DATE                                  25.03.15

DISTANCE                         7.8 MILES

WEATHER                          BRIGHT BUT COOL



In my never ending quest to:-

 (A) Lose some weight …………don’t ask its not going to well

 (b) Get fitter …..Again don’t ask it’s not going to well................. (not having much success’s with either of these things at the moment)

I decided that it was time to get my lardy arse out into the hills again, a quick look at the weather forecast dictated that Wednesday could be the better day to get out someplace, so that was that sorted, I sent a quick e mail thingy to Roy who had accompanied me on my last couple of walks to ask if he would like to join me for the day and had a quick chat with the weather Gods asking them to be nice to me for the day. The forecast was a bit hitty missy so a chat with the gods can never come in wrong.

Roy got back almost straight away saying that he was ok for Wednesday so that was another detail taken care of, my next problem was where to go, I had several routes planned away in my head all in different areas with my thinking I could head west, north or south into the park and go where the better weather might be, of course in practise that doesn’t really work with the weather but I like to think that I am one step ahead.

But the real problem that I was facing today was my knee , it’s still giving me some grief .but it seems to be ok when I am out walking , provided that I don’t go up or down any steep banks so today I wanted to push things just a little and get in a few gentle climbs without to mad , I also wanted to show Roy another area of the park and see if it was possible to “top our last walk at Barrowburn” of course to do that I needed the right weather but despite my chat to the Weather Gods there isn’t really much I can do about that .

 So next problem was where are the cattle in these areas, I was going to take the three boys along with me and really didn’t want any bother with cattle, I know from previous years and walks where they could be and where they wouldn’t be so that helped narrow my choices down a bit but in the end I decided to do what I do best and that is leave things right to the last minute and decide on the drive up.

So that was it gear was sorted, Roy turned up, the pup’s where loaded into the car and settled down and we where off, I explained to Roy on the drive up what my plane was for the day was and why but to be honest I don’t think that Roy really cared walking in the Northumberland National Park is all new to him so he was happy either way , the Pup’s couldn’t care they just wanted a fun day out so by looking up at the clouds I decided to head for the Harthope valley / Langlee valley (its name changes according to who you speak to).

Parking was on the grass land just off the road at the base of Skirl Naked, about 50 meters from the bridge over the Carey Burn , gear was sorted , the pup’s where read the riot act (which they promptly forgot) and off we went , I had a small concern about the pup’s meeting up  face to face with the sheep right at the start of the walk simply because they tend to go mad or have what I call a mad five minutes where they run around like “err ! Mad dogs” but as it was the sheep decided to move well away from all of us so that was a problem that never happened , I knew once the boys had settled down they would behave themselves but I am always wary at the first contact .

Our route for the day (see map) would take us along the carey Burn what is on a lovey but tricky in places path running alongside the burn, the path starts off as an easy grassy path then turns into a very rocky / lose scree path and in certain places the gorse bushes do there best to scratch you to pieces but its all good fun, then of course is the view both side of then valley are very steep and dramatic  and finally you walk around the bend and see the small but lovley waterfall , I love the walk along here , I find it hard in places but hey this is why I come to these places , sadly with the sun being hidden behind the clouds Roy didn’t get to see the valley at its best and with the heather still all brown and dead the whole valley seemed dull despite the odd flash of yellow from the gorse bushes .

Staying on this path we linked up with the Hell path (no I don’t know why its called the hell path) from there we stayed on the path that headed slowly up to Broadstruther , the pup’s loved this area , so much for them to investigate as they run backwards and forwards along the path , there wasn’t any sheep around so I didn’t keep them to close , I couple of times they did spot a grouse which lead to much barking and jumping around as it flew away but they where having fun .

Lunch was had sitting just past the old shooting lodge at Broadstruther, I was planning on stopping at Broadstruther but as we approached it I spotted a couple of rat poison boxes places outside and the last thing I wanted was any of the boys to get too close so we quickly walked on keeping them walking at heel . A hundred meters or so later on it was lunch time, naturally the pups totally ignored there food till they had assisted me finishing off my roast beef and salad sarnie , As normal they had the roast beef and I got the boring salad then and only then they decided to get stuck into their dinner . Not that I minded (much) I am thinking that I really need to man up and let them know that I’m the boss not the other way around.

After a very relaxing lunch it was time to press on our route took us across Rushy Gair following a very dodgy footpath till we linked up with what I believe is a shooting track. It was at this point we had a choice we could stay on the track and follow it to the valley bottom and walk back along the metallic road back to Carey burn or we could follow the line of grouse shooting butts heading up to the summit of Cold law , we chose to head up to Cold law , it didn’t look much of a climb but with the soft ground it certainly got me puffing and so we had many stops to take photos ( which really means get my breath back ) the one strange thing about slowing climbing up here was the view back towards Hedgehope and the Cheviot seem to make them get  bigger and bigger.  We had our afternoon stop by the crags on the top of Cold law (452 meters) but didn’t stay to long as there was a huge dirty black cloud just hovering above us and with the wind blowing over the cheviot (which still has snow in places ) made for a rather cooling breeze  so it was a quick cup of coffee before we set off down , our route took us down past Carling crags then onto a old dirt track past some old sheep pens , it was at this point we decided to get off the track and make our own way back via a well hidden footpath that took us right along the top of Carey Burn , this in fact was the first time I have used this footpath and have to say that I will use it again , the views down towards the Carey burn where spectacular and just to make things even better the sun came out . After a few hundred meters the footpath headed back up to the track, we decided to follow an old sheep trail along the top of the valley; it was very narrow in places with a very steep drop , but with The boy’s leading the way we couldn’t really wimp out and so we followed this sheep trail along the top , eventually it cut down the side of the valley at a nice easy rate and linked up with the dirt track just above the metallic road by Carey burn bridge and of course the car . I have to say I was very impressed with our route down and will use it again when I am up this way , so much better than the boring old track down , we walked about 7.8 miles give or take a few feet and did about 1696 ft. of the up’s and downs , the pup’s did loads more .

A few photos;

 Taken at the start of the walk, looking along the Carey Burn Valley


A bit further along, the boys are racing ahead now


A nice grassy path to start with


A bit further along


Looking across to the other side in winter there is a small waterfall here


Lone tree up high


First sighting of the small waterfall

Getting a bit closer the path is rather rocky at this point with lots of gorse bushes to work your way past


Looking back along the valley


Roy with Munchy & Flynn, bob is scouting ahead


The waterfall




Bob’s back reporting to Munchy band Flynn what’s ahead


Looking back down the falls


A bit further along looking back


Last look back as we leave the valley


Bob and Munchy waiting for us to catch up


Old weir (still haven’t found out anything about it)


Our first coffee break spot


Looking back down the burn


Starting to slowly gain some height looking back at the footbridge we crossed over


First sighting of the shooting lodge at Broadstruther


Crossing over the Hazelly Burn




Our lunch spot looking towards a distant Hedgehope


Looking towards a distant Watch Hill


Looking across towards Long Crags & Housey Crags


Looking across towards Langlee Crags


On our way up to Cold law (one of my many stops) looking back at Roy with Black seat hill behind him being dwarfed by the Cheviot


Looking across at the crags in the opposite valley


Looking back at the Cheviot


At the summit of cold Law, settling down for coffee at the stone cairn


The boy’s still running around the tracks having a great time. (34)


Roy heading back up after a few photos


The Trig point on Cold law with a darkened Cheviot in the background


On our way down, I believe these stone walls where part of the old sheep pens


Roy with Bob and Flynn


Our route down towards Carey Burn


At this point we decide to leave the track and find our own way and get to see this view 40


The next few photos where taken as we walked along the edge of the hill along an sheep trail that followed the ridge line  , it was quite steep and narrow in places but I think that is a fantastic route back down and just to make things better the sun came out .


Last photo showing the old ruined bridge across the Carey Burn

Day after thoughts, I will admit to feeling a bit on the tired side and my knee was starting to ache a bit on the long decent down, but nothing to get concerned about . A short sit down and coffee break back at the car whilst we got changed helped no end, & much to my surprise I didn’t stiffen up on the drive back home either. gear was sorted ,a quick  shower and a check of my stump showed that things where fine so all was well , my knee started to ache as the night wore on but was fine in the morning so I will mark this one up as a success .