DISTANCE 4.8 MILES
WEATHER COLD AND WINDY
START / FINISH CAR PARK IN ALWINTON
AN OLD FAVORITE (well it will be in the future)
Because we got back late from our walk the day before , we decided to say “sod it” and have a lay in , (actually my better half informed me I would die if I woke her up early to go walking) so it was a rather late start in our household .
I felt that I was on a roll and didn’t want to lose a chance to get out some place so I casually mentioned “how about getting out for a small walk later on dear after you have finished your breakfast ” (breakfast !! it was nearly time for lunch …what a hack) and much to my surprise she agreed as long as it wasn’t a big one , I straight away told her about a very short route that I had wanted to do for ages , more to see if I was up to it rather than anything , I had been practising walking along the red road (Alwin valley ) for ages and more than once I had looked up towards where several footpath headed towards the distant hills and I wanted to go and see what they where like , they where like a gateway into the more bigger remoter hills and I knew sooner or later I had to use them if I was ever going to get some bigger hikes in , so why not use today to see what the early stages are like , I had spent a bit of time on the all knowing internet and knew the path that we would use was known as Clennell street and was more than a path , more like a track in places and I had seen photos of where I hoped to leave the street and head back down to the edge of Kidland forest along a path known as Cross Dyke then it was a simple stroll back along the red road till we came to Clennell Hall where we would cut across over the river Alwin and back to the street and head back down to Alwinton where hopefully the car would be.
Gear was sorted and thrown into the car, to make up for lost time I informed Yvonne that we would stop at the sarnie shop and get sarnies made up rather than do our own today, and if all went to plan we could always stop at Clennell Hall for tasty treats or even the Rose and Thistle pub in Alwinton (however I wasn’t sure that the pup would be open).
Parking was in the small but lovley hamlet of Alwinton, gear was sorted and off we went, I will admit to being a bit excited as strange as that might sound , today if all went well I would finally get on top of the hills that I had been staring up at for ages .
Clennell Street, was just as I expected it to be, man made surfaces till we got past the farm then it went to a stone / mud track then it turned into a nice grassy pathway, (over the years I have walked every bit of Clennell street even over the boarder and I have to say its just great very easy walking you know the sort where you seem to eat the miles up))
Our route for today, saw us leaving the street and heading along the path ….dare I say sheep trail along Cross dyke to where it linked up with a quad bike track heading down to Kidland forest, all was going well until I discovered that there was quite a big chamber unfortunately it was on the wrong side for me, this made walking very hard, I should have known this and walked the route in reverse but once again my lack of planning was coming back to bite me , but I found by picking where I place my feet it was possible to get along ok , I would place my right (normal) foot on the edge of the sheep trail and place my arty foot in the lowest path of the trail I was able to walk along a bit badly but at least I could walk yet another lesson learnt look and read the map.
But that really didn’t matter; the views up here are tremendous and I felt right chuff with myself looking down at the river Alwin and the red road where I had spent ages just practising walking up and down the valley, yes I was here right now and it felt good. (I often return back from a walk along this section and have to say it is one of my favourite bits)
Slowly we made our way down to Kidland forest then headed back along the “red road” well that’s not exactly correct, the valley bottom is covered with sheep trails which follow the river and so we walked back along one of the many grassy trails (so much easer on your feet) then it was into the Clennell Hall hotel for a well deserved coffee and treat, from there we crossed over the river and headed back to Clennell Street and down back to Alwinton.
Something a bit personnel now Even though the weather wasn’t at its best ………….cold and strong winds I have to say that I really enjoyed this small walk more than most and from now on I know what to expect from these hills that I have spent so much time looking at …….I cant wait to get better / fitter and really spend some time exploring them all.
A few photos from today:-
Heading up Clennell Street looking across towards Silverton Hill
Looking up at Castle Hills (old settlement?)
Looking back down towards Alwinton
The views starting to open
Yvonne well wrapped up against the cold wind, it’s at this point we leave Clennell Street
Looking down towards the river Alwin and the “Red road” where I spent so much time practising my walking
Me looking like a dick head, you can see the sheep trail we followed
Looking back down the valley towards Clennell Hall
Same view just a bit further along
Taken at max zoom looking at the side of Clennell Hill (with its old hill fort)
Me striding off, it doesn’t look much but a bit further on I had trouble with the chamber of the hill
Me (again) stopping on Cross Dyke, about to follow the track down to Kidland forest
Looking across the valley towards Rookland Hill
A bit further along (down?) and the side of the Dodd comes into view
My better half Yvonne at the entrance to Kidland forest
Looking into Kidland forest
Yvonne looking for a hobbit hole
Looking up at our path down (very easy walking)
The side of the Dodd with its trees
Looking back towards Kidland forest
Our route will take us along this valley; I must admit that I love this area
About to cross the river Alwin, looking towards the side of Clennell Hill
Last look back at Kidland forest
Now about to pay Clennell Hall a visit for a well deserved coffee last look back and I can’t help but feel a bit smug that we walked along the top of the hills in front of us
Crossing over the River Alwin with Clennell hall in the background
Looking up the river
Yvonne on the bridge
Last look back towards the hotel
As we make our way back to Clennell Street a last look towards where we where earlier today
Looking towards Castle Hill
Yvonne with a very rare smile on her face
Now back on Clennell Street heading towards Alwinton, just as the sun starts to go down.
Apart from trying to walk on the wrong camber which didn’t prove to be too difficult (this time) I really enjoyed this wander, and I just know that I will be back many times sometime in the future, I feel very chuffed with myself, not really sure why, pre haps it was because for the first time I was looking down into the valley rather than being in the valley looking up.
As far as arty leg and my stump I had no problems what’s so ever, but it was a shortest walk and we did take it very easy.
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 2006