DISTANCE 8.07 MILES
WEATHER BRIGHT BUT COOL
START / FINISH OFF ROAD PARKING NEAR CLENNELL HALL
Once again I found that I had a (deserved) day off from work, and as I had built up an extra supply of “good boy points” at home it meant that I could get out for the day someplace, I duly informed my long suffering walking buddy Edwina who luck would have it also had a free day so that was sorted, the only problem was were!... I had a few routes stashed away in my brain but like most things it all depended on the weather, now before you all jump on me with the “there is no such thing as bad weather just bad gear” I know that and we would be going out no matter what .
The last time I was up the hill they were saturated and soaking so if we had more rain they would be even worse and if that was the case it would be a beach / coastal walk, however the weather god’s must love me because we had no more rain and one of the routes I had in mind I knew sort of drained well and there wouldn’t be too many boggy places, naturally I kept this to myself and only informed Edwina later on.
So that was it , routes sorted (well sort of) times and dates agreed , gear packed and ready , sarnie with extra roast beef for Bob dog packed away , then when Edwina arrived it was throw gear into the car and we were off , Much to Bob dogs delight Edwina had brought Rosie dog along with her , and he cleared a bit of space for her in the back of the car and then we were off , I explained to Edwina the change of route and why but seeing it was such a nice day weather wise it seemed almost a crime not to head out into the hills some place , Wether she agreed or not really didn’t matter as it was my turn to pick a route and ….I was driving and so we found ourselves driving up towards Clennell Hall , parking was just away from the Clennell Hall grounds , gear was sorted , Bob and Rosie was let out and we were off.
Our Route would take us along the bottom of the valley following the river Alwin.
Easy walk along the side of the river Alwin
Then after a suitable pause for breath up the side of the Dodd, at 332 meters it might to look like that much of an uphill slog and it is a nice grassy quad bike track up
Nice easy track up (its steeper than what it looks)
but believe me I had to have loads of stops on the way to the top, naturally Bob and Rosie dogs just zoomed up and down making it look really easy, and I was secretly pleased when Edwina stopped to take a few photos , (which meant that she too was struggling ) , then a local farmer passed us with his sheep dogs , off they went and started to round up a few sheep on the opposite hill , this of course gave me another chance to stop and watch the dogs in action , they seem to fly up and down the hills making it look really easy.
Watching the sheep dogs in action
However watching them gave us both a chance to get our breath back and so when it came to tackle the last bit of climbing we wasn’t too bad.
Once we made it to the top (and recovered our breath back) we headed off along a well-used quad bike track for a few hundred meters, then I took us off to the edge of the hill, hoping to pick up a sheep trail that run along the edge of the hill, I found something that we could walk along it wasn’t Brilliant but served its purpose and by walking along here it gave us some fantastic views of the valley and the River Alwin running along it,
Some good views from up here
We stayed on this route over Kitty crags the up further onto Puncherton hill enjoying the views that this gave us.
Edwina and Rosie dog posing.
Then it was down onto Ravens Crags where we had a mooch around, I love this crag, so rugged and different from the surrounding hills plus you get a brilliant view all around
However it was time to cut down , there is one easy route down but unfortunately it means crossing over the Allerhope burn which had a fair amount of water flowing down it at the moment so that left us a rather steep and scary downhill section heading towards Cat Cleugh where we could get onto the forestry track that would take us back down to the bottom of the Alwin Valley , going down this very steep section of hill proved that we are brain dead as no one in the right minds would go down this way.
Me nearly down
But secretly I loved it (I loved it even more when I finally made it to the bottom) and when we finally climbed over the fence onto the forestry track I was more than ready for lunch.
Lunch was had sitting on the edge of the forestry track on a nice grassy spot , Bob of course woofed his roast beef down and then started on his treats , however he did allow Rosie dog to have a few small pieces of beef but Edwina had packed Rosie her own dinner so Bob didn’t feel too bad .
I was starving and threw my food down my neck, I think that it must have been the nervous energy that I used getting down the hill (did I tell you it was seriously steep? And a bit scary) but I loved every step coming down, I sometimes think that I must have a screw missing or something, it would have only taken one slip and there was no way I would have stopped till I got to the bottom, now it was mostly rough grass and dead fern and a few bits of tuffty bog grass so I dare say it would have hurt but nothing life threating or anything like that , but I was feeling rather smug about it , it sort of made up for the tumble that I had earlier on when I tripped over my own foot .
Unknown to me Edwina had delved into her ruck sack and produced a handful of chocolate bars, which I quickly snaffled down, very tasty it was too (did I tell you why I like walking with Edwina?) then it was time to head back down to the river Alwin, we did this by staying on the forestry track that run down between Kidland forest and the Allerhope burn, this was all very easy and relaxed walking compared with the rough tracks on the hillside. And we soon found ourselves walking back along the “red road”, following the river Alwin,
Back following the River Alwin
Then it was time to head up onto the hill tops on the other side of the valley and so we found ourselves puffing and panting heading up the side of Crossdyke from there we stayed on the well-used footpath just enjoying the views looking across to Puncherton or further afield over Kidland forest and even down towards Clennell.
More good views
Using a top secret path I took us down the side of the hill and back to the footbridge over the river and back to the car. I will be honest and say I was pleased to be back at the car, I was feeling rather tired. Gear was sorted and that lovely lady Edwina produced a cup of tea from one of her many bags she had left in the car, and like I have said many times this is the proper way to finish a walk ……with a nice cup of tea.
We walked about 8.07 miles with 1589 ft. of the ups and downs according to my GPS, and I have to say this is a simple but cracking route
A few photos:
And we are off walking along this lovely valley
Time to start up
Edwina acting as back marker (I think she really likes looking at my arse)
And the views start to open up
Looking towards the old stables at Kidlandlee (taken at max zoom)
Looking down to the start of Kidland forest (they have cut down huge areas)
Huge areas of trees have been harvested
The one and only Bob dog having a run around
Looking down if all goes well we will be returning by this forestry track
First sighting of Ravens crag
A couple of photos as we make our way along
Edwina leading the way down (she is the walk leader after all)
Heading towards Ravens Crag
A few photos from around this Crag
Gulp! We are heading down there
But first a few photos of the views (not bad even if I say so myself)
And down we go.
Edwina nearly down (I think she went down first so she could photo me when I fell)
Made it lunch time
Arty leg photo
Heading down along the forestry track (easy walking now)
Passing Ravens Crag
Still heading down
Last look back at the crag
Looking up towards Kitty crags (we was up there this morning)
Now following the river Alwin
Part way up Crossdyke (stopping to get our breath)
A few photos as we struggle to make it to the top
Looking down to where we were this morning
Now heading down on my secret path
Taken as we crossed over the bridge
Day after thoughts.
Home , gear sorted and hot bath , I was feeling rather tired but much to my surprise I started feeling better later on in the evening , Bob dog was pleased that he didn’t need a bath just a brush .
Stump wise everything was fine, the old kx06 knee held up well and I have to say that despite being tired I am pleased with how things went. yes I did fall over at one place but that was a stupid mistake I stubbed my real foot on a exposed rock …easy mistake to make so I won’t beat myself up about it . I love this walk, it’s different with some smashing views, the sad things is as the fern grows it will make it very difficult for me to walk along the hill side during the summer months , but I have had my “fix” of the place so it doesn’t matter and I hope that Edwina enjoyed it .
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this blog
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 2017