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Wed 6th July 2011

Pennine Way part 4 - Steel Rigg to Stonehaugh

Pennine Way part 4 - Steel Rigg to Stonehaugh

The Sundance Kid had been hard at work, had the soft shoe shuffle worked? 

Sunday morning was warm, bright and with little wind, things were looking good.
By the time we had all arrived at some obscure spot in the middle of nowhere that Mike had chosen as the meeting place it was starting to become quite warm.  After a slight delay we set off for Steel Rigg in the mini bus.

We piled out of the mini bus at Steel Rigg and started walking straight away.  The climb up to the top of Steel Rigg crags quickly got us all very hot and ‘glowing’! Then it was back to the down up down into Sycamore Gap and the up onto the top of the crags at Crag Lough, by now every one was starting to cook.  The descent to Hotbank gap was only eased by walking in the shade of some trees.  The climb up Hotbank brought us to a suitable lunch stop with views over the Tyne valley to the North Pennines.

After lunch a gentle walk along the top of Hot Crags brought us to the next dip, here we left the Wall.

The route once more started to head in a northerly direction.  The path took us between Broomlee Lough and Greenlee Lough. Interestingly the out flow heads west back to Cawfields before heading south to join the South Tyne at Haltwhistle.  Eventually we reached the south east corner of Wark Forest which extends north to join Kielder Forest and over the border in to Wauchope Forest, some 40Km of continuous forest.  We followed a forest road for about 1.5km before heading into the forest itself for a short distance coming out on to a stretch of open ground.  From here all the streams now drain into the North Tyne until we cross on to the border ridge above Byrness.

It was not long before we were back into the forest for the final stretch of the days walk.  As we progressed we became aware of an odd flapping sound.  Was this some mythical forest creature or worse? No some ones boot sole had become loose and was flapping around much to the merriment of the rest of us as we were entertained by several strange (funny walks dept. take heed) walking techniques, none are recommended.  Eventually we reached a road which the PW crosses and marks the end of this section of the day route.   On the short walk a long the road Flapper became sole less and completed the day with one boot and one new boot slipper.

Well the Sundance Kid had over done the soft shoe shuffle this time as every one ended the day very very hot and sunburnt, well those in shorts and T shirt anyway.

This was another day to remember as Mike hardly wittered on except a couple of times about the views back to Cross Fell and forward towards The Cheviot.

Tue 28th June 2011

Goats on the Roof - Rothbury Walking Festival

Goats on the Roof - Rothbury Walking Festival

Shepherds Walks did this as a guided walk earlier in the year and after reading the blog I could not resist in putting myself down as the guide for leading the same walk during the walking festival.

The reason for this is that the walk passed through Greenleighton Farm, which is the farm I used to shepherd on.

After meeting in the morning we skirted around the edge of the reservoir before we climbed up through Greenleighton to what I think is one of the finest views in Northumberland, from Greenleighton Hill. It is truly one of the hidden gems.

We then dropped back down and passed through the farm before heading west through the trees to head back onto ‘hill country’.

After a very quick lunch, kindly cut short by midges we were heading towards the Fallowlees Burn and instead of dropping down and crossing it we continued on the reservoir.

We soon crossed back into the reservoir and made our way back to Goats on the Roof. What better way to end a guided walk than a nice cup of coffee and a slice of carrot cake!

Sun 26th June 2011

YouTube - Cragside Challenge Walk

YouTube - Cragside Challenge Walk