DATE                                            25.01.11

DISTANCE                                  ABOUT 7.0 MILES

WEATHER                                 GREY WITH THE ODD SHOWER

START / FINISH                        OFF ROAD PARKING AT CLENNELL STREET

Hill tops to Kidland

As the snow had all but gone I decided its time to head back out into the hills again, the weather didnít look that promising, typical grey and wet, never mind at least I can drive without the added worry of icy roads, of course the government (the  bastards)  is doing its best to stop me, I filled the car up with petrol nearly £70 and the tank still isnít full to the brim,(I wanted to cry)  I must make a note to myself not to let it get that empty again. My poor bank balance! I am certain that if my kids where still at school I would have to put them on bread and water.

Iím not really sure where I was going today it was one of my many lets have a mooch around days I wanted to have a look at a couple of fire breaks in Kidlandlee forest just to have a wander to see something , the funny thing is I donít know what I am looking for . Itís just an overwhelming urge to try to find something that I have forgotten about but keeps coming back to haunt me.(yep I am losing the plot) which involves something that might be in Kidland  forest. Or it might not be in Kidland forest, but what ever the reason itís a great area to mooch around in.

Once my mind was made up a quick text to my better half letting her know where I was going before I run out of phone signal then off I went.

I Parked up on a muddy layby on what I call the red road, got my gear on and off I went, at this moment of time I still didnít have any route in my head, just sort of make it up as I go along, I know the area well so its not like I could get lost or anything, upon seeing the quad bike track heading up the Dodd I felt that should be my next bit and so with bursting lungs I slowly headed up there , I wont even pretend that its easy but at 332 meters its not that high , but what views you get once you leave the valley and start gaining a bit of height , or I would have if the weather wasnít so pants.

From there I decided simply to follow sheep tracks along the valley top towards Puncherton  Hill , again it never fails to surprise me on how much there is to see and how different the valley looks when you are looking down into it. From there I went a bit further along and finally made my way back down, via a rather steep bank to the forestry track, there was a fire break that I felt the need to explore, (donít ask because I donít know why) however once I started along this fire break I soon realised that I wouldnít get far as it quickly stared to close in and that it wasnít the place that I was looking for (again donít ask because I donít know) so from  there it was a case of back to the forest track and head back down ,( see map for route)

All in all about 7 miles with about 1650ft. of ups and downs.

As normal a Couple of photos:

Taken from one of the bridges over the river Alwin.

 

First sighting of the Dodd, for some reason I decide then and there that I am going up that way today, I know it will most like nearly kill me getting up there but itís worth it. I still have memories about when I couldnít get up there so I suppose itís a sort of therapy for me.

 

Starting to head up now, its starts off very gently, but thatís just to get you started.

 

Part way (not even half way) and its time for a little sit down a look around, if the truth is known I am really getting my breath back.

 

Getting close to the top, with lungs that are about to burst I see Kidland forest and know that I must be getting close to the top.

 

Then suddenly its all worth it, there is no paths as such up here but the sheep have made this one and I for one will use it.

 

Looking down , the pond at the bottom was dug out on a whim of the late land owner of Kidlandlee many years ago , I have often stopped by the side of this pond but as of yet have never seen any fish in there even when I have thrown a bit of bread in.

 

Looking Across towards Kidlandlee Dean and where they are busy harvesting the trees

 

The path now takes me along the hill top towards Kittyís Crag on Puncherton Hill.

 

Looking across towards a distant Puncherton Farm.

 

Looks like a rainbow, so far I have been lucky and missed the passing showers.

 

Still following the sheep trail looking towards Inner Hill in the middle of the forest.

 

As I turn round the corner I get my first sighting of Ravens Crag.

 

Taken at max zoom, it would appear that there is still some snow at the base.

 

Looking towards Ravens Crag and a distant Cat Cleugh.

 

A couple of photos as I make my way along.

 

Looking down there is a quad bike track that will take you down and into the forest from here but thatís not my route for today.

 

No i"m heading up to the crag for a look see.

 

On top looking down.

 

Same place just a bit further along.

 

Looking down at the old fire break, this is where I want to get.

 

But first I have to make my way along the hill to where itís not so steep.

 

Part way down looking back at the forestry track that I hope to link up with.

 

Small pond at the forest edge.

 

Now on a very wet track heading down towards the fire break.

 

Looking back and up to some unnamed Crag and the hill I have just come down on.

 

The track heading down.

 

The fire break , for some reason or other I have been drawn to this spot , after spending a bit of time making my way along it something clicks in my head and tells me no this isnít what you are after .(donít ask because I donít know what I am after all I know is this isnít the spot)

 

Back on the track again.

 

This is a good spot, time for lunch.

 

It looks as if there was a snow slid here taking one of the cows with it.

 

Old bridge over the Allerhope burn.

 

My path will follow the burn down now.

 

Ravens Crag from the ground level.

 

 Looking back at the crag.

 

The forest track all easy walking now.

 

Looking at an old sheepfold.

 

Looking up at Kitty Crag.

 

A couple more photos as I make my way along.

 

 Another old sheepfold, there used to be a lot of sheep farming before the forest was planted.

 

My path will now take me along the river Alwin.

 

Still a few bits of ice and snow left over.

 

The man Made pond, I throw a few bits of bread in on the off chance that there might be some fish swimming around, but nothing.

 

Time to head back, easy walking along this valley floor back to the car a few photos.

 

Last look back along the river.

 

Day after thoughts

Once again I had to go and mooch around in the forest for something , and once again as soon as I got there I just knew that what I was looking for (am I looking for something?) wasnít there , but it was a brilliant walk none the less. And I know that I will be back walking in this area many times as itís such a good area. No aches or pains when I got up so will mark this up as another success.

WALKS 20011     ABOUT ME       NORTHUMBERLAND