DATE                                   05.08.06

DISTANCE                          2.36 MILES

WEATHER                         WARM AND STICKY



Hepburn woods

Todays walk wasn’t going to be a walk as such, more of a lets go and have a look around at a new area and see what’s what if that makes any sense, we had found what we thought was a walking booklet with loads of information in, but sadly no walking routes as such just a lot of info about certain areas and so we decided that today we would throw the gear into the car and have a drive up to this area and have a look around for ourselves.

The area we where looking at had 3000 year old hill fort , A bronze age grave cist capstone the berthles stone , old bastle house , Ros castle (which isn’t a castle at all) car park ,visitors centre with toilets ,picnic tables and good footpaths with route markers just to name a few things in the area , so that was it rucksack where thrown into the car (well mine was ) Yvonne being the hack that she is informed me that I would be carrying any stuff we might need but seeing as we wasn’t planning on doing any walking we didn’t pack much .

On arriving and parking up in the car park we had our first shock of the day, the visitors centre had gone, and just a blank concrete base was all that remained, Talking to one local who was walking his dog informed us it was nothing more than a big porta cabin which was removed by the forestry people some years ago, he went on to tell us that it was full of walking leaflets and loads of other info, sadly its all gone now due to cost cutting. He also went on to say how the greens with there picnic tables had all but overgrown and the tables removed either by them or people nicking them and glancing around it did have that neglected feel about it.

Any way we where here and decided to have a mooch around, I have to admit that the view towards the Cheviots was good and it was a bright day so why not. it was only after we set off along a forestry track that we hit our first problem ,the breeze dropped and out came the  fly’s and midges , we was totally unprepared for them and I have to say that they made our lives a pure misery , every time we moved or disturbed the fern or any vegetation huge swarms would appear and start to eat us alive , as we didn’t have any Deet or anything on us we took to waving bunches of fern around our heads , but we both got hot and sweaty which just made things worse , after a very quick to look at the Berthles stone ….which was really a huge disappointment as we had seen much bigger stones scattered around we decided to head up to the hill fort , again walking along the overgrown path we got eaten alive and when we finally got to where the hill fort was we couldn’t  even make out the outa rings because everything was overgrown so it was a mad dash down the hill back to the car where we both jumped in and decided to call it a day . Air conditioning was turned on and after ten minutes we both started to feel human again, the flies and midges where so bad we even had to change out of our boots in the car with the door shut.

Note from today 2015 it was quite a while before I returned to this area but when I did I made sure that it was cold :-

 A few photos

Looking towards the Cheviot Hills


Same again but a bit further along


I think that I am looking towards the hill at old Bewick


Back to the Cheviots


Taken at Max zoom


A bit further along


Max zoom …the hill at old Bewick


Ros hill wood


Heading off the track into the trees


This is a path?


Looking back down at our path


We came all this way to see the berthles stone!


Up close


Last look at it


Looking down towards Hepburn Farm


Close up of the car park and old Bastle house


The view from the hill fort


Part of the outer wall?


Looking down towards the car park

Last look before we escape from the midges


On the way down, me trying to walk backwards (what an idiot!)


Day after thoughts

I think that we where both very pleased to get away from the midges , this is the first time we have encountered them in such numbers and they totally messed us up , we where both covered in zillions of small bite that took days to clear up . Of course we went onto amazon and got some deet and always kept some in the rucksack after this so it was a lesson learnt the hard way.

I will admit that we where both disappointed with how today turned out and it just goes to show that you can’t always believe what you read about stuff .