DATE                                13.09.2010

DISTANCE                        ABOUT 10 MILES

WEATHER                        GREY AND DAMP

START / FINISH               OFF ROAD PARKING AT CLENNELL

 

Whiteburnshank

Todays walk was going to be in a bigish one , I was wanting to see how I got on doing something a big bigger distance wise , however the weather dictated that I wouldn’t be going anyplace wild and open where I would be exposed to the strong winds that where forecast , so after much serious thinking (before coffee) and I came up to the forest at Kidland , I have walked around the forest using the tracks many times before the only difference would be that I would be going into “new” sections that I hadn’t been before , plus it has the advantages of offering me some shelter from the wind and its easy walking so I could up the distance a bit . Now I don’t know about you (the reader) but I really love going into a new area, you know …what’s around the next corner ………what will I see, looking at the map I could see that there are several river crossings or fords as they are marked, how deep are they?, will it worth while taking my socks and boots off, should I but arty leg in a waterproof bag to keep it dry? ……….I decide to play things by ear and sort of make it up as I go along I always have one of those small micro fibre towels in my ruck sack just in case of something like this and with all the rain we have been having the river levels are bound to be up a bit as well but ….well I will see when I get there. After a few minutes I have a rough route sorted out in my head, all easy walking with sections that I know and bits that I don’t know (always a good mix I think) which would mean parking up off road at Clennell Hall (plenty of space) a wander along the lovley Alwin Valley which is one of my favourite areas , but saying that I have lots of favourite areas , entering  Kidland forest then staying mostly on the forestry tracks head up towards Whiteburnshank which is a sort of outdoor centre :-

http://www.whiteburnshank.org.uk/

http://www.barbersasa.co.uk/kidland/wbs.htm

However saying that I have never seen anyone using the place in all the times I have been there , but there is a couple of seats scattered around and it’s  where I plane to stop for lunch  the views are pretty good so all  good , if the place is open I could always push my luck and see if its possible to beg a cup of coffee ……………….you never know I might get lucky , from there staying on the forestry track I would head up and link up with Clennell street and head back down that way passing Nettlehope hill ,Flesh shank round the side of Saughy hill and down to Wholehope , where the last few bits of stone from the old YHA are slowly disappearing . Some info I found on the net:-

http://www.barbersasa.co.uk/kidland/wholehope.htm

http://www.hipkin.net/wholehope/history.html

And after that point I will pick my route back all depending on the weather my mood and what ever I feel like , its all open access with loads of easy grassy path all heading in the right direction all offering some brilliant views so for the last bit I will make it up as I go along .

So that was the plan, coffee was thrown down my neck; gear thrown into the car and off I went. On parking up I once again found that the weather on the coast where I live was completely different from the Cheviot Hills.

But I was here and that wasn’t going to stop me from having a good day, yes the views might suffer later on as the low cloud and clag drifted down but that wouldn’t be till the afternoon and a lot could change between now and then.

Highlights of this walk was bumping into two lots of deer and actually managing to get a few photos before they disappeared into the trees , as for the fords they wasn’t deep and I managed to walk straight across without the water going over the top of my boots so I kept my feet or should I say foot dry . the only down side was the weather as expected the low cloud restricted the views once I was out of the trees and made everything damp but really that didn’t matter I did about 10 miles without any problems and I’m pleased to say I didn’t have any sore spots either so I will mark that up as a good day.

As normal a few photos from today:-

Taken five minutes into the walk looking along the river Alwin

Looking at Skull rock (well I think it looks like a skull)

 

A bit further along this lovley valley

 

Just about to enter Kidland forest

Break in the trees looking towards Kitty’s crags on the Dodd

 

Now entering the dark scary trees

 

And then I burst out onto the forestry track

 

The track slowly winds it way up.

 

Looking back

 

Then my luck changes and I spot a deer

 

No two how lucky am I?

Spotted!

But still time for another photo

 

A bit further along and I get to see another deer only this time a very young one.

 

One more small ford to cross then its uphill to Whiteburnshank and lunch time

 

Looking towards Sneer Hill and the clag starts to drop

 

Still heading up looking back

 

Now sitting down having lunch

 

Whiteburnshank all shuttered up, so much for me begging a hot coffee, one day I will pass this way and find it open

 

A couple of photos whilst I have lunch and as the clag starts to drop

 

 Heading up towards Clennell Street looking back down (it’s quite a climb up and I have stiffened up because I took so long having lunch)

 

A few photos as I make my way along, just keeping in front of the clag

 

Looking towards Wholehope, there is nothing there now but an old feed shed.

At this point I leave Clennell Street and decide to just follow one of the many quad bike or sheep trails that are heading in roughly my direction, it’s all open access so you can wander almost anywhere.

 

At this point I decide to head down towards the Alwin Valley

 

As I lose a bit of height things become a bit clearer

 

Looking towards Kidland forest or should I say where the forest edge used to be

 

A bit closer and it would seem that the forestry people have been very busy

 

Still heading down

Once again I find myself walking on a well used quad bike track, its heading in the right direction so I decide to stay on it for a while

 

Hello Mick …….nice walks …..Yes thank you (one of the locals)

Looking towards Kidland forest (or part of it)

 

Looking along the Alwin Valley and my route back

 

It doesn’t look very steep but it’s slippery so I had fun getting down here

Nearly down

 

Finally made it, walking back along a nice soft grassy path

 

Last look at the river, and its just started to rain, fortunately the car isn’t far away

 

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