Still heading North - St Cuthberts Way
Tue 7th August 2012
After a week of Sunshine and showers Sundance was rather worried. Had the old soft shoe shuffle worked?
The drive up to Wooler looked promising that is until about 2 miles south of Wooler when the roads became very wet, but it was not raining. Our hopeís rise that the soft shoe shuffle had worked?
We all met at Wooler Common and piled on a mini-bus for the transfer to Kirk Yetholm. Things started to look bad, very dark clouds ahead and the roads west of Kirknewton had rivers running down the sides, then it began to rain! By the time we had reached the start of the walk at Halterburn (the end of the last Pennine Way walk) the rain had stopped but as the mini bus pulled away it started to RAIN again.
So the first job was for every one to don waterproofs. We set off along the clearly marked footpath heading upwards to the border after a climb of 500ft we reached the border between Scotland and England strangely there was no Border Control Agency people waiting to check passports, could it be the weather?
From here there is a very gradual descent to Hethpool following the Elsdon Burn. It was still raining! There was not any shelter from the rain as we walked through a plantation just bigger drops. At Hethpool we stopped for lunch as well as becoming lunch for the midges whilst trying to gain some shelter from the rain by sheltering under some big deciduous trees.
As we started to leave our lunch spot it stopped raining. It was at this point we realised that the rain had a positive effect it had stopped Mike from wittering. Yes you guessed he now started. We crossed the College burn by a substantial bridge before starting to climb gently up the eastern side of the College valley. By now the sun was shining and waterproofs were being discarded, after a short stop to watch a small herd of Wild Cheviot Goats we entered a picturesque little wooded valley. The path gradually climbed up through a wide open hillside that was covered in harebells and a variety of other little flowers.
The path levelled out for a short distance past Toleehouse, before starting the long last climb up passing the side of Yeavering Bell and then Tom Tallonís Crag. The path from here gently undulates for the next 3 or 4 Km. Views of the North Sea and Bewick Moor gradually began to disappear in the murk of another mass of rain clouds and yes it began to RAIN once more but only for about 30 minutes or so. The descent down Browns Law returned us back to our cars and wet boots and waterproofs were quickly discarded for dry clothes.