Summer walk: Hallbankgate

15/09/18 Hallbankgate to Castle Carrock  ‘A’ Gary O’Hagan  ‘B’ George Gibson

Only 39 members travelled to Cumbria on a dry and cool day. After coffee in Hexham we travelled to Hallbankgate situated near Brampton. 13 members set out on a linear walk to Castle Carrock then 22 members set out on a circular walk following behind the ‘A’ party. As we walked along a minor road an old bus passed by. It was taking wedding guests to a nearby hotel which we passed further on our walk. We crossed rough pasture in open access land with views looking down towards Tindale Tarn and the open moors of the Tindale Fells beyond. It was rather squelchy underfoot as we weaved our way through the reeds and crossing small streams flowing down to the tarn. A herd of cattle were further up the field but they didn’t come near us. We sat for lunch on the outskirts of the tiny hamlet of Tindale which is a former mining village, mining both coal and lead. We skirted around the remains of a slag heap and walked on the opposite side of Tindale Tarn passing lime kiln remains. Further on at Tarn House, a property which is now occupied by the RSPB and open to the public with art displays and an information centre. There is also an outdoor toilet and it took quite a while for everyone to use the facility. There was a huge red admiral butterfly sunning itself on a wall and wasn’t disturbed by the noise from our party. We followed a track alonside the Howgill Beck with clumps of orange crocosmia all the way along its banks, a garden escapee I think. Level field paths led us back to Hallbankgate. There was a wonderful treat for those who opted to frequent the community cafe. A good choice of home made cakes and scones as well as unusual gifts to buy. The coach then travelled to Castle Carrock where it was very busy due to a function in the local pub. The party came straight onto the coach and the evening stop was in Hexham. Flowers: autumn gentian, devilsbit scabious, eyebright, golden rod, harebell, hawkweed, ivy leaved toadflax, orange crocosmia, ragwort, rosebay willowherb, silverweed, sneezewort, tormentil, yarrow. Other: elderberries, ladybird, mute swans, red admiral butterfly.

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