Weather Cairn and St. Davids Cairn
A rather dull day with low cloud that on the journey up to Biddlestone seemed to be lifting!
A rather select group set off from Biddlestone Chapel up the track to Singmoor and just as we reached Singmoor we walked into the cloud. After a short time visibility was down to 50m or so. Fortunately for Mike the route up to St. David’s Cairn followed a fence line which was just as well as visibility drooped down to 20m at times. After many false mist induced illusions we reached St. David’s Cairn and lunch.
After lunch we followed yet another fence and several lumps that Mike tried to convince everyone was Weather Cairn. As usual we did not believe him particularly one or two of us who had been to Weather Cairn .before. We finally arrived at Weather Cairn and Mike pointed out all the points of interest we could see a muddy hole some 5m away, a clump of heather at least 20m away.
The lack of interest registered with Mike so he led us back a short way before following another fence and then another fence. Suddenly we were out of the cloud and could see Biddlestone Chapel about a mile away or 1.5k or so. A steady walk across open moor brought us to the track leading to the Chapel and the end of a interesting walk.
Coquet Valley Challenge Walk 2016
On Saturday just under 100 participants took place on the first ever Coquet Valley Challenge Walk.
After registering in Rothbury everybody headed North onto the Carriageway Drive before dropping down and crossing the River Coquet at Thropton.
After passing through checkpoint 1 (Tosson Lime Kiln) everybody climbed up and passed over the summit of Simonside and then followed the ridge over Dove Crag and then down to Lordenshaws (checkpoint 2).
After continuing the decend on St Oswald's Way everybody came back to Rothbury via Whitton Hillhead before following the River Coquet back to the village.
A stunning 13 miles with the odd shower on the way.
Well done to everybody who completed the 2016 Coquet Valley Challenge Walk.
The Cheviot with a twist
Everyone met in good time at Hethpool and Mike gave his inimitable welcome and outlined the day’s walk. He also advised that whilst he was the official walk leader, that Mark would in fact be acting as leader today. Everyone (bar one) was raring to go – Mike readily admitted this was not his favourite walk and route up The Cheviot!
The group drove down to Mounthooley and with fine weather and excellent visibility the steady climb to the border ridge and “elevenses” at the Mountain Refuge Hut commenced. Stunning views of the Hen Hole and the ridge to Windy Gyle and Mozie Law and down the College valley to Hethpool were enjoyed. Suitably refreshed and recharged Mark led the heart pumping climb to Auchope Cairn and after a short rest proceeded to the summit of Cheviot. A huge achievement for a number of walkers.
Lunch was enjoyed on soft(but damp) grass albeit with a stiff breeze with wonderful views of Hedgehope, the Harthope Valley and in the distance Yeavering Bell. The steep descent to Goldsclough, where the valley is now denuded of trees, was followed by the gentle climb from Dunsdale around Fawcett Shank and back to Mounthooley. Navigation for the day was extremely accurate until the very last section (Mike was in front at this point) when the correct path through the woods was missed resulting in a stream crossing – the stream was fortunately calm and shallow!
As the cars were reached so the first drops of rain were felt. Perfect timing to the end of a strenuous walk which was enjoyed by all. Even Mike admitted the walk was not as bad as he feared!
My thanks to Moira who back marked and the walkers themselves for making this such an enjoyable day.