Private Guided Walk - The Cheviot, via Henhole
Mon 3rd September 2012
Over the year we do many ‘private guided walks’. These are totally tailored to the customer’s requirements, from an individual wanting to climb the Cheviot (as below) or a group of friends wanting a walk along the coast to a coach trip needing a guide for a number of days. Below is the blog from one of these we have just done for a lovely lady from the south of England.
It is strange the way things pan out, I have not been in to the Henhole for a couple of years and here we are in a matter of six days climbing up through the Henhole again.
A lady from deep down south even further south than the River Tees was coming up to Northumberland for a week’s holiday and wanted to climb The Cheviot and really liked the idea of walking through the Henhole. Unfortunately she was travelling up the day that we were doing the Henhole as part of a circular walk that was to complete the final section of the Pennine Way. So she booked a private guided walk to take in the Henhole and The Cheviot.
We met at Rothbury and first drove up to Wooler to get the car pass for the College Valley and then on to Hethpool and up the College valley to Mounthooly which is as far as you can drive.
As usual Sundance had done the old soft shoe shuffle and it was dry and warmish although overcast. With the dog on its lead we walked past Mounthooly and followed the old tractor track to its end here the footpath heads off to the border ridge but to reach the Henhole our route followed College Burn.
Rounding a shoulder of rock outcrop we were able at long last to look up into the Henhole. This time the flow in the burn was quite low and we easily crossed to the north bank of the burn to continue up a fairly easy route up past the various waterfalls.
In what seemed no time at all we were at the top of the last waterfall and on looking back it was difficult to believe how much height we had climbed (some 800ft since leaving the footpath). We could now see easily over the border ridge in to Scotland and the Tweed valley.
We crossed the burn to climb up a spur that lead us to Auchope Cairn and lunch. While having lunch we were entertained by a couple of Euro-fighters who were flying around the Cheviots and at times below the height of Auchope Cairn.
After lunch we walked south along some board walk that kept us above the marshy ground. We met our first people near the spot height 743m, they were replacing fencing. At Cairn Hill we met someone having lunch and on The Cheviot summit we met a further four people. As always the view from the summit is disappointing so we quickly retraced our steps back to Auchope Cairn.
A steep descent following the border fence brought us to the Mountain refuge hut and a welcome break. From here after a rather boggy stretch we arrived at the head of red crib and it started to rain. The path now left the border fence to descend back down into the College Valley where we picked up the tractor track and by which time the rain had stopped.
After a pleasant stroll we arrived back at Mounthooly and a few minutes later we arrived back at the car.