DATE                                     25.07.15

DISTANCE                            ABOUT 7.3 MILES (FELT  LIKE A LOT MORE )

WEATHER                           DRY AND SUNNY WITH HEAVY SHOWERS

START / FINISH                  CAR PARK AT GILSLAND

 

 Gilsland to Crammell Linn Waterfall

For today’s wander I would be joining the Facebook Group “Interesting  walks” for another fun filled day of……………. well basically having a great day out someplace in the fresh air , seeing something / someplace new and getting some much needed  exercise as well as having a good laugh .

Today’s area would be …………………..according to Doug (our nearly world famous leader) Gilsland to Crammell Linn Waterfall...

The exact route I wouldn’t find out till we set off so it was a bit like a mystery tour for me, normally that is something that I really don’t like but as Doug runs a very lay back relaxed group it isn’t a problem, now I had been in the area some years earlier but all I can remember was that I fell in the river Irthing and somehow managed to break the lens on my DSLR (a very expensive day out for me) So I was looking forward to getting there and meeting some of the old & new gang .

As Doug had let it be known that we would be walking around the seven of our earthy miles I once again decided that only Bob dog would be with me , the distance is just a bit far for the two little ones (Munchy & Flynn) where I know that the distance wouldn’t be problem for Bob.

Bob dog in action

And so we found ourselves heading up and into the small village or is that town of Gilsland, much to my and Bob’s surprise we found the meeting up car park no problem (this could be due to the fact it’s the only car park in the area) but I would like to take credit for some skilful navigation so I will.

Gear was sorted , Bob  was reassured that I had got him a few slices of Roast beef along with his treats and then the rest of the gang turned up , a quick chat and we where off.

Heading down into the village of Gilsland our first encounter with the locals was with a ferret who was wandering across the road with what looked like not a care in the world...It was tame by it’s couldn’t be bothered altitude and so we left it under observation by a couple of old folk who wasn’t really sure what to do about it.

One of the locals

Our route (see map) started very easy …………with a gentle walk alongside the riverside, then the fun started when it was time to cross over the river using the stepping stones, as I have already mentioned last time I crossed these I slipped off and got soaked so this time I was hoping that with a few more years of experience under my belt of being a one legged cripple it would get me across without any embarrassing splashes , however Fate had another card up its sleeve and produced it , not only was one stepping stone missing the next one was at a steep angle that would make it imposable for me to get on and keep Arty leg locked, Doug being the sorta person he was stepped down into the river and help the others across then it was my turn , there was no way I could step across and so it was a case of keeping what little bit of dignity I have got left and I slowly lowered myself into the water and tried to do a dignified splash across.

A dignified walk ?

 

much to everyone’s  disappointment I made it across (yes I saw you all with your cameras ready ) with just two boot fulls . a five minute sit down , where my socks where rung out , boots emptied and finally Arty leg was held up so all the water could run out and I was ready to carry on .

Time to empty Arty leg

Our route took us past the big (and posh looking) Gilsland Spa Hotel.

Gilsland Spa Hotel.

Then along a well used tree lined path running above the river then out into a small slightly overgrown field that was full of thistles.

Not the best field to walk across when wearing shorts

Yes there is a footpath here

so far the weather had been hot and of course being the time of year it was the first few fly’s and midges turned up, (as the day wore on they invited there mates along and we ended up almost being eaten alive) but as we left the field our path took us along a very wet forestry boggy path through Collering woods the weather changed nothing  dramatic but it started to rain and the already wet grass got even wetter plus the humidity came up a little bit more , however being the intrepid walkers we are we carried on as if there was nothing happening , then we burst out of the forest and linked up with the small MOD road and started to make a bit better time , the rain stopped and a small but very welcome breeze sprung up , just enough to keep the fly’s and midges away . The road took us along the very edge of the mod range (or I hoped it did) of spreadadam , I believe this is where they do the “electronic warfare stuff” and it was possible to see tanks , missile launchers old planes dotted about on the fells , I don’t think that they drop real Bombs here , but do it with electronics or try to jam the electronics but what ever they do its not done on a Saturday so we managed to pass without getting fired upon , however we where stopped by one person who was guarding the road and advised that it was fine to head down to the waterfall but not to head off in any other direction.

And so with the sun shining and the little bit of breeze dropping we headed down to the  Crammell Linn Waterfall , its not the first time I have been here but even so I was still very impressed with the waterfall , its well worth the effort just to see it .

Just across a feild and ......we see this !

Lunch was had sitting on the hillside looking over towards the valley and the falls ……all very nice BUT the fly’s and midges returned in force and made my life a misery, its my own fault, I should have packed a hat and some deet but I cleared it all out of my rucksack when I had a sort out ………..all for the sake of making my rucksack a bit lighter a mistake I wont make that mistake again.

Lunch time for us ....or the fly's ?

Lunch was a rather rushed affair and we all dropped down the hill to get a few photos of the falls up close , then it was time to head back , Doug had all the right maps and we did follow the path back along the river , across the fields BUTTTTTTTTTT it to say it was overgrown would be a understatement , the path would simply disappear , the fern had grown across the path and was almost head height in places , it was a nightmare then came the fly’s , midges and horse fly’s / clegg’s all bringing there mates along just to really let us know we picked the wrong path at the wrong time of year , it was more like jungle warfare in fact it was worse I have been in Belize doing my jungle warfare course and it was a walk in the park compared to this .

One of the easer section's it was so bad I couldnt take photos

I will say this with a smile upon my face it was only a matter of time before my Arty leg got tangled up and I took a fall so I was over the moon when someone fell over before me (does this make me a bad person) and when I did take a fall (with grace and style I might add) I didn’t feel so bad, in fact one member of our little group had several tumbles so all in all I felt that I had done really well.

I cant tell you how pleased I was once we finally cleared the overgrown jungle section and got back on an open footpath that you could see  it might have been only a couple of miles but it felt like we had been struggling a lifetime and I will be honest here and say I found it extremely hard going.

Yes there is a footpath in there and we followed it !

Then as we entered the forest and the nice wide firm footpaths the sky turned Black and the heavens opened up and it threw it down by the bucket loads. And naturally it stayed like that till we linked up with the small road that took us back down to Gilsland , eventually as we entered the Village the rain stopped and all was well , time for a after  walk drink in one of the Pubs .

After five minutes sitting down having a well deserved drink , the fly’s , midges ,Horsefly’s , fern heavy rain , ploging across the river where all forgotten and we all agreed that it was a brill day out , My GPS made it 7.3 miles with 1103ft of the up’s and downs . But boy was it hard going for about three miles

A few photos:

 An easy path to start with

The river , that caused some fun a bit further on

Some locals

Looking down the river

The stepping stones (one day i will cross them without getting wet feet )

Looking back towards Gilsland

Old church we passed

Walking along an old wooded section

Bob dog having a great time running about

A few photos as we make our way along , not the best of routes but sooooo much better than the return path!

Easy going for Bob

Not going to say who but someone climbed over this stile

Now approaching the RAF ranges (a few top secret photos shush !!!! dont tell anyone) 

Bob dog returning from a secret mission on the ranges

Nearly there

The waterfall

Bob leading the way down

A few more up close (I should have brought a stand )

Bob having a well deserved sit down

Time to start on the climb , looking back down

Our path is that way !

But first ....last look back

And off we go !!

Back at the feild of thistles ...i am so happy to be here now

A local info board

 

Day after thoughts

Planning  preparation prevents piss poor performance is an old saying that was regularly drummed into me when I was in the forces , if I had practised this today I wouldn’t have been so open to the fly’s and midges, however once I got home and had a good scrub in the bath all was well , I did sleep very well that night and most supprisingly I work up without any aches or pains.

It's not often I say this , I WONT GO BACK HERE untill the cold icy weather is here and the ground is frozen solid and all the fern has died back and of course there wont be any fly's or Midges .

But i have to say a huge thank you to al;l the I walks members for a great day and for letting me use some of there photos .....so thanks guys

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