DATE                                       19.03.15

DISTANCE                             7.2 MILES

WEATHER                            BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH                   OLD SCHOOL AT BARROWBURN

 

Barrowburn round

After a few days down at my mothers which entailed a very long and stressful car Journey down there then back up again I needed to get out someplace, every time we go down there it is nothing but miles and miles of roadwork’s with average speed check cameras hidden all over the place …and the worst thing is I cant see what they have had the lanes closed off for! month after month & nothing seems to change just miles and miles of cones and speed restrictions ………….and more hold up’s  come on you guy’s get the bloody road sorted and back to normal so I don’t spend half my life crawling along the A1 ……….. ok rant over

I needed to get out someplace remote and have a nice day wandering about, I also wanted to push my knee a bit as well, it still ached a bit but was getting better all the time but still isn’t right, but I was starting to get concerned about my general fitness, if I don’t get out and start walking taking in a few hills in the process I never will get to any  level of fitness , what I needed was a plan so after much thinking whilst drinking several cups of coffee I came up with a brain wave lets have a day out in the hills , a quick prayer was sent  up to the weather gods , who assured me that the weather would be kind to me for  the next day. A quick e mail was sent to Roy who had expressed an interest in joining me out in the hills for a wander, who quickly replied that he was all for it … times etc. where sorted and that was that.

Having Roy along with me meant that I could take all three pup’s with me as well , I have spent a lot of time with them training them in how to behave when among sheep , but its been a while and I certainly didn’t want them  misbehaving  especially this time of year , I know that the local farms had begun lambing  but as normal the sheep in the high fells tend to start a bit later , not that it mattered I didn’t want my pup’s to start barking or causing the sheep any trouble &  having someone with me just gives me the opportunity to do a bit of training with the offending pup. As it was I needed have worried as the boy behaved themselves, yes they where curious when we walked near the sheep, but a few words from me and they quickly returned or just sat there watching them, in all honestly I don’t think that they could do anything as they are so small BUT I would much sooner that they behaved themselves so I don’t have to put them on there leads.

 I explained to Roy roughly where we would be going over the phone and he seemed happy with the route so that was that.

So I found myself heading towards what is one of my favourite areas (yeah I know I have lots of favourite areas) it was the first time Roy had been in the area and I was really pleased that the weather gods had kept there promise and provided us good weather, I know Roy like to play around with his camera and is a keen photographer and today we should get some good photos.

The route that I had chosen was one I have done many times before, but it was still special to me and the area hadn’t lost any of the magical feel that I love, you know!!!How you feel on the drive up the Coquet Valley with the hills just all around you and you just know that you are in for a good day before you even get out of the car ……………you don’t ? Well you either get it or you don’t your loss.

We parked up in the small car park by the old school  at Barrowburn , there are still a few old wooden picnic tables which make things easer to sort stuff out whilst you are getting the gear ready , the boy’s of course jumped straight out and where sniffing away all over the place , they simply love it up here , even Flynn who is a bit of a softy at times was having the time of his life , they have all been out with me dozens of times for big all day walks but for Flynn and Munchy this would be there first big all day walk this year , they are both a bit small and don’t like the cold so once the weather turns cold I don’t take them with me , Bob on the other hand simply loves being out all day regardless of the weather and will spend the whole day , ranging ahead or to one side of me almost never stopping running around from the moment he jumps out of the car to moment we get back but as a rule he is always in sight and always returns at a run when called   Unless he is busy chasing birds or deer then I have to wait till he returns always with his tongue  hanging out with a happy expression on his face so I cant bollock him and he always come bounding up right to me wanting a pat or stroke before he goes off ranging ahead again .

Gear was sorted and we where off , the pup’s where put on a lead for the first couple of hundred meters as we walked along the road (not that there is any traffic) and past the farm a Barrowburn , Passing the farm we was delighted to speak to the owners who informed us that the tea room  would be open until 4 , which meant if all went to plan we could call in on our way back for tea / coffee and a slice of cake , a sort of proper way to finish any walk , once clear of the farm the boy where let off there leads , I will admit I was feeling a bit nervous as we approached the open fells with the sheep scattered around them but the boys behaved themselves and didn’t show any real interest in them so all was good .

The route for the day was past the farm at Barrowburn, up the side of Lounges Knowe (with a bit of puffing) into Kidland forest by Middle hill where we cut down to The Usway burn at the old building at Fairhaugh from there we joined a forestry track that lead us up (more puffing and panting) to the old drovers road of Clennell Street from there our route took us out of the trees and onto the side of Yarnspath law where we once again cut down to the Usway burn where we stopped for lunch by the small unnamed waterfall , after lunch we cut over the burn and headed up to the small farm track , this is where I had my first scare with the pup’s , unfortunately right by the side of our route there was a small herd of cattle , it was naturally in a place where we couldn’t go around them and the terrain made it almost impossible to do a small detour so after a chat with Roy we decided to stay close to the fence and if the cattle started coming at us we would simply lift the pups over the fence and they could follow us on the other side which would have been impossible for us , as it was the cattle where just young one’s and wasn’t interested in the slightest so we got past them without a problem , once again I was pleased with the pup’s as they kept very close to me without having to be told too many times , of course the pup’s are that small the cattle might not have seen them , either way I was pleased once we left the track at the small forest at Murder Cleugh and headed onto the grassy path or the border Country ride path as it’s marked on the map ……….I have to say I have never seen a bike up here ……..Yet . This path is a joy to walk along its soft springy grass is really easy on your feet after a long days hiking and the views are tremendous, the path winds it way past Barrow Law where you get to look along the Coquet Valley and of course the very welcoming sight of Barrowburn farm and its tea room .

Due to some excellent planning on my part ( more luck than anything ) we managed to get into the  tea room before it was closing time , where we both treated ourselves to coffee and a slice of thick moist cake …which Roy paid for …..Cheers Roy my turn next.

The owners even let the pup’s come in as well rather than us all sit outside which was rather kind of them I thought. We walked 7 .22 miles which by some strange coincidence was the same distance as what I did on my last walk with Roy (will get my GPS checked out) with about 1411 ft. of the ups and downs. All of it very enjoyable especially since the weather was spot on.

As normal a few photos from today

Taken from the car park at the old school

 

Looking down the coquet Valley

At the footbridge over the coquet

 

Just left the farm at Barrowburn, I never get tired of this view it’s a sort of “where will I go today”

 

Looking back at the old school

 

Someone has a sense of humour, a nicked  sign from down south someplace

Our path takes us along the Hepden burn before slowly climbing up Lounges Knowe

 

Looking back 

Starting to climb up, it’s steeper than what it looks

At the highest point of this climb a good place to stop for coffee and look back at where we started

 

Looking over to the other side of this ridge down towards the Usway Burn

 

The building Fairhaugh

 

Roy taking a few photos

 

Spot the boys busy sniffing around, they love it here.

 

One of the many small waterfalls on the Usway Burn

 

On the footbridge looking downstream a handheld “smoky water shot”

 

Now leaving Kidland forest and we are greeted by this view

 

Munchy and Bob dog waiting for us to catch up

 

On the path that runs down the side of Yarnspath Law

 

The view of where we are heading

 

Flynn thinking it must be lunch time soon

 

Bob dog thinking that it must be getting close to tasty snack time as well

 

Munchy telling us he has found a good spot to stop for lunch

 

Let’s go yells Bob dog

 

Here we are lunch spot by the small unnamed water fall on the Usway burn

 

 Yes this will do nicely

Come on get the food out!

 

Not a bad place to sit and chill out for a bit while we have lunch

 

Flynn looking for tasty treats

 

Munchy mooching around

 

Looking straight down on the small falls

 

Looking down the Usway burn

 

Roy trying to get a good photo of the boy’s (they won’t keep still)

 

Bob heading off time to get going again

 

Last look it really was very pleasant sitting here for a while

 

Hum I can smell something nice

 

Looking back at the young cattle, I was a bit concerned for a while

 

The sign says it all

 

Now on the return leg of our trip looking back at the higher fells with a few patches of snow still around

 

Looking back along the Usway Valley

 

Same again

 

Starting our decent towards Barrow burn looking along the Coquet Valley

 

Roy leading the way …..The tea room below at Barrowburn is calling us

 

One last Photo

On our way home a couple of photos of this small unnamed water fall on the Coquet

 

Roy (with camera) thanks Roy it’s been a good day

 Day after thoughts,

The pup’s seemed to have enjoyed there day out, they slept all the way back in the car, once home they woofed down there tea then spent an evening snoozing in front of the fire before climbing into there beds for the night, in the morning they where back to there normal busy playful behaviour, much to my surprise I wasn’t stiff or sore in the morning so maybe my fitness level is slowly getting a bit better , Arty leg behaved itself and my knee didn’t cause me any problems so this walk will be marked down as a huge success ……..I just hope that Roy enjoyed his first taster walk in the Cheviots as much as I did.

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