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Mon 23rd July 2018

The Cheviot 2018

The  Cheviot  2018

The  Cheviot – July 21st 2018

As we drove into the Harthope Valley cloud shrouded the summit of The Cheviot – our goal for the day – but otherwise it was a glorious morning warm and bright. Shortly after 9.30 Mark introduced himself and Sue to those walkers new to Shepherds Walks, outlined the dayís walk and began the ascent of our first hill, Cold Law.

It was a very warm and tiring climb and three of our group were not feeling too good and opted to return to the car park and walk in the valley. Mark suggested if they recovered sufficiently they could meet the main group on Scald Hill and continue with the walk. Hearts suitable pumping, we reached the trig point on Cold Law and enjoyed the fabulous panoramic views of much of Northumberland and noticed that the cloud over the Cheviot had lifted. Our route took us over the shoulder of Broadhope Hill and up to Scald Hill where to our delight (and surprise) our three colleagues rejoined us and were able to complete the walk without any difficulty.

After a coffee and snack break on Scald Hill we began the steep climb up to the Cheviot plateau. Despite the rain of yesterday the hills were bone dry which did make walking easier but nevertheless everyone was extremely pleased when the path flattened and we continued to the summit on the flag stones. Whilst there was a dirth of wildlife and birds in particular the views of the hill were exceptional and the heather on the Cheviot a vibrant purple. Just as we reached the Cheviotís summit the cloud and mist returned and the temperature plummeted!

Our next snack break was at the head of the Harthope burn in a sheltered spot in the heather. The path which followed the burn back to the cars necessitated much traversing of the stream but the views ahead down the valley and with the slopes of Hedgehope to the right were stunning. At the sheep pens before the path turned into a hard track Mark thanked everyone for their company and wished them a safe journey home. The walk took exactly 7 hours but the view of everyone was that it had been a super day and well worth the exertions of climbing this iconic hill.


Mon 25th June 2018

Coquet Valley Challenge Walk 2018

Coquet Valley Challenge Walk 2018

On Saturday we held the 2018 Coquet Valley Challenge Walk.

The weather was superb as the walkers climbed up onto the carriageway North of Rothbury before dropping down to Thropton.

From here the participants climbed past Tosson Lime Kiln up onto the top of Simonside before dropping down to Rothbury via Lordenshaws and Whitton Hillhead.

Tue 19th June 2018

Warkworth to Craster

Warkworth to Craster

17th June 2018

After the thunder and lightning storms of Saturday, it was with some relief that the walkers for today met at Craster for the transfer to Warkworth with sunshine, clear blue skies and no wind.

Before setting off on the walk, Mark introduced himself and Martin and Jackie (Shepherds Walks Volunteers) and outlined the route for the day. He then proceeded down the wrong path for 200 yards trying to find the coastal path!

Once on the path, stunning views of the beaches and, Warkworth castle, Coquet Island and Amble to the south and Alnmouth to the north were enjoyed by all. At the first coffee stop, Mark gave a brief history of Alnmouth and the impact of the great storm on Christmas day 1806. We continued on the coastal path past Foxton, Seaton Point and headed for Boulmer. Lunch was on the beach looking at Boulmer Haven – a delightful and calming setting – before rejoining the path and walking through Boulmer Steel, past Sugar Sands and Howick towards Craster with the iconic Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance.

At various stops during the day, Mark talked about the fishing villages of Boulmer and Craster,  RAF Boulmer, the Earls Grey of Howick, Howick Hill Fort, the erosion of sections of the coastline, and the castles. Just before arriving at Craster he thanked everyone for their company and wished them a safe journey home. This was a beautiful coastal walk which all 15 walkers on the day thoroughly enjoyed.