DATE                                     26.03.06

DISTANCE                            ABOUT 7.2 MILES

WEATHER                            COOL BUT DRY

START / FINISH                   FREE CAR PARK AT HOLBURN GRANGE

 

St Cuthbert's Cave

Once again I had been mooching around on the internet thingy looking for any interesting stuff that might be worth paying a visit to ………..someplace in the Northumberland area would be nice but not essential, what I found was several links to the St Cuthbert’s way now what really caught my eye was a few photos of a cave, on further investigation I found the following information:-

St. Cuthbert’s Cave is an overhanging outcrop of Sandstone rock, supported by an isolated pillar of stone. It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to this place to rest for a short period in AD875 following Viking raids on the Island and the subsequent abandonment of the Saxon monastery.

So that was that the place or thing sorted out now it was just a case of trying to make some sort of decent route.

Much to my surprise my long suffering better half agreed to join me for todays walk, and as a special treat we would be taking a flask full of hot tomato soup with us and some freshly baked home made bread.

We had recently brought a bread maker, and after a few failures we had finally started to produce some seriously tasty fresh crusty bread, naturally we had started to experiment with mixed results adding allsorts of stuff in the bread some worked out ok & some didn’t and ended up on the bird table in the garden ……………yes the birds did like it.  We had also got a timer built into the bread maker and worked out if we got all the ingredients ready and put it all into the maker the night before we could set it so it started mixing and cooking first thing in the morning, the result was a lovley smell of freshly baked bread drifting up the stairs when it was time to get up in the morning.

This of course led to a mad race as we both wanted to get downstairs and get the crust whilst it was still hot ………………Naturally before I could go anywhere I had to put my arty leg on so Yvonne won the race, but after much whinging on by me (yes I do whinge on) she agreed that we would share the crust so peace was restored in the household ……………..One thing we had both found was we both loved the bread so much we was eating it just for the sake of eating it and had to limit ourselves to one small loaf a day.

So as a special treat we had hot soup and really thick cut fresh bread for our lunch stop today (I think the only reason Yvonne was coming with me today was for the tasty bread)

Sorting out the gear proved to be a bit on the tricky side as I had been out and spent some of my hard earned pounddoolys on a brand new all singing all dancing rucksack for Yvonne, the result was when I transferred all her stuff out of my rucksack and into hers I was left with an almost emptied rucksack , then much to my amazement Yvonne started to sort out her stuff and left half of her stuff at home saying that she didn’t need it ……………….strange when I had to cart it all around “ it had to be packed just in case” but when she has got to carry it ………….she doesn’t really need it .

Any how the  starting point for this walk was the small but free car park at Holburn Grange , which took a bit of finding as sat nav proved to be useless however being the toughie outdoor explores we soon found it , parked up and got our gear ready , I was feeling very pleased with the weight of my rucksack , it seemed very  light but didn’t dare say anything to Yvonne , who was having a few technical problems adjusting her rucksack , eventually things and stuff where sorted and off we went , our route for the day would take us up away from Holburn Grange along a very well signposted route to “St Cuthbert's Cave Wood” where we would have a good old mooch around the “cave “ and all the sandstone huge boulders most of which are covered in graffiti , some meant to be there some done by idiots who really need to get a hard smacking , then by linking up with another well used footpath our route took us along the edge of Cockenheugh wood  where we discovered some really strange shaped sandstone boulder and a slow worm  from there we joined a cart track past Kiln wood and headed towards Swinhoe  farm passing Dick’s old walls (nope I haven’t got a clue)  at Swinhoe Farm we would link up with a section of the Pennine way which would take us past the upper Swinhoe lake then past the Lower Swinhoe lake ( some original thinking with the names !) then staying on the Pennine way passing through the Virgin Hill wood out onto the pastures and on till Fawcet Hill then still on the Pennine way cutting straight back down to the cave again , from there it was a case of walking back to the car . We did about 7.2  miles all very easy walking, the soup break was very successful and was woofed down along with the bread...tasty .

A few photos

Taken from the car park looking up along the pathway up to the woods

 

Yvonne, posing with Holburn Grange in the background

 

Looking across at the Cheviot Hills, there is still some snow on the higher fells

First sighting of St Cuthbert's Cave

 

The main path up (very well used) in the spring time there are hundreds of daffodils planted along this path ……..well worth a visit

 

Yvonne having a pose

 

A few more photos taken all around this area

 

 Yvonne pointing out some names on one of the boulders

Before the land was donated to The National Trust, the Leather family inscribed commemorative inscriptions to their loved ones on the large boulder which sits behind the ‘cross and niche’ stone (10802). This tradition has continued until 2001 with the most recent inscription to Jennifer A. Saunders (nee Leather) 1948-2001. Other inscriptions are …. for more info:-

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aenvironment.co.uk%2Fdownloads%2FSt%2520Cuthberts%2520Cave%2520Management%2520Plan.pdf&ei=qzuMVP-xCIXxUKr8gNgI&usg=AFQjCNFmcak3jow70oqPOzjAbG2ZX_mqbQ

 A few more photos

 

Looks like we are sharing the cave today

 

Last look as we head off on our way

 

We hadn’t got far when we saw this lot of strange rock formations a few photos

 

Slow worm (thought it was a bit cold for these but hey what do I know!

 

Sheep!  Mum with the young ones

 

Yep spring is in the air

 

Me at Swinhoe Lake (don’t know which one)

Nice sheltered spot where we stopped for lunch (soup and fresh crusty bread) very tasty!! Nom Nom

 

On the Pennine way heading towards Fawcet Hill

 

Nearly there.

 

Looking across to the snow capped Cheviot Hills

 

Who is this good looking man?

 

Last look back as we head for the car park

 

Day after thoughts, again I had no problems with arty leg or my stump, but then this was very easy terrain to walk, and we did take our time. doing this walk made me think of walking  the St Cuthbert's  way , not in one go but breaking down into small section ………..something to think about .

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