DATE                            05.09.13

DISTANCE                    ABOUT 5.3 MILES

WEATHER                   HOT AND STICKY

START / FINNISH       FREE CAR PARK (SEE MAP)

 

It was Bobs turn to accompany me today, and I planned to revisit a walk that I hadn’t done for two or more years , in fact it might even be longer , it was a stroll around Holystone woods , taking in the lady’s well , the fairy glen and other sections that I haven’t got a clue what they are called . There is supposedly a Lot of red squirrels. I can remember trying to take photos of them with a small pocket camera only to find that they didn’t really show up on the photos later that night. So if I am lucky I might get to see one today. Gear was sorted out and thrown into the car, a quick whistle and Bob came charging out of the house and jumped into the car.

On arriving at Holystone I couldn’t help but notice that there had been some serious logging going on but from the car park (free) it didn’t look like there had been any trees cut in this area, how wrong was I.

Anyway kit was sorted, coffee made, Bob was read the riot act and let out, who straight away run into the woods and started to sniff around, not to far I called, the last thing I wanted was to have to start to chase after Bob, but likewise I really didn’t want to have to put him on a lead, fortunately he came bounding back and every thing was fine.

We set off along a well marked forestry track , heading towards our first stopping off point the Lady’s well , unfortunately I hadn’t been walking for more than five minutes when we came across signs of the tree harvesting , fortunately they had left the foot path clear to the lady’s  well and so me and bob wandered along without a care in the world , briefly we left the forest and crossed over a field full of sheep , Bob behaved himself , but it took some serious talking to keep his attention on me rather than the sheep , but I was pleased with him so when we finally got to the well and out of the field I gave him a very tasty treat .

Photos where taken. Bob sniffed around and it was time to be off,

Walking back through the field of sheep didn’t cause any problems but I did keep talking to Bob the whole time , then once again into the forest and with a quick pat and a few kind words I let Bob know he could wander at will now , Bob being Bob went off along the path , stopping for the odd sniff then as I round the corner I found Bob waiting for me , the foot path had gone along with all the trees , the forestry people had done what they do best and totally destroyed the path in there tree felling operation , I have to be honest and say I don’t know weather this was a public right of way or just a trail that had developed over the years and I am far to lazy to look it up.

After a quick look , being the stupid person that I am decided that if I was carful I could make my way across site and hopefully link up with the path when I got into the trees about 600 meters further along , a lot easer said than done , but after much sweating and swearing we finally crossed over this site and entered the trees again , due to an incredible bit of navigating (luck) we entered the wood and soon picked up the path , however already the path was showing signs of not being used and was overgrown in a lot of places , I fully expect that this path will simply disappear as the main route to it no longer exists .

From this point we simply followed what was the old path through what I call the old wood letting Bob lead the way , somehow he can follow the path much easer that what I could , maybe because he is so low to the ground  and can see the path where as the fern and grass has fallen over it covering it from my view , eventually we burst out on a forest track and made some good time for the next mile or so , at the time I something didn’t seem quite right it was only later that I realised that we where on the wrong side of the deer fence , not a problem as there are several gates fitted but they must have moved the fence from one side of the road to the other .

Eventually it was time to head into the forest again, straight away we both saw that the old path was totally overgrown, but once we got into the forest the lack of daylight and falling pine needles or what ever they are called kept the plant life to next to nothing and so it made for a easy walk, however it was starting to get very hot and humid. Once again we burst out of the trees and into the entrance of the fairy glen, to enter the not so secret glen we had to leave the path, one look confirmed my worst fears, we would have to bash our way through the fern as it was totally overgrown, normally the small climb up into this gully is tricky but today it proved to be a bit of a nightmare, plus as I made my way through the fern I disturbed zillions of midges and other flying things which went out of there way to let me know that they where pissed with me , after lots of swotting we finally made it , the old seats that people had placed there had gone or being destroyed , the small waterfall had all but dried up and the whole place looked well and truly deserted , I remember talking to an old gent years ago about this place and he said that it comes into and out of fashion as the years go by , it looks like its going to “disappear” for a while now with the main path all but gone , I know that I wont return again until the path is reopened and I don’t think many other people would go through what I went through just to get here .

The path out of the gully was equally as bad and to be honest I was pleased to get under the dark trees again , the rest of the walk was a mixture of forestry tracks , old tracks that where in the process of slowly reverting to open grassy tracks and very overgrown no longer used footpaths , I didn’t enjoy pushing my way through the fern getting attacked by midges and flying ants and it made what should have been a easy walk into a non stop slog , finally we linked up with the Holystone burn and after Bob had a well deserved paddle and drink I decided to call it a day , I was going to head back via Holystone common but one look at the overgrown path put me off and so for the last leg of this walk we walked back along a grassy forestry track . We finally made it back to the car and I think that we where both pleased and breathed a sigh of relief when I started the engine and switched the air con on full. ……………………not one of my better walks.

As normal a few photos:-

The lady’s well.

Same place different view point.

Believe it or not our route takes us across this lot. Certainly not easy for an amputee.

 

Now in what I call the old wood and one of the few bits of good footpath.

 

Bob having a look around.

 

Very old trees.

 

Our path takes us into this.

Fortunately we find this path and a deer fence.

The new forest and our next point .

Bob sniffing the heather.

Now entering the forest, there is a footpath here.

Bob being very brave in the dark scary forest.

 

As we come to a clearing, everything is overgrown again.

Bob leading the way into the Fairy Glenn.

 

The overgrown entrance.

 

Nearly through.

 

Last bit of fern to get past, I am being eaten alive at this point.

Looking at the sandstone walls.

Bob exploring.

 

Bob not looking to impressed, there used to be a wooden figure on the sandstone lump.

 

All that’s left of the small waterfall is a few drips.

 

My way out.

 

Yep it’s overgrown.

Looking up at what used to be a waterfall.

On our way out.

 

A bit of climbing to do.

 

Entering the trees again at least its easy walking under the trees.

 

On an old forestry track that is slowly being reclaimed by nature.

 

Bob Jumping for something.

 

One of the views from the edge of the forest.

 

Our path (overgrown again)

 

Lunch time for Bob, yes I did share my sarnie with him.

 

The small burn where Bob went for a drink and a paddle to cool off.

 

The burn a bit further along, almost impossible to get to.

 

Now on a forestry track.

Looking back.

Looking down towards Holystone Common (I am so pleased that we didn’t go that way)

 

Bob waiting for me to catch up.

 

A local view.

 

Even this track is slowly closing in on us.

Finally we leave the forest.

 

Ants nest; we saw dozens of these, some where quite big.

Last look back down towards Holystone common.

 

 

 Day after thoughts, it looks like the fairy glen is going to disappear for a few years again, I know that I certainly wont be going back any time soon.

Stump wise I had no real trouble, but then I was being eaten alive most of the walk and don’t think that I actually got to walk normally for more than half of the route , I was covered with bites on my neck and arms and even now I feel itchy as I write this up .

A few notes from Bob.

Hi this is Bob .I hade a great day , it was great fun running along the paths under all the fern and grass , I got treats , drinks and even got to chase a rabbit and even a paddle in the river .I cant wait till our next walk .

 

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