DATE                                            04.02.2010

DISTANCE                                    JUST UNDER 4 MILES

WEATHER                                   COLD BUT BRIGHT

START / FINISH                          CAR PARK AT WOOLER COMMON

 

It was cold I mean really cold I knew that before I even climbed out of bed , a quick nose to the window confirmed what I already knew so where to go today  ? I was still wondering as I threw my morning cup of coffee down my neck. Heading deep into the hills would be a no no with all the ice and snow lying around, so it had to be someplace on towards the coast side rather than more inland. My better half who does a lot of driving around the county suggested Wooler and stated the road was kept clear and well gritted as its one of the main routes into Scotland.

Why not , I remember seeing a advert once stating that “wooler was the gate way to the Cheviots” so why not do a walk starting from there , after all its not like I don’t know the area .

Coffee was finished gear thrown into the car, -5 stated the outside thermometer thingy on the car, I expect it will be even colder in the hills but that didn’t matter, I sweat a lot when I walk in fact I sweat like a fat sweaty pig that’s sweating so the cold weather was a bonus for me, in fact I will go on to stay that I really love these bitterly cold days and with this happy thought I drove up to Wooler , much to my surprise there didn’t seem to be any more snow laying around than what thee was on the coast where I live , but then it wasn’t snow it was ice , but the road was clear so I didn’t have a problem , I decided that I would park up in the free car park at Wooler common link up with a section of St Cuthbert’s  way  and head round the far side of Humbleton hill , climb up over the top then make my way back , all depending on the state of the snow and ice.

Humbleton Hill at 298 meters isn’t really big or even hard to walk up and I have wandered up it a few times in the past when the weather is better, but it is one of those hills that almost invites you up, it’s a very easy path up, once at the top you are rewarded by some brilliant views and there is a fair amount of stone work laying around from the remains of the old hill fort that used to be up there donkeys years ago. From there I would simply cut down the well used path down the front of the hill and link up with the same path I used earlier on and back to the car, pre haps not the best of routes but under the conditions it was all I could come up with and if the truth was known all I wanted was to get out and get some fresh air into my lungs. And boy was the air fresh up there.

On arrival at the car park it was gear on, coffee made using my jet boil, the thermometer reading was -7 and everything was frozen solid, I decided that today I would be wearing my yaktrax gripper thingy’s as there was a lot of frozen stuff laying around, in fact every thing was frozen solid but much to my surprise it wasn’t that slippery, but I did make a mental note that its about time that I spent some of my hard earned cash and brought some micro spikes and later on that night I actually ordered some but that’s a different story.

The views from the top didn’t disappoint me and because of the cold weather I had the place to myself, which is something I like (but then I am a bit of a grump) but for me the best part was that I didn’t sweat a great deal but then I was still in shorts and long sleeved base layer top. (Yes I did have winter coat etc. in my ruck sack just in case). All in all a good day out with just under four miles walked pre haps not the longest of walks but it was still a good day.

As normal a few photos: - enjoy

Taken at the car park at Wooler common, it was pure ice on the tarmac.

 

On St Cuthbert’s way heading up past Browns Law.

Looking up towards coldberry Hill.

First sighting of Humbleton Hill & the sky is starting to brighten up a bit.

Getting closer, my path down is clearly visible.

The views out towards the coastline.

Not really sure if these smaller hills even have a name.

 

Old ruin, I was told by a local that a shepherd use to live here yonks ago but couldn’t really say for sure.

Now I am round the front of Humbleton my route will take me round the back before I start to head up.

One of the old ponds .sorry I can’t remember what they where used for.

Starting to cut round the back with Yeavering Bell in the distance.

My route takes me between the lower slopes of Harehope hill and Humbleton.

Starting to head up, nice and easy walking looking across towards Harehope and Gains law.

Taken at max zoom looking at Monday Cleugh.

 

Same view just a bit further along.

 

Heading up towards the top, it’s possible to make out the outer circle of the old hill fort.

 

Looking down the side of Humbleton.

 

Getting closer to the top, looking into the Northumberland national park.

 

Taken at max zoom.

 

Now at the summit and the stone cairn looking towards Wooler.

Looking towards where I came from earlier on.

Looking towards the coast.

A few more photos of the views before I start to head back down.

On my way down, approaching the outer stone wall.

Nearly back at the car park last look back.

 

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