From Source to Sea - day 4
Wed 16th July 2014
The River Coquet from Source to Sea
Day 4 - Hepple to Rothbury
We all met up at Cow Haugh car park in Rothbury ready to be bussed to the start of the days walk. After a short bus transfer and we arrived at the start of the track passing through Hepple Whiteside eventually heading for Chartners. Just a short distance passed after Hepple Whiteside we stopped to put on our waterproofs, (what happened to the soft shoe shuffle?). As we started to seriously gain height the rain became more persistent fortunately it was on our backs for the most part.
As the path levelled out just below Whitefield Hill we came across a couple of beaters huts hoping to get some sort of shelter in the lee of the huts for a late 11.00 o’clock. You can imagine our surprise and delight that they were open. Having got out of the wind and the rain Mike decided that it should be an early lunch stop and therefore made himself a cup of coffee (always a good sign that we were in for a longish stop).
It was still raining as we left the shelter of the hut and as we reached the plateau we turned in to the wind, rain and thick mist to head over Tosson Hill via Boddle Moss. By the time we reached Tosson Hill the rain had eased and as we walked on the path heading for Ravens Huagh the cloud started to break and we had glimpses of the views northwards over the Coquet. Then suddenly the cloud lifted and we had fantastic views over the River Coquet to the Cheviots in the distance.
Soon we were standing under the front of the Simonside Crags. A strenuous climb quickly brought us to the summit of Simonside. The new slab path now leads to Old Stella Crags wher in the lee of a rock outcrop we had an afternoon coffee. Following the new path over Dove Crag we eventually arrived at Beacon Hill (on old maps), it now was relatively downhill all the way in to Rothbury.
After a steep decent we joined the long distance St. Oswald’s Footpath which in the coming days we would follow to Walkworth. Crossing over Lordenshaw Hillfort we stopped to look at the famous rock with carved cup and ring markings. We continued to descend to Whitton Dean Farm and then followed a well-made up farm track to Whitton and then it was all downhill back to the cars.