DATE                                    08.06.12  

DISTANCE                          ABOUT 12.7 MILES

WEATHER                          GREY AND WET

START / FINISH                VILLAGE GREEN AT ALWINTON

A wet Alwinton round

Putting aside my normal fear of meeting up with people & and trying to become a much more sociable member of the walking community instead of my normal miserable old git type of person, I jumped (well not actually jumped because I can’t you see but if I could I would have) at the chance of a days walking with a fine gentleman called Dennis who was having a short holiday up in the forgotten kingdom of Northumberland, date’s & meet up were sorted and so off we went , I had asked Dennis if there was a particular area he wanted to walk in , he replied and a route was quickly sorted , well I did what I always do , add bits to it , but that’s me I can never leave things alone.

Driving up towards the hills one thing that I couldn’t change was the weather , grey , low clouds , wet and raining and I’m pleased to say (not)that it stayed like that all day , which caused me no end of problems later on that day . whilst I am on about problems , sat nav :- brilliant bit of kit but don’t believe them all the time , mine got me to where I wanted to go but it certainly wasn’t the quickest or shortest way .however it got us to where we needed to be .

We parked up on the village green at Alwinton, mainly because I’m too tight to pay for use of the main car park there, got our gear on and after a very quick discussion off we went.

Briefly our route was :- a short walk along the road till we picked up the footpath which took us up and over Pass Peth around the knocks to the farm at Shillmoor the up inner hill at this point we entered the cloud and couldn’t see bugger all for the next hour or so , I did my best to point out what was where but its hard when you can see nothing, from there more up hill to the summit and trig point at Shillhope law (501 meters) which was our highest point of today’s walk but we could have been anywhere as the views where non existent , so we continued , splashing (did I tell you it was raining hard?) our way down , at this point we sort of made our own route up across &around Lounges Know –Kyloe Shin and rejoined the footpath where it enters Kidland forest , from there  down and over the Usway burn to the house at Fairhaugh , I was planning to stop here for lunch as there is a sheltered overhang (porch area) where we could at least get out of the driving rain (did I tell you it was raining) when we were greeted by a friendly gentleman who not only agreed to let us shelter there and have dinner but also introduced his family and made us tea and coffee, I have to go on and say I have never seen Fairhaugh open in the last ten years , so it was a very nice surprise , the family were on a weeks holiday , they had enjoyed the first few days but I think that they were starting to get cabin fever with the bad weather, they even offered us lunch and a lift back part way to Alwinton , which of course we declined . But I was touched by there kindness.

After we had stuffed our faces and drunk tea /coffee we said our goodbyes and off we went, our route took us up (groan) a very well used and maintained forest track all the way to link up with Clennell Street the only problems we had was it was still raining hard, when the wind blew we got extra showers from the trees doing there best to drown us, then finally as we started to gain a bit of height we couldn’t see bugger all again. Anyway from there it was a simple case of staying on Clennell Street all the way down to Alwinton, now normally I take slightly different routes down but seeing as it was still raining hard ,&  and you couldn’t see bugger all I decided to head straight back down .

We did about 12.78 miles with about 2600 feet of ups and downs so not a bad days walking despite the rotten weather.

Problems, today my arty leg really didn’t behave himself at all, it started with him trying to bite my arse them things went “downhill” fast, with him constantly slipping, losing suction which meant that I had to stop and redon it, add to this the constant driving rain meant that I couldn’t even get it dry, at one point the leg actually dropped off (poor Dennis I think he was seriously wondering what he let himself in for today) but the worse thing for me was the fact at one point I was having to stop every 20 meters or so to force the air out of my leg (very frustrating) and it didn’t look like I would get to finish this walk anytime this week . I managed to solve the problem by clenching the muscles in my “stump”so  the leg wouldn’t drop off but it made walking very difficult for the last mile or so and was pure agony when I got back to the car and tried to relax the same muscles but it did the job so alls well.

As per normal a few photos, not many as you couldn’t see bugger all and it was so wet I couldn’t keep the camera lens dry.

Taken from the start of the walk looking towards Harbottle woods.

Part way up Pass Peth looking back towards Alwinton.

Starting to drop down looking at our route.

Looking back.

Looking up Passpeth Sike.

Now on the lower section of Inner Hill looking across towards Saugh Rigg on Copper Snout.

Looking up towards some unnamed crags on Inner Hill.

Just about to enter the clouds looking down towards the farm at Shillmoor.

Dennis heading into the clouds.

The trig point and cairn at Shillhope Law. and some views!!!.

Dennis enjoying the views.

Now someplace between Lounges Knowe and Kyloe Shin looking down towards Barrowburn.

Looking back up towards Shillhope Law, notice how the cloud has lifted a little bit .

Looking back along our path (well its not ours I think that the sheep made it)

Looking down towards the Hepden burn valley and towards Kidland forest where we hope to join up with the footpath again.

I had to stop here and sort my arty leg out , Dennis leads the way .

Still heading towards Kidland forest, and yes the rain is getting to be a bit of a problem for taking photos.

Looking over to the Usway burn valley and the holiday house at Fairhaugh.

Looking across at the forest track that we intend to use later on.

Dennis waiting for me to catch up at Kidland forest.

Last look at the other Valley and a couple of locals who didnt mind the rain.

Dropping down towards Fairhaugh.

The burn normally much lower than what it is today.

Taken from the bridge over the burn , i am having all sorts of problems with keeping the lens dry.

Looking down the burn towards Fairhaugh, I have given up the one sided struggle trying to take photos and put the camera away after this photo, its just to wet.

Day after thoughts, I need new wet weather gear, or better still I need to start wearing it before it becomes a problem.

Must put a small towel in rucksack at all times and keep it dry (sealed poly bag)

Do not try any different creams ,lotions or potions out for the first time when I am going out into the hills .(one of the reasons the leg seal kept slipping was due to the cream breaking down and running down my leg) but on the good side didn’t suffer from any friction burns .

Must warn people that things go pear shaped very quickly with me at times .so expect the worse.

Need to practise clenching my stump muscles and relaxing them so it becomes more of a natural thing.

Yep still got a lot of things to sort out.!

 

NORTHUMBERLAND