stone and so much history. Inside the hangings are beautiful and I’d like to sit at the pointy window seat and see the view with you!
    Some of the hills might be a bit dodgy though🙂
    This wasn’t in my reader today and I thought I was too early at first, luckily I checked FB on my phone x:-)x

    1. Strange! I saw you comment on other blogs earlier on and I wasn’t sure if you’d gone back to work yet. (you haven’t, have you?) It was a good find, Gilly. It was the first Sunday after the funeral and I couldn’t bear to be at home. Went online looking for somewhere to go and there it was! 🙂 🙂 Take care, sweetheart!

      1. Still seems soon, Gilly. Will you just see how it goes? Presume your employer is fairly accommodating? Incidentally, I found my way to the counselling blog when I was looking for you earlier 🙂 🙂

      2. They’ve been okay so far, but once I’m back it will be full on, so next week I’ll do 3 days, the following 4 and I should be fine🙂 The Safespace site is way out of date, when i retire I might sort it out, meanwhile the odd bit that comes by word of mouth is enough!

  8. Enjoy the rest of your fall, Jo. We visited a “castle” (fort) yesterday as well, in Sacramento, but it looked quite different!🙂 Hopefully, our server works again later today and I can post my blog…

  9. I love the castle., but your nature shots have really captured the outdoor beauty here too – the moss, the green, and so much more – but what a grand castle too.

      1. my pleasure, and I read in one of the comments how someone noted that you manage to find some amazing historic places – I add my comment to that to because as I noted before, your blog is such a rich resource for so many destination places.

        and side note, I have a walk to share this week – also of a historic place – a massive church from western new york area.
        I am still deciding if it should be split into two posts or trimmed into one. hmmmm
        ping coming later
        xxooo

      2. Brilliant! I’ll look forward to that and thank you very much. 🙂 I should have more catch up time this week, though time on my hands isn’t necessarily a good thing right now.

  10. Jo I am afraid I got hung up at the sheep. Could you hear my squeals of delight. Not to self don’t come to visit until the castle opens in April. Off for some tea now. How are you feeling this week my friend? Sending a Monday hug your way. Xo

    1. A bit up and down still, Sue, thanks, but better when I’m busy. We were out with our walking friends again this morning, and when I can find time I have a new laptop to fight with. Wish me luck! 🙂 🙂

  11. Jo, this is really a delightful walk, the views are beautiful and I feel so at home seeing the sheep! Always reminds me of the North. The castle is interesting, such a long & varied history and I love the thought it was used as a farm into the 1960s! I thought it might just have been some ruins at the start but it is lovely inside with the wooden floor, large ceiling, light galore from the big windows. Thank you so much for sharing. 😀

    1. I was amazed at how solid a ruin it is, Annika. It’s certainly not one of English Heritage’s better known properties, but it was well worth a visit. So glad you could come along and enjoy it too 🙂

  12. This is my absolute favourite time of year to go for a walk Jo, the colours & the fresh air beckon us to get outside! This was such a beautiful stroll & the fact that there was fudge & hot chocolate for lunch makes it just about perfect!

  13. you picked a glorious day to visit this idyllic place Jo! beautiful photographs of autumn! love the sheep grazing and blue door! thanks for taking us along🙂

    1. I had thought to myself that it would do well for Traces of the Past, too, but there are no shortage of them around here. Need to get myself up to the Roman Wall proper. You’d like that 🙂 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to visit, Paula.

  14. Just gorgeous, forever autumn with this one. I like the Algarve but so lovely to see a post like this. And, I’m ashamed to say as a former Newc res with a hist/arch degree, I’d never heard of it either. Super post.

    1. Funnily enough, that was my Saturday post, Kate 🙂 🙂 Forever Autumn. This must be one of English Heritage’s smallest, most tucked away places. It came up in an article on Google of 10 places to visit from Newcastle! It was from a local Gazette and they included Hylton Castle at Sunderland. That’s worth a Monday smile 🙂 Thank you!

      1. Maybe I read the Sat post and didn’t comment. Sat was NOT a good day. No, I won’t be blogging why.
        My partner was well up on Moody Blues. I only has Seventh Sojourn, but he must have had the lot. Trouble with MBs is they did sound sad a lot of the time. I loved White Satin (song not gin) and I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band.

        I really enjoyed this read. Although every time I read Corbridge my mind read Corstopitum.

      2. A zillion years ago I walked part of it. Stayed at the Once Brewed hostel. It was hard work, I tell you. Can’t remember where I started or finished, just remember staggering into the hostel! Damp and cold and windy too from memory. The wall, not the hostel.

      3. My memories are mostly chilly too. One reason we haven’t been back in a while. Maybe with this global warming we seem to be experiencing? It was 15C here today! I know- not funny! 😦

  15. With so much going wrong in today’s world, a lovely walk with you is a good tonic! Thank you!

    I am in Jama where trucks seems to work day and night, clearing and hauling away debris or transporting new materials.. The dust is everywhere now that it’s the end of the dry season, but the collective spirit of the locals seems positive.

    Time to roll, but I am glad you gave us time to start our day off on the right foot!!!

  16. Thank you so much for this autumnal walk. We’ve been having very autumnal weather (ie it’s wet and cold) but as it’s supposed to be spring, there’s no autumn colours to compensate. I guess there is, however, a stunning display of roses in gardens as they enjoy a November without the periodic 30-plus degrees Celsius day. That’s a pretty swishy farm, you know but I think I like the laneway at the end of the day the best.🙂

    1. Me too! You’d probably prefer the riverside stroll at Corbridge but it does tend to be ‘there and back’. The next bridge is a considerable distance away.😦 But as I said to Sue, you can cheat and drive to the castle if you’re that way inclined. 🙂 (ooh, was that a pun? 🙂 ) Thanks muchly me dear. Just been walking beside the Tees- a very different kettle of fish 🙂

    1. I didn’t say it in the post, Ruth, but that was actually a Sunday lunch! I was used to Dad always coming to dinner on Sundays and I just had to get out. I had to scurry home and cook afterwards. 🙂 🙂

  17. What a knack you have for choosing a great lead photo.i’m partial to the one forgrounding the stone work of the bridge too. You certainly caught autumn colours. Trees are pretty well bare here: a big shedding just over the weekend. Lovely forest tracks and stonework and the interiors of the castle are very atmospheric. I’m fascinated by the stonewall craft. I listened to a program the other day about stone walls in Australia and a lot of the expert masons came from your part of the world. A sunshiny hug today – better get out into it before darkness falls. We tambourined our way joyfully to preschool this morning.

    1. Now I know what to put on my Christmas list! A tambourine will be the very thing, Meg! Much better than a drum roll for Christmas lunch and we might need some jollity this year. 🙂 Stonewalling is beautiful, isn’t it? Very therapeutic, I imagine, though I can also imagine lots of wonky bits, not to mention broken fingernails 🙂 Wishing you much more joy this week!

  18. You had a real show of colours for your walk Jo, and to think leaves are still hanging on – although looking out at our cherry tree it’s a snowfall of leaves in the breeze today . We’re so lucky to have these heritage sites , I’m a member of NT and NH but seem rarely to visit really must try harder …
    Love the idea of livestock either end of the village to keep out marauders .Wow Some cattle🙂 Have a good week Jo x

    1. You’ve caused me to go back and edit, Poppy, so thank you. 🙂 The idea was that the cattle were brought in for their own protection. Probably more precious than human lives in those days! We used to have memberships but you soon exhaust the local ones around here. Plenty of joy and beauty to be found though. Sending hugs!

      1. Oh, OK…the website says there are disabled spaces (which doesn’t apply to me) and drop off points, but says nothing about a car perk per se….

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