Cheviot to Kirknewton
We gathered at Berwick on a fine morning. There were just the right number of seats on the bus for a party of sixteen!
On arriving in the Harthope Valley we noted the Alder trees which had been used by the Romans for channelling water and for the Vindolanda writing tablets. The forecast for the summit of the Cheviot was for poor or very poor visibility so we decided to omit this section of the walk. Our first group photograph on the ascent to Scald Hill shows the Cheviot covered in mist. Instead, we offered a ’twist’ to the end of the walk for those who were interested.
We covered approximately 10 miles with a total height gain of around 450m. We were fortunate to have good views all round. Here and there the going was slippy but the group as a whole were very steady on its feet. There were several opportunities en-route to hear the call of curlews. Its beautiful ‘flutey’ song is a joy to listen to. All members of the group will also remember when they first heard the story of ‘Tom Tallons Crag’!
To conclude the day we climbed up Yeavering Bell or ‘ The Hill of the Goats’. The group photograph shows the Cheviot in the far distance. Feral goats made their appearance on cue. As we left Old Yeavering for our final push into Kirknewton a solitary discarded coke can marked our return to ‘civilisation’!
All seats on the coach were occupied for the return journey to Berwick. A great day out. Mark and I enjoyed your company.
Roy Kennard (Hillguide)
Mark Nordmann (Volunteer)
A grey cool morning BUT dry, have Sundance’s new boots picked up the magic soft shoe shuffle? Will we have a dry day?
The group were all ready before the start time so mike wasted a bit of time as usual by having a bit of a witter We set of along a forestry track but soon left this for a very wet boggy path that lead to Holystone Well. After a brief look at the well we set off, Mike nearly took us back to Holystone (wittering) before he quickly realised that we should be going back the way we came typical.
Once back on the track we followed it uphill before picking up a footpath that wound its way along the northern edge of the wood, allowing view across the valley to Weather Cairn.
After a while of bog hopping we got on to firmer ground to be confronted with a large area of windblown trees that completely blocked the path. The detour was interesting to say the least but at last we were once more on the route just in time for lunch.
After lunch we started a climb up to Harbottle Crag with again the path disappearing a couple of times. Eventually we reached the top with views all way round which would have been even more spectacular except for the haze.
From here a gently descent first took us across moorland to the Burma Road (one of the main roads through Otterburn Range). Once more a gentle descent following the road brought us back to the cars.
Nordic Walk - Kielder
The forecast said it should be a great day for this nordic walk covering part of the Shepherds Walk Kielder Challenge route.
After the recce of the walk on Monday it became a linear rather than a circular route, due to the Bull Crag Peninsular shortcut being closed for forestry work.
As always the Nordic Nuts were early and raring to go.
First up a group photograph with Kielder Water in the background.
I introduced myself, Laura (my trusty volunteer) and Jon (the shepherd of Shepherds Walks), who warned everyone he had brought the Go Pro camera with him so he could take video shots during the walk.
As always we started with a warm up and set off, everyone at their own pace. Kirsten, Paul, Angela, Geoff and me were at the front with the rest behind us. The peace of Kielder was shattered as lots of chatter was heard along the way.
We passed 3 groups of teenagers who were walking the 25.3 miles around Kielder, they were extremely friendly shouting "good morning" to us as we passed.
We stopped where checkpoint 4 is situated at the Kielder Challenge for lunch. This point will now be known as the battlefield of the flapjacks. Laura had brought her homemade flapjacks (which were delicious) and Steve had brought shop bought flapjacks (which were very nice). Laura won this one, sorry Steve.
We continued onto Tower Knowe, where we had a quick comfort break, before continuing to the dam wall, this is a well known point on the Kielder Challenge for everyone saying "oh no the dam wall".
A return to Tower Knowe where Jon and Steve transported everyone back to Leaplish for the customary tea, coffee and cake (for a couple of us).
I told everyone of the next Nordic walks coming up, especially the Nordic Challenge Walk on 16th April. I was asked if we could do another walk before that and I will be looking at adding a beach walk before then.
Thank you as always to Laura and thank you to Jon for their help during this day.
I hope to see you all very soon.