Walk 21 - The Cambo Circle - Moderate Route
Distance: 3 ½ miles (5.6 km)
Maps: Explorer OL42
Walking time: 2 hours
Start and Finish point: Cambo village car park (grid ref – NZ 026857). If you are travelling along the B6343 from Morpeth pass through Scots Gap and continue on a little way. Turn left into Cambo Village and the small car park is located in the middle of the village.
This lovely walk explores some of the varied scenery around Wallington Estate and the picturesque village of Cambo.
The walk starts by passing through some of the estate farms, now owned by the National Trust. The wonderful large tree belts around the fields give it a true estate feel which has been kept in the traditional way by the National Trust.
On your return journey you pass a spot where John Wesley preached, just nine years before his death. He was the founder of the Wesley fellowship, which after his death grew into the great Methodist Church.
You then continue on back to the village of Cambo, with its striking church. The present church at Cambo is certainly worth a visit in its own right, with the current church being consecrated in 1842 and was built by Sir John Trevelyan of Wallington Hall.
The landscape covered by this walk is steeped in history and this is evident everywhere.
The walk is good underfoot.
Leave the car park via the bottom end (opposite the village green) and turn right. At the T junction with the water fountain on your left, turn left and walk along the road with the row of houses on your right.
Upon reaching the main road cross it and turn left and continue along the pavement so that you have the village of Cambo on your left.
A few yards down the road you reach and cross a stone stile on your right taking you into a field (Sign - Public footpath – Broomhouse 1, Kirkwhelpington 2).
Walk along the edge of the field with a barb guard on your right, with a stone wall the far side of it. Barb guards are just a single strand of barbed wire that is attached to a number of posts just a little way from the stone wall. Cattle, who have a very inquisitive nature, often scratch themselves, rub and push on dry stone walls.
This can lead to the walls falling down, or a portion of them doing so. Therefore to alleviate this problem many farmers erect ‘barb guards’ which keep the cattle away from the wall.
You have a wood initially on your right as you continue to follow the wall on your right, ignoring the gate in it. After a short while you reach and pass through a gate.
Continue through the next field, still keeping the wall and barb guard on your immediate right.
Ignore the gate on your right but carry on into the corner of the field and you reach and pass through the gate directly in front of you, with a stone stile built into the wall, just to the left of the gate.
Continue along the right-hand edge of the field with a stone wall away to your right.
The map shows the path running directly across the middle of this field, but for much of the year this is not possible as crops are growing in it. Therefore it is better to stick to the edge of the field with the boundary on your right.
At certain times of the year, a little way down the field you can bear left at 45 degrees, along the prominent strip, so that you cut across the corner of the field. But if this is not possible continue around the edge of the field e.g. when you reach the corner of the field ignore the gate away to your right but turn left through 90 degrees and continue down the grassy strip, with a fence on your right.
No matter which route you take you will eventually reach a stone stile, which is located at the end of the fence, just where the wall starts (it will be in front of you if you have cut the corner off the field, or alternatively the stile will be on your right if you have walked around the edge of the field)
Cross the stile into a wooded area, walk directly through it for a very short distance. You then reach and cross another stone stile taking you out of the wood.
Walk down the right-hand edge of the field, with a line of trees and a fence behind it also on your right.
At the bottom right-hand corner of the field you pass through a large wooden gate, with a wooded section on your left.
Walk a few yards into the field and ignore the kissing gate on your right, but bear slightly to your left and head to the left- hand side of the house that you can see in the distance, on the far side of the field.
Don’t pass through the metal gate but turn immediately back on yourself walking in the direction of the footpath signpost heading for the bottom corner of the field where the wooded section runs down to a hedgerow (i.e. you are walking back across the field at an angle of 90 degrees difference to the route you initially crossed the field in).
This strange way of crossing the field (i.e. doubling back on yourself) makes you realise that in the past footpaths came into being to link up all the farms. They were the main routes between the farms and this is why even to this day the majority of them pass to and through the farms.
When this footpath appeared the last thing that would have come into people’s minds is that people would want to make circular walks using them.
You reach and pass through a small kissing gate heading on to the road, cross a small footbridge and turn left along a single track road.
As you walk on the road you may see some grain crops growing on your left. In the past far more grain crops would have been grown on these large estates so it could have been fed to the livestock during the winter months. These fields are south facing which mean they will have an extended growing season, making them more productive. In modern agriculture there are far less ‘mixed’ farms, which grow both grain and grass, as it often more economical to buy in small amounts of feedstuff. As these fields are south facing the crops in them will start growing earlier and have longer periods of daylight making them more productive.
When you reach the road cross it and continue along the single track road (road sign – Close House, Prior Hall). As you walk along the road you pass a ‘No through road’ sign.
Ignore the footpath going off to your left, heading towards some houses, and continue along the single track road.
The single track road that you are following soon turns into a track.
Bear left off the track as you actually follow the main track around through 90 degrees to the left (Public Footpath sign – Saugh House ½, Cambo 1) and continue up towards the farm.
You pass the farm house on your left and continue straight on down a fenced lane, with trees on your left and a hedge on your right.
As you continue on you pass some sheep handling pens on your right, which include a sheep dip. The sheep will be held in this lane as a main holding pen before entering the handling system.
Sheep are dipped twice a year for a number of reasons. In the past you had by law to dip your sheep once a year to help with the control of sheep scab. Also the dip includes a ‘fly repellent’ to stop flies laying their eggs on the sheep. If this does happen they hatch into maggots which will feed off the sheep’s skin and can kill a sheep if left untreated.
At the bottom of the lane you pass through a gate into a field. Turn half right across the field and head and pass to the left of the telegraph pole that is located in the middle of the field.
After passing the telegraph pole continue walking in the same direction as you head towards a wooden gate, which is located at the end of a stone wall.
After passing through the large wooden gate turn left and walk up the field with the wall on your left.
The wall has a barb guard running along the top of it. This barb guard is put in place for a slightly different purpose than the one we saw earlier in the walk. This has been put in place to stop sheep jumping over the top of the wall.
As you rise up don’t pass through the large wooden gate just yet, look to the right of it at a small monument which has a wooden fence around it. John Wesley preached here on his 79th birthday, June 17th, 1782, just 9 years before his death.
The Wesley fellowship, which after his death grew into the great Methodist Church, was characterized by an almost military perfection of organization. He travelled an estimated 4500 miles every year on horseback preaching and rose for sixty years at four o'clock in the morning and for fifty years had preached every morning at five. He preached twice each day, and often three or four times.
Return back to the large wooden gate and pass through it. After passing through the gate walk at 45 degrees to your left, so that you cut the corner of the field. When you reach the line of trees on the top side of the field turn left and walk along the edge of the field so that you have the row of trees on your right, with a fence the far side of it.
You reach and cross over a stone stile in the top corner of the field and continue walking in the same direction, as you follow the line of trees that are running through the middle of the field.
As you walk across the field you have Cambo Church up to your right, which is certainly worth a separate visit after the walk.
The present church at Cambo was consecrated in 1842 and was built by Sir John Trevelyan of Wallington Hall. Cambo was originally a chapelry of Hartburn. The early chapel (12thC - 15thC) was demolished in 1875 and a few coffin lids were preserved and are now set in the walls of the present building, inside opposite the main entrance.
Sir Charles Trevelyan added the tower with a clock and bells. He also rebuilt the present roof. Four windows added as family memorials and the window in the tower was added by Sir Charles' widow and major internal reconstruction of Cambo Church was made in 1965, including the removal of old panelling, and pews were installed.
You reach and pass over a stile which is located to the right of a large wooden gate. Walk along the edge of the football pitch and then follow the path off the pitch.
Turn right as you reach the houses and then first left back into the car park.
Revised January 2006