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Tue 25th June 2019

The Cheviot - 2019

The Cheviot - 2019

The Cheviot

After the rains of the past week, it was with some relief that as we met at Langleeford for the start of today’s walk, it was a dry and bright morning with the summits of Hedgehope and Cheviot clearly visible.

Mark introduced himself to the group of 10 walkers (and one dog, Timber) and welcomed everyone. He outlined the walk but advised that we may have to change part of the route as a result of the recent rainfall as the descent back down the Harthope Valley may be too dangerous.

The ascent of Cold law quickly had everyone’s heart pumping and layers of clothing discarded but wonderful panoramic views were enjoyed. After walking over Broadhope we encountered the first bogs of the day leading up to Scald Hill and these continued until we reached the stiff climb up The Cheviot. Lunch was taken on a rocky outcrop half way up at which time the temperature dropped and the first hint of moisture in the air was felt.

Suitably refreshed, our group safely arrived at the summit – our objective for the day - where It was much colder, windier and wetter  After talking to walkers we met coming in the opposite direction, Mark decided (after taking a group consensus) to stick with the original route and descend down the Harthope valley following the burn. Whilst it was very wet underfoot the views down the valley and Hedgehope to our right were superb.

When the valley flattened out and we reached the first signs of human habitation and the farm track back to the cars, Mark thanked everyone for their company and complemented them on their fitness! 

Tue 28th May 2019

Hadrian's Wall - 2019

Hadrian's Wall - 2019

Hadrians Wall - Steel Rigg to Housesteads 26.5.2019

It was a grey and windy morning as the ten walkers (and one dog) met at Steel Rigg car park. Mark introduced himself and welcomed everyone and suggested that due to the adverse weather we do the walk in reverse – walking to Housesteads on the flat below the Whin Sill - in the hope that conditions would improve in the afternoon.

Whilst lovely views of the loughs and the wall above the crags were enjoyed, a strong wind and driving rain on our backs kept us moving at a brisk pace. Fortunately as we approached Housesteads the rain stopped and the sun appeared – a lone deer was also spotted in the fields just below the wall – and this seemed the opportune time to have lunch. Mark provided information regarding the Roman occupation of Northumberland and the construction of the wall.

With a stiff wind still blowing it was decided to return to our starting point by walking on the “low path” rather than the path that ran beside the wall and on top of the crags. This proved to be a wise decision. We had a brief stop at the iconic Sycamore Gap and Mark touched briefly on why only 10% of the wall remains today and also the Border Reivers.

Despite the far from perfect weather everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. Mark thanked everyone and wished them a safe journey home.


Mon 15th April 2019

Blanchland Moor 2019

Blanchland Moor 2019

It was a sunny and bright morning as the 20 walkers for today (plus 3 well behaved dogs) met in the delightful medieval village of Blanchland. Mark introduced himself and gave a brief description of the nature of the walk.

Our route initially followed the river to the tiny hamlet of Baybridge and then a gentle climb through farmland  on to Bulbeck Common where we joined the old “pack horse trail”. Mark gave a brief history of Blanchland and the monastery and pointed out a “hush” (from early lead mining activity). Despite the bright weather there was still a chill breeze and a coffee break in a shooting lodge was welcomed by all.

The well defined path traversed the open moors and lovely views of Hexham Race Course and in the far distance Simonside and the Cheviots were enjoyed. Our lunch stop was in Slaley forest where there was shelter from the cold wind. As we began to head back over Blanchland moor the sun came out, the temperature rose giving glorious views of the Derwent reservoir and the surrounding moors.

We stopped at the impressive Shildon Engine House – another relic from the region’s lead mining industrial past – and Mark talked about a miner’s hard and perilous life in the 18th and 19th centuries. As we were almost back to our starting point, Mark thanked everyone and wished them a safe journey home.