2016-12-01 Crookham from Millfield (Michael Webster)

Total Distance:-           16.4 Km          (10.2 miles)                            

Ave Speed:-                3.35 Km/hr      (2.08 mph)                              [10.21 am – 15.15 pm}

Max height:-                140 m              (459 ft)                                   

Total ascent:-              249 m              (817 ft)


Michael Webster led. 20 in group. Starting at Millfield, we headed NW to Flodden where we had our coffee stop on a grassy bank on the side of a quiet road.  From Flodden, it was NNW over muddy cultivated fields up to Flodden Hill.  For a few minutes it seemed like being on one of Jeff’s muddy walks.  Perhaps Michael was trying to make Peter Moat and I feel at home.  Just after the start of the climb, we passed Jack’s group having their coffee stop.  Near the top of Flodden Hill we then passed Derek’s group who were also having their coffee stop.  After entering the wood, and where the path breaks off to the right, Michael stopped the group to give us some info re the battle of Flodden Field.  Evidently this spot was where the Scots under James IV had made camp and where they left their provisions.  Skirting around the top of the hill we stopped at Sybil’s well before heading down to Blinkbonny passing John D’s group on the way.  How many of the groups were visiting Flodden Hill ?  From Blinkbonny we took the minor road WSW and then NNW to Branxton Hill from where we looked down to the site of the Battle of Flodden Field (even though the site is actually next to the village of Branxton.)  After a stop where the Scots had massed their soldiers on the southern hill and with more info re the battle from Michael, we walked around the outskirts of the site reading more info on the various information boards.  The glorious sunshine on the fields made it a scene of beauty rather than a site where thousands died.  Lunch was taken next to the memorial which stands where the English soldiers were amassed, From there, we once again had an excellent view of the battlefield, this time from the north.  In addition, Branxton village to the NE looked very attractive in the sunlight.  After lunch, we made our way to nearby Branxton from where we headed north to Crookham Westfield.  After a short walk alongside the A697 we turned north to the hamlet of Cookstead.  There followed a gravel track on which there were many pools of water – walk through them or try and skirt around, that is the question.  Actually they were not as bad as it seemed from a distance.  The track improved as it took us through the Pallinsburn estate and past Pallinsburn House where Michael gave us info re the background to the estate.   Continuing east then NE on good gravel tracks towards New Etal we once again met Jack’s group coming in the opposite direction.  Just before New Etal we turned south and descended on a good track.  At the bottom, Michael advised that in honour of his guests, ie PM and I, we would have a short afternoon stop even though this went against the inclinations of the ladies in the group who preferred getting to the pub rather than having afternoon stops – can’t think why!!.  After the stop it was SW over muddy fields to join the A 697 near our destination of Pallinsburn on the outskirts of Crookham.  A very good, interesting and informative walk in excellent weather.


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