DATE                                          18.06.06

DISTANCE                                9.88 MILES

WEATHER                               DULL AND DAMP


Today was going to be something special; there was no doubt about that, I had spent ages reading up about a small but very special waterfall that was hidden away in the Northumberland National park, the name of this waterfall was Davidson’s Linn, don’t ask my why its called a Linn rather than a waterfall because I don’t know I suppose it’s all down to the local lingo or something, I believe that they are called floss down in “yorky” country but I could be wrong about that so don’t go making any bets on it ok?.

I had mentioned it to my better half and much to my surprise she agreed that she would join me for the day, so it was just a case of getting stuff and things ready throwing them in the rucksacks and jumping in the car and off we went.

I had spent a lot of time looking at possible routes, or should I say starting places more than anything and the one thing that I was concerned about were fluids , my water bladder had burst and we had resorted to plastic bottles plus I was the only one who would be carrying a rucksack so the weight could have been a problem and the last thing I wanted was to run out of water on this walk , we solved this problem very easy, simply because this route was a straight in and more or less a straight out following most of the route back again so all we had to do was hide  a couple of water bottles on the way in  and pick them up again on our return leg  that way I didn’t have to Carrey them all the way round and we knew that we had a stash of drinking water for the return journey …good thinking eh?

As it turned out I needed have been concerned about fluids as the weather turned into a wet misty cool dull day …..Hello summer time where are you? And we didn’t drink a great deal but the plan was a good one.

Right getting back to the walk, we parked up on a small roadside lay by, right where Rowhope burn flows into the river Coquet or should I say where the road from the farm at Rowhope joins the road we just drove along from Alwinton. (Just look at the maps above it’s a lot easer to understand).

Gear was sorted, what really means that I get to carry everything and we where off, our route (see map) would take us along the metallic road past the small holding at Rowhope then past the old (unlived in) house / small holding at Trows, the metallic road now turns into a well used stone covered track that we would walk along  for the next mile or so , after  another  mile or so I hid  a big bottle of water for the return leg  but even as I hid the bottle I couldn’t help but notice that it was starting cloud over and the clouds where very low ………….so much for the bright and sunny .

Our route took us along the valley heading towards the farm at Uswayford where we left the track and followed a slightly overgrown footpath down to Usway burn where we crossed over without to much trouble, by this time the cloud had dropped down and we where treated to a dose of that heavy mist / drizzle, you know the sort the stuff where everything slowly but surly gets wet. However being the intrepid explorers that we are we carried on.

Our route now took us into the forest heading towards Salters road, sadly the path was very overgrown and even when we met up with Salters road it wasn’t much better, in places we was knee deep in wet boggy mud and spent a silly amount of time zigging and zagging across the path trying to find a firm place to place our feet, eventually we left the forest or should I say the path run along side the trees and we got to see the Linn. Slowly we made our way down, crossed over via the new bridge and headed to the top of Davidson’s Linn, to get the best views it entails a steep but short climb down, however with all the wetness the ground s was very slippery and we both decided not to give it a go. To be honest I really didn’t think that I could safely get down, all the bog hopping and splodging had taken there toll on me and I was feeling tired, of course the plan was to get here then have a nice long break and rest up before we started the return leg, but with the weather the way it was it just wasn’t possible.

Leaving Davidson Lynn we stayed on Salters road (which is nothing but a soaking wet peat bog) and headed up to where we hoped to join up with a forestry track, the walk up to the track was a nightmare and we had to leave the “path” several times and weave in and out of the trees as it was we both went in up to our knees in stinking wet mud , it was hard work and several times I almost had my arty leg sucked off as my foot got stuck in the mud , sadly we didn’t get any photos of this stretch because we had to pack the camera away in the ruck sack for safety .

Finally we made the forestry track and let me tell you I was very pleased to on solid ground , but first things first despite the rain …yes it was raining now I had to stop take my leg off and clean everything up , the muck and water had got into the electronics in my arty knee  and it had beeped on me and died , fortunately this leg can still operate when it dies so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds , but at the time I didn’t really know what would happen when I put it back on and started to walk again .

Things weren’t going as planned but hey it had to happen sooner or later, the walk along the forestry track was very nerve racking to start with as I didn’t know what the leg would do but after a few hundred meters it seemed that as long as I stayed the same slow speed the leg could cope it was only when I tried to walk a bit faster that the leg couldn’t keep up and I hit the ground. Lesson learnt, and so we started the long slow walk back , the knee beeped at me a few times and I did a full reset on it but basically it was dead ………………how do I explain this to the limb centre ?.

Fortunately the walk back now was along good paths and tracks so at least we didn’t have anymore surprises waiting for us.

We made one stop on the way back and that was to pick up the water bottle that we hid earlier on, we didn’t need it and on an impulse I decided to take my leg off and wash out all the mud and debris out of the knee, I mean it wasn’t working anyway and I figured it would never dry out with all that crap stuck in there and so I washed it out ……………………No it still didn’t work but at least it looked a bit cleaner .

Then it was round the corner and there was our car …….what a lovley sight.

We did just less than ten miles with 1654ft   of the ups and downs.

Yes I was disappointed that I couldn’t get down to see the waterfall at its best but I knew that I would return as I got better and fitter. (Note from today 2015 I have returned several times and now I don’t have any bother with the climb down)

A few photos:

My better half feeling happy as she has just emptied her ruck sack into mine

Looking along the Coquet Valley (not our route today)


And off I go (note the dropped left shoulder  ...I got told off by Yvonne for that)


First rest stop and where we hid the water


Looking along the track

Looks like the cloud is closing in


A bit further along looking towards Hazley Law

Yep the weather is going downhill fast


Still on the track heading to Uswayford farm …and wet weather


Looking back at middle hill

Crossing over Usway burn (I think that this could be an old ford)


Looking back at an old sheep stell


Looking back at our path down


Looking up the Clay Burn (it joins the Usway burn where we crossed)


And up we go


About to enter the trees


Me, struggling a bit, but nothing compared to later on


About to leave the trees an Salters road (the better section)


Looking down towards the Usway burn


First sighting of Davidson’s Linn


Looking back along the valley


A decent path at long last


Above the Linn


Heading down towards the footbridge to cross over


The burn


Looking at the rocks above the Linn

The new footbridge


That’s for another day I think!!!


Deer! Sadly we have made too much noise and have disturbed them


They are looking at us looking at them


And they are off


A few photos of the Burn above the Linn

 Looking down this valley


Time to head up


Looking back down at the water fall (Linn)

On zoom


Last look back


Last look down the valley before we head into the trees


Now on the forestry track after a long muddy struggle

We head this way back


Finally a photo of Davidsons Linn showing what it is like …taken from a walk I did at a later date

Day after thoughts:-

Much to my surprise I didn’t ache in the morning, I think that this was due to the slow (very slow) walk back to the car, I got my leg fixed at the limb centre after a week or so, I was to have this  problem on and off every time I went out and it got wet over the next few years , I tried a few things even going to the stage of having a plastic leg covering over it (like a Santa stocking) but sadly the knee wasn’t very good around dampness .