DISTANCE 7.7 MILES
WEATHER BRIGHT BUT COLD
START / FINISH OFF ROAD PARKING AT CLENNELL
The weather forecast was looking good, I had a day off work, chores where all done at home so I had loads of “good boy” points stored up so it was a case of why not and to be honest I really need to get out into the hills for a wander if I am ever going to get my walking fitness back, Bob Dog agreed and informed me that it would be a very good day Tomorrow so hurry up and get the gear sorted and whilst I was at it to make sure that I topped the treat box’s up as well, I looked towards both Munchy and Flynn and all I got off them was will the weather be hot and above 15c all day if not forget it and then then both proceeded to snuggle down in front of the fire , so that’s it Just me and you Bob dog , Bob responded with a wag of the tail and once again reminded me to top the treat box up and to make sure we had extra roast beef for his lunch when we was out in the hills , I assured him that I will call in the sarnie shop on the way first thing in the morning ……………….I sometimes think that I spoil that dog.
Morning came round soon enough and the second the alarm went off Bob leaped up onto the bed in a single bound and reminded me that it was time to get up, I couldn’t disagree but was secretly pleased that when I looked out of the window I was greeted by an almost cloudless blue sky with a coating of white frost on everything ….Great looks like a good day for getting out into the hills,
Breakfast was woofed down; gear was thrown into the car and off we went with the one stop at the sarnie shop where Bob once again reminded me to get extra roast Beef for his lunch (spoilt dog) then we was off.
Somewhere on the drive up I decided that we would head towards Clennell Street, call it a spur of the moment decision if you like, but I really fancied getting up onto the hill tops and walking along the top of what I call the Alwin Valley, I have walked this route before so there shouldn’t be any surprises and to be honest there are a couple of hard bits that should make me work that little bit harder both going up and down , the only downside is there is a nasty herd of blood thirsty cattle that lay in wait for the unsuspecting walker to enter into their territory before they “pounce” , we have had a run in with these before , but fortunately we both scampered under the barbed wire fence that just happened to be next to us when they pounced , of course we had to walk miles and miles around there range to get clear and I hate to think what would have happened if the “pounced” thirty minutes earlier or later when we was miles away from the fence line . But they remember and I have it on good authority that both me and Bob and on their most wanted list and there are photos of us both at all their feeding stations.
Any way we parked up on the roadside or should that be trackside (there is plenty of room) and gear was sorted and off we went heading along the red road towards the river Alwin , I know I have mentioned this before but I love this valley , it’s a place where I came and started to learn to walk again and dare I say it started to get my life back on track at the same time ….and before you ask YES I did speak to the hills this morning as soon as I got out of the car and they let me know I was more that welcome and wished me all the best for a good day’s walking ………………..and as I say if the god’s and the Hills love you…you do all right .
Our route would take us along the river till we come to the Dodd then after much sorting out of my gear …..I.e. removing my coat it was up we went, Bob of course run up and down several times, I got a few meters up and realised that I had left my lungs at home and was puffing like an ..err old man.
AND UP WE GO !!! IT'S STEEPER THAN IT LOOKS ...TRUST ME ON THIS
To counter this running out of breath I decided to (a) stop several times (more that several if the time was known) and (b) slow right down and finally (c) stop and take lots of photos, this routine seemed to work because after a lifetime I finally made it to the top path (not really a path more like a sheep trail) at 322 meters the Dodd isn’t really high but at this moment of time it was high enough for me today and I think if it was any higher I would still be laying there.
From there we simply walked along the ridge line following the river along this lovely valley , as we made our way along we passed over Kitty Crags then followed the hill line onto Puncherton Hill gaining a small amount height as we went , we left the river Alwin and followed the smaller Allerhope burn into the hills .
We spotted the herd of blood thirsty mean black devil cattle in a distant valley where the farmer was keeping them in the lower more sheltered valleys and we know from past experience that they would be fenced in, …………good news, to celebrate this bob proceed to give them the paw (this is the same us giving some one the finger) I did tell Bob that this was rather rude …….but he didn’t seem to mind or care.
THE BLOOD THIRSTY CATTLE ON THE FAR HILL (FENCED IN) WHICH MEANS WE ARE SAFE TODAY !!!1
We stopped for coffee and treats on top of Puncherton hill overlooking Raven Crag which was really my destination for the day and whilst the jet boil was making my coffee I took the photo showing Arty leg.
ARTY LEG LOVES HAVING HIS PHOTO TAKEN
Bob was busy barking at some raven that just happened to fly overhead but was quickly silenced when the treats where opened up.
After coffee we headed toward Raven Crag then it was time to cut down to Kidland forest, being brain dead I decided to cut straight down, which was rather scary to say the least, part way down I realised what a mistake I had made as there was no place to cross over the burn so I figured if I made my way at an angle and headed towards “Cat Cleugh “ I could cross there ,as it was we both made it without any problems I felt rather smug about the whole thing but with hind sight I think that I must have been brain dead to head straight dead as it is rather steep.
Lunch was had under cover at Kidland, Bob got his well-deserved roast beef and other tasty treats, and I had my sarnie (which I had to share) when right out of the blue the heavens opened up and we was treated to fifteen minutes of really heavy rain / sleet / snow it pasted as quickly as it came and both Bob and myself managed to stay snug, warm and dry, but I hate to think what it would have been like if we got caught coming down off the hill. And for the next half hour or so the temperature really plummeted making it feel a lot colder than what it was only half an hour before.
Our route took us down the edge of Kidland forest to the valley bottom, what I haven’t mentioned was how much the forest had been cut down, the area has been devastated, on the good side it does mean the views can be seen but it looks awful something out of a war movie.
A PANO LOOKING AT SOME OF KIDLAND FOREST
From there we headed back down towards Clennell following the river Alwin once again with the detour up on to Cross Dyke just for the views then it was a steady walk back down to Clennell where the car was parked , according to my GPS we walked about 7.7 miles with 1767 ft. of the ups and downs , Bob of course did loads more and as normal a few photos from today’s walk.
Taken just after I let Bob out of the car, he has already run down the track and is on his way back
Looking along the river Alwin, we follow it along for a while
Looking at the Dodd and our way up (its steeper than what it looks)
Bob charging up and down (he makes it look so easy)
Near the top, it’s taken me ages to get to this point and my lungs have long stopped working
Not far to go till I get to the top, even the sheep are laughing at my slow pace
Made it looking down at the man-made pond
Looking across towards Kidland forest or rather where it used to be
Another view a bit further along
A distant Raven Crag
Bob dog looking rather snug in his coat, the sun might be shinning but there is a bitterly cold wind blowing
Taken whilst I make coffee, Arty leg strutting his stuff
Taken at max zoom
Looking towards some nameless crags
Bob dog waiting for me
Heading towards Ravens crag
Up close looking down at the burn
Getting as close to the edge as I dare
Time to start to heading back down, just a case of finding a suitable trail or something down
As I wander along I begin to think that pre haps this isn’t such a good way down
Last look before I cut down
Part way down and I manage to cut across a sheep trail, this is much better
Made it to the bottom, sadly it’s a bit waterlogged
Now on the forestry trail that runs alongside Kidland forest that will take us down to the valley floor
Still the odd patch of snow / ice laying around
Small burn, Bob dog had a splash and a drink from here, he said it was very tasty and refreshing
Looking up at Ravens Crag
Bob dog running back to check up on me or was it for tasty treats?
Old sheep stell
Looking ahead you can see the path heading up on the other side of the valley our route for later
Looking up at Kitty crags
Logs stacked up ready for collecting
Looking down along the valley
The man made pond that we saw earlier on today from above (we stopped here for coffee)
Part way up and again looking along the valley
Near the top looking back into Kidland forest
Looking towards Clennell and the car
Looking across at Clennell and Silverton hill
Looking down at the river Alwin
Dead bird (buzzard?)
On the footbridge at Clennell and the end of today’s walk
Day after thoughts
Boy was I feeling tired when we got back to the car, I decided to make one last coffee before the drive home, Bob spent the time sniffing around, and he informed me that he was good for lots of miles yet ….I replied that it would soon be tea time so feel free to go off for a few more miles and I would pick him up in the morning, Bob decided to jump into the car and barked “home James” the one thing I do know is Bob loves his tea time .
Once we got home, Bob went running into the kitchen to see Yvonne and have his tea, myself I went for a hot shower.
On the good side I hadn’t damaged my stump but I was tired so it was an early night for me , in the morning I woke up feeling very stiff for the first few minutes but after coffee and a bit of movement I soon got back to normal , so all in all a very good day for me .
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 2016