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Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 3

From Source to Sea - day 3

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day Three Low Alwinton to Hepple

Sundance has done it again another fine dry day.  How does he do it?

The group met up at Hepple Bridge ,piled in the mini bus.  Arriving at Low Alwinton we set off and after at the most two minutes Mike started wittering about rocks, lime kilns and other bits and bobs oh and Harbottle Castle.  Eventually we got on with the walk.  After a while Mike claimed we were walking next to the river but we could not see it for the trees, eventually we came to a bridge that crossed the Coquet which Mike took us across so we could see the river.

After this we left the river and the track we had been following became a road that eventually brought us to Sharpeton and our lunch stop.  While we were having lunch a few of us walked over Sharpeton Bridge just to see the River Coquet and the Alpacas.  

After lunch we walked parallel to the course of the river just along the edge of the hill side and the river haugh.  A herd of cattle and a large area of bog broke up the pleasure of walking on the flat.  Eventually even that pleasure was brought to a halt as we climbed up hill to heading to West Hepple.  A coffee stop brought more unease to some as we became the objects of interest to yet another herd of cattle.  

After coffee Mike managed to chase them away by waving his map and flapping his arms (we think he was trying to fly over them).  On arriving at Hepple  Mike had a good idea while he went back to Low Alwinton to pick up the people carrier the rest of us would walk to Hepple Whitefield and then back to the cars an extra 1.5 mile put on to the days walk. 

Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 2

From Source to Sea - day 2

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day Two Barrowburn to Low Alwinton

Once more Sundance and his soft shoe shuffle had done the trick, another dry warm day. We met at Nat. Park car park at Alwinton and where quickly whipped back up the valley to Barrowburn Farm whose tea room was in for a very busy day, a fell race, Rothbury W. I. and Sheep shearers.  We left the hustle and bustle walking North wards in completely the wrong direction again.  A long climb up a farm track leading passed Lounges Knowe towards Fairhaugh.  As the track was about to enter Kidland Forest, after about a mile of walking  Mike said this is it the start of today’s walk.

We turned south and followed the ridge up to Shilhope Law.  As we slowly trundled up hill we were passed by two horse riders who made very short work of the climb.  Just before the final climb to the top we stopped for lunch and kept amused by the army firing some big noisy guns. From our vantage point we could watch the clouds of smoke made when the shell landed.  After lunch after short stiff climb we reached the summit of Shilhope Law.  This must be one of the best vantage points in the Cheviots, other than to the north and the line of the border ridge the land is laid out below you until in the far southern horizon you can see the North Pennines.

After a steep descent We reached the River Coquet at Shillmoor.  A narrow path just above the river leads to the start of Peth Path and the parting of the ways.  One group continued up Peth Path then took a quad track to the road and walked to Linbriggs.  While the other half of the group tackled the ‘Goats Track’ which leads to Linbriggs by a more direct path. Here the path traverses across a very steep hillside, with the river some 70ft below the path.

The two groups reunited and crossed the river by Linsheils.  We were now walking on the south bank of the river alongside the Army live Range.  The path took us up and over Barrow Scar. A sneaky sheep track that looked like the path lead Mike to be displaced! But a quick walk towards the river brought us back on to the footpath.

The walk to Angryhaugh was a delight flat haugh land and sunny hay fields bursting with an abundance of wild flowers. After a short walk along a road we re-crossed the river to arrive at Low Alwinton, the end of day two.  Unfortunately we still had to walk to Alwinton car park to finish off the day’s walk.

Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 1

From Source to Sea - day 1

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day One - Coquet Head to Barrowburn.

Well Sundance had certainly doing the old soft shuffle.  Yes it was sunny and hot with hardly any wind a really good day to start our 6 day trek.  But would it last?

We all met up at Windyhaugh car park jumped on to the mini bus that took us up to valley to Chew Green, the start of the days walk but as Mike took great delight in telling us NOT the start of the walk proper! At this point the river was about 3ft wide.

Having walked along the edge of the Chew Green Roman camps we crossed the border in to Scotland.  At this point the north bank of the River! Coquet (It is about 2ft wide) forms the border between England and Scotland.  At Coquet head we re-entered England by the first or last bridge across the Coquet, really it was just a boggy area with a slight trickle oozing its way down hill.

After a quick tea break we started the walk proper heading for the North Sea.  An easy walk contouring round Brown Hart Law took us from England to Scotland back to England this route also brought us above Chew Green where we could see the outline of the Roman camps.  

After a passing Brown Hart Law and its Roman Signal Station we headed along a track to Deel’s Hill and lunch.  After lunch a gentle walk down we reached the River at Bucham’s Bridge.  Up to this point Mike had been desperately looking out for the famous Cheviot Goats to no avail but as Mike was pontificating about some old rock a more observant person spied a gout walking across the bridge less than 20 yards away and totally ignore us.

At long last we walked beside the river which by now was about 15ft wide, unfortunately it was on the tarmacked road.  Eventually we left the road at Carlcroft to head up hill and join the footpath The Street we now walked down steeply to once more join the road and the river at Slymefoot.( Trows road end)  After walking along the road we reached the official end of the day’s walk at Barrowburn Tea Room.  

Arriving just before 5pm we pilled in to enjoy coffee and cake, Much too Mike’s concern a number of us opted to have his favourite home-made caramel short bread.  Fortunately for Mike there was plenty for everyone.