DATE                                    14.04.07

DISTANCE                           ABOUT 5.8 MILES

WEATHER                            HOT



For today’s wander my long suffering better half Yvonne (now known as Yvonne the hack) would be joining me, so I wanted to pick a route that had something special to offer, failing that a huge big hill so she would be puffing and panting a lot so she couldn’t moan at me so that was the plan…now it was just a case of picking someplace, after a few minutes surfing the net (no not looking for new porn) I found something that could fit the bill.

Of course it would mean a bit of buggering around with various things and a little white lie to my better half who had let it be known that she doesn’t do hills anymore, No dear nice flat level walk for you today I said (with my fingers crossed behind my back) we are going to go up the Langlee valley to have a look at a small but delightful waterfall or spout as they are known called Harthope Linn then cross over the burn and cut back alongside Hedghope ( forgetting to tell her that it involved a bit of a climb ) then onto long crags and then back to where we left the car , much to my surprise she didn’t ask to many questions and so I didn’t really feel the need to let her know the whole truth …result!

Gear was sorted and much to my surprise Yvonne actually got her rucksack out and packed it, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of stuff that got left behind on the table where if we was just using my rucksack it would have been “must have and take” items, but being the very cleaver person that I am I didn’t say anything, and within a few minutes gear was thrown into the car and off we went.

We parked up by the grassy field by the Harthope burn in the beautiful Harthope valley or Langlee ford valley (depending on who you talk too), weather wise was perfect bright sunny day but not too hot, as you know I tend to feel the heat and suffer so I really prefer the cold weather, whereas Yvonne like it’s really hot, so today should be a good comprise for both of us , and despite Yvonne’s dislike of the great outdoors I could see that she like what she saw (little did she know that latter on she would be “up there” in the hills) , but I chose not to mention that fact yet …….I am sure that she would still join me for the day if she knew but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise .

Our route took us along the Harthope burn heading up the valley (see map above) past Langlee ford then as the small road that changed into a cart track to Langlee ford hope (holiday let?)  from there it changed into a grassy path that got smaller as we made our way along further into the valley, with the two biggest mountains in Northumberland The Cheviot and Hedgehope either side of us we felt both very tiny and speaking for myself I got that feeling that wow I want to get to the top of both of these one day and started mentally thinking about how and when I would do it, but that is far away at the moment and for another day sometime in the future.

Walking along a particular tricky section of path I noticed a couple of what I believe is / are Cheviot lizards, one had hold of the other ones tail and really didn’t want to let go,

One of the locals having a bite!

After a few minutes of debate and a few photos we decided that it was the male holding onto the female (some sort of mating ritual ?) rather than one trying to eat the other and so decided to leave them alone to “get on with what they are doing” of course we could have been wrong and now there is one less lizard living in the hills but I was always brought up to leave the wild life alone and let nature take care of things and so that’s what we did , but just seeing them was a nice surprise , normally I just catch a glimpse as they dash off into the undergrowth .

By this time it was starting to get rather warm considering the time of the year and so time for a sit down and drink and as luck would have it we approached the small waterfall Harthope Linn, (good planning on my part) and had a well-deserved rest, the Linn is on the small side but still delightful, unfortunately it was a rather steep scrabble down to the burn to get the best photos and I didn’t really fancy trying my luck so we settled for a few photos taken from the top , which doesn’t really show the Linn at its best especially with the tree branches etc. , but it made a nice place and sit down and rest for a bit .

Time for a sit down

Time to get going, now it was time for the truth to come out and as I hurriedly looked for a good spot to cross over the burn, according to the o/s map we should have met up with a footpath that would take us over the burn (bridge?) if there was one it had long since disappeared and up the side of Hedgehope likewise the path (if there had ever been one) had long since disappeared , but being intrepid explorers that we are  off we went crossing over the burn  at a very narrow place , then slowly heading up Hedgehope looking (and praying) for any sign of a path ! , sheep trail in fact looking for anything that would make it a bit easier, using my super navigating skills I knew that we was on the correct path but sadly there was nothing there, just the normal overgrown grass that is common on this range of hills, looking further up the mountain (yes Hedgehope is a mountain) we could make out an old fence line and decided to head towards that in the hope that there might be some sort of path or something. For the next hour or so I can’t really remember anything other than trying to get air into my lungs and the blood pounding in my ears, Yvonne of course wanted to kill me and it was only the fact that I was a few meters in front of her she didn’t, however all wasn’t bad we found a few grassy places and just sat down to take in the views ……….and you know it was worth it.

Having a well-deserved rest, let’s play footsie


Once we had both recovered, which really means Yvonne was starting to get ready to kill me again it was time to set off , we reached the fence line, which really wasn’t a fence line at all once you got up close  just a few old rotten posts but from there we could see what looked like a beautiful path heading down the back of Hedghope heading towards Long crags and so redoubled our efforts to get a bit higher so we could link up with the path , it was hard going but the rewards of looking down the valley made it all worthwhile , then after what seemed a lifetime of struggling we reached the footpath and things got so much easier , walking along this well used path was a joy , then right out the blue we spotted an adder , who wasn’t impressed and after a short HISS at us slivered away into the undergrowth .

Hissing Sid the snake sneaking off

Once again this made my day , I love it when I see any wildlife and even Yvonne forgot that she really wanted to kill me then of course we reached long crags and it was possible to look down to the valley bottom and see the car so she was very happy and all was good in her world .

As the sun was still shinning, we sat down and finished off all the food and drink before we started on the last downhill stretch , I have to be honest here and say I was pleased when we got back to the car as I was knackered , but it seemed a shame to just throw the gear in the car and drive off so out came the gas stove and one cup of coffee and one hot chocolate later things where all right just sitting by the car drinking freshly made coffee looking along this wonderful valley , the proper way to finish a walk .

As normal a few photos;

Lambs at play

Our parking spot, there a few people out today



The ford at Langlee ford


Looking towards a distant Hedgehope


Looking back along the track

Looking ahead


Yvonne with a rare smile on her face (if only she knew what’s going to happen)

Looking down at the burn


Looking back towards long crags


Looking up the valley and some of our route


Yvonne having a pose


The track is now a footpath (looking back)


The burn


Cheviot lizard


Some mating ritual?


Cutting down towards the burn


First sight of Harthope Linn


Looking back along the valley


A few photos of the Lynn


Now heading up the side of Hedgehope looking for the path

Some way up looking across to the Cheviot


Further along looking down towards langleeford hope


Still heading up, pausing to get our breath


Another stop and looking down at langleeford hope


The fence line we was trying to get to


Another breath stop (we had quite a few of these)


The fence line and no path still


But what a view (pity it’s a bit hazy)


Hissing Sid the adder


Yvonne now heading off along the well-used path towards long crags


Having a quick look down her top and she is letting me know that she is pissed at me


Now in a better mood, Hedgehope in the back ground


Same again only Long crags in the background


Me leading the way


Made it, one happy bunny


And down we go


Back at the car looking up towards Hedgehope


Day after thoughts

What a brilliant day, very hard in places, in fact at one point I thought that my lungs had stopped working. But there was a price to pay, I woke up really stiff in the morning and it took a few hours before I could move around without any groaning, but the good news was my stump didn’t suffer any damage. A good day