DATE                              28.10.2010

DISTANCE                      7.8 MILES        

WEATHER                      BRIGHT BUT COLD




After my last walk up this way see:

I couldn’t wait to get back in the area and do a small section of the Pennine way that somehow I hadn’t done and then drop down into the forest and make my way back.

At the time of writing this I have no idea why I haven’t been here before but that really doesn’t really matter it might have been that I didn’t think I was up to it, it might have been a bit to far out of my comfort zone ….who knows all I know is that I was really excited about getting back and hopefully seeing some new stuff. For once I got out an ordnance survey map and actually looked at it and planned a route out really simple when you think about it but my normal style is “play it by ear” so it was a sort of test   to see if I could do it and would I stick to my planned route, I have to be honest and say I was even a bit excited about it after all it was a sort of new area for me.

Anyhow my Plan was to park up at the old church near Byrness, where the Pennine way passes the church and simply join the Pennine way, I mean it’s simple what could go wrong, and from there I would stay on the way all the way to well the turn off into the forest.

So Basically my rote would take me up Byrness Hill at 414 meters (there was a bit of a small scramble for me but I don’t think that two leggers would have to use there hands) from the along to Saughy Crag (I know there must be dozens of crags with this name) Houx Hill up (pant pant) to Windy crag at 419 meters then to Ravens Know at 516 meters which would be my highest bit of today then down to Ogre Hill at 516 meters then stay on the Pennine way till I turned into the forest and linked up with the forestry track at “the hearts toe” which just happen to be part of the Border country ride way  and from that point I would stay on this track back to Byrness . Much to my surprise I actually stuck to the route with the only one small detour and that was where the forestry people had been cutting down the trees on the footpath at “Hearts toe” but other than that I stuck to my planned route. I had a brilliant day there is always something exciting about going into a new area and I didn’t see a single person all day one other thing that I should mention is that it was very wet and boggy in places.

I walked about 7.8 miles with 1400ft of the ups and downs

 As normal a few photos enjoy:-

 Heading into the trees at Byrness


This was a bit of a surprise when leaving the trees and its steeper than what it looks


Some of the rocks are huge


Stopping for breath and a quick photo look down


Made it to the top of Byrness hill and the views start to open up a bit


Looking back


The small stone cairn at Byrness Hill


Looking across towards what I believe is the farm at Cottenshope


Looking towards Houx hill and a distant windy crag


A bit further along the hills seem to go on for ever


Taken at max zoom looking at Catcleugh reservoir


Still heading up, the ground is very soft and waterlogged


Warning sign that lets you know the military ranges are close by


Another shot of the reservoir


Heading up towards Ravens Knowe


Last little steep bit to go


On top looking around


For a while the Pennine way follows the fence line


Army attack helicopter (I really hope he knows he is outside the firing range)


The Pennine way seems to go on forever and it’s very boggy in the dips


I think that is Ogre Hill ahead it difficult to know where one starts and one finishes


Looking back


The stone cairn, I stopped here for lunch


Starting on the long downhill section


And what a surprise wooden walk way, however it was very slippery where it was wet, but the ground under it was a pure wet bog, I hate to think what it would be like to walk across it without this path


Looking back


Last bit of down hill before I cut into the forest (what forest it’s gone!)

Now on the footpath entering the non existent trees, its ok to walk along to start with.


Then things start to get a bit mucky and fun


But it’s only for a short distance then I am back on a forestry track


A rather misty murky photo


I think that I am looking at part of Hoggerel Cleugh


And on the other side of the track


Looking back, it’s really beautiful / peaceful around here and I still haven’t seen a single person


Looking down towards Spithope bothy


Looking up at where I was earlier today

A much closer look at the bothy and the evidence of recent tree felling


Ok one more look back at the bothy


Yes this is a lovley small valley and today it was all mine.


Getting closer to where they where cutting down the trees the air smelt of pine resin


Looking across towards the reservoir


Looking back at the track as I enter Byrness again



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