DATE                       14.11.17

DISTANCE               7.8 MILES




For today’s wander I found myself, along with Bob dog and Edwina heading up to Hethpool for a wander up into the hills to a place known as Eccles Cairn well if the truth is known it was Edwina’s suggestion but seeing as it turned out to be a really good day I think that I will take credit for it, thus making it Edwina’s problem to suggest where our next trip will be.

The route was one that we had done before with the Northumberland walking group plus I know the area quite well so there shouldn’t be no surprises for me , as you know (or might not know) my really knee is buggered and I really don’t want to push it to the stage where it kicks off and causes me lots of grief ( I know I’m such a wimp at times) so todays wander would be a nice slow easy pace with no sudden drops etc. , in fact the only concern I had was would we have enough daylight to finish the route without having to push the pace along and where was all the cattle ?, I know that huge amounts of cattle roam these hills , and despite being super brave I would really like to avoid them and I really don’t want to get into any type of situation with Bob dog along.

The one and only Bob Dog

So it was a case of keeping one eye on the time and scanning the hills for the cattle, as it turned out we got back to the car before it got dark and we seemed to miss the cattle, we could see them but always from a distance so all was good.

The cattle on a distant hill


Anyway our route for the day (see map) was to park up in the free little car park at Hethpool ( did I tell you that I really like free parking) gear was sorted and we set off , to start with it was easy going along the road basically following the Elsdon burn on the St Cuthbert’s way

The burn flowing into the lake at Hethpool

We left the road at the small farm at Elsdonburn and went off road following a well-used track, after the easy road walking the small climb made me realise that my lungs needed a break and so it was time to stop and take a photo (rather than admit that I’m buggered)

Photo time (thanks Edwina)

From there it was across a grassy meadow (Scald hill Shank?) and into some scary woods, naturally I wanted Edwina to lead the way as the path isn’t as clear as it could be & somehow the conversation turned to scary stuff like werewolves and ghosties as we disappeared into the darkness (very scary woods) however we didn’t get eaten and much to my surprise we managed to stay on the path mainly due to Bob dog leading the way who seemed to follow the non-existent trail.

Scary entrance into dark scary woods

So when we finally left the woods we were exactly were we was meant to be.

Way marker so we aren’t lost (thanks Bob dog)

Still following the St Cuthbert’s way we then headed up to Eccles Cairn at 352 meters crossing over some wet and boggy ground (which wasn’t as bad as we expected) , However getting to Eccles Cairn wasn’t that simple and I just had to stop for a few photos on the way (getting my breath back really)

Photo time and what a place to stop, looking back at the scary forest, with Easter & wester tor in the background.

Then finally (with bursting lungs) onto Eccles Cairn and a few more photos

Taken at the stone cairn on Eccles hill

Time for lunch we both decided , Bob dog naturally agreed it was food time , however the wind had got up so we decided to head downhill a bit and try to find some shelter on the wall which just happened to right on the English / Scottish Border.

Lunch time right on the border, you can just make out the stone cairn on Eccles hill.

Lunch was had sitting out of the wind; naturally Bob Dog got his normal roast beef and loads of treats, talking of treats Edwina produced a couple of chocolate bars which we both scoffed very quickly then before we started to feel the cold it was down to the Stobbs stone where we should link up with the Pennine Way to start on our return leg of this walk.

Yours’s truly with Scotland in the back ground (and before you ask yes I am available for hire as a male model)

We didn’t stay on the Pennine way long as it buggered off up towards White Law and so we left it at a place called “Tuppie’s Grave” (don’t ask coz I don’t know) and headed back on a nice grassy path with Bob dog leading the way.

Bob dog bounding around, he really loves his walks and must do treble the distance that we do

Staying on the path (being led by Bob dog) we skirted “Maddie’s Well” and then onto “Wideopen Head” which offers not only a good path back to Trowupburn but gives brilliant views of all around.

Edwina and bob dog starting down this path down

The views are really good ….looking along the valley

As we were making our way down towards the farm the thought of cattle once again sprang to mind and so after a quick chat we decided that we would cut along the hill tops bypassing the farm at Trowupburn (following a lovely quad bike track) straight onto Great Hertha, now this seemed a brilliant idea at the time but once we started the climb up it really didn’t seem such a good idea in fact with my lungs bursting I really wished that I hadn’t suggested it , however once we got to the to the hill fort at the top (343 meters) it was all worth it and once again we got some great views.

At the top looking along the valley

Then it was time to head back down via Little Hertha and back to the car park for a well-deserved cup of tea.

According to my GPS we walked about 7.8 miles with 1713 ft. of the ups and downs and boy did it feel like it, coming down off Great Hertha just about finished me off I was knackered but my knee had stood up without any problems, it did start to ache a bit more than normal but due to the slow relaxed pace it wasn’t a problem any way a few more photos from today, enjoy:-

Taken at the car park, the best of the autumn has been and gone but it’s still nice to see

Taken just past the farm at Elsdonburn

Looking back as we start the slow climb up


Leaving the grassy meadow as we are about to enter the scary forest


Out of the forest heading up, looking back


Nearly at the top of Eccles Cairn looking across towards White Law


At the stone cairn looking back towards the distant Torr’s


Looking down into Scotland and the road heading towards Kirk Yetholm


Well we aren’t lost (yet)


On our way back looking towards Coldsmouth hill


Bob dog once again waiting for us to catch up


Some locals


Bob dog racing back to check up on us


Starting to head down towards Trowupburn


Looking down the valley (the photo doesn’t capture the scale of this valley)


Looks like they have been harvesting here as well


Still heading down looking towards the Torr’s (they seem to dominate the skyline)


Once again Bob is waiting, it’s at this point we decide to follow the quad bike track and by pass the farm.


Bob Dog demonstrating his jumping skills over this old sheep stell


Looking down towards the burn


Our new route stretching out in front of us


Edwina, bob and a stone cairn (sorry don’t know the name of this hill)


Heading down before we start going up Great Hetha

Part way up looking back at the farm at Trowupburn (getting my breath back really)


Made it to the top looking down towards the car park at Hethpool


Looking across towards West Hill


Part way down looking up the valley at the Bizzle (as I’m feeling very tired at this point I put the camera away


Day after thoughts

I fully expected my leg muscles to stiffen up and ache by the time I had driven home and was dreading getting out of the car and ……..yes I couldn’t help but let out a groan as I stood up after the drive the only good thing was Edwina ached as well (sorry……….well not really) and I have to be honest and say that sorting my gear out was hard work , even Bob seemed a bit quite , he got in woofed his tea down then settled down in front of the fire and snoozed , both Flynn and Munchy said hello then left him alone , myself I crawled upstairs and had a hot bubbly  bath which helped a little bit followed by an early night ….and I slept in fact I don’t think I moved all night I was knackered , come the morning I did ache first thing but after a coffee and walking the pup’s I seemed to be ok .

Checking my stump I was pleased to see that I had done no damage and my real knee still had that dull ache which is always there and something that I tend to ignore until I think about it ….like now …duh anyway will write this up as another good day