DATE                                      09.03.06

DISTANCE                            ABOUT 5.4 MILES

WEATHER                            COLD, DULL AND MISTY        



Holystone & stuff

Once again I had been spending a bit of time on the world wide webby thingy ……..Not looking at porn but looking for photos and stuff, you know info about Northumberland and any hidden secrets (please ……get your mind out of the gutter) that might make for a good day out someplace. I have to say that I have been a bit disappointed with the amount of walking guild books that where scattered about for Northumberland, it was a case of read one and you seem to have read them all, like wise there seems to be a bit of a shortage of good walking websites up here but as I have found out many times before if you spend enough time looking for stuff on the web you will find something and once again I struck lucky, Holystone seemed to have a lot going for it , and as I mooched around using Goggle its surprising how much stuff and things there was scattered about in that area , so that was it for our next trip out it would be to the Holystone area , then it was a case of sitting down and trying to make a suitable route up by looking at the correct o/s map .

Once I had plotted a suitable route out I informed my better half and asked if she would like to join me , once again she surprised me by agreeing so that was it , gear was sorted out ready for the morning  with the threat that if the weather was pants she wouldn’t join me today .

On waking up in the morning the first thing I did was to put my nose between the gap in the curtains and peer out , well its not raining  I said but its very dull and misty , pre haps it’s  just local I said with a positive vibe in my voice , who knows it might be clear further in land .

Over coffee and toast we talked about the stuff that we might get  to see and the walk then before she could change her mind food and drink was made up and packed away in the ruck sack (that naturally I would be carrying) and thrown into the car ,then we where off , you know as sad as it sounds I was really looking forward to heading up this way , we had drove past Holystone several time on our way up to the Cheviots  but so far I had never walked in this area and like most things now days that little bit of self doubt added a bit of excitement to my day ………………I had got over that “why me” or “what if”  stage but going someplace unknown to me always seems to get me going in a good way.

Even today years later, if the weather turns really bad or I find myself on a really hard section of pathway you know that really bad bit something seems to kick in and I seem to come alive its hard to explain but my senses seem to go into overdrive, suddenly I’m no longer knackered and the terrain isn’t freighting all self doubt goes and I simple love it …….its only later when I’m back on safe ground I come back to earth with a bump …… I have been told that I get a silly grin on my face as well and often have a silly smile for the rest of the day )……… (Hey I never said that I was normal)

Any how our very well though out plane for the day would be to park up at the forestry car park at Holystone woods, which is part of Harbottle woods (where they change from one name to another I don’t know so don’t ask) and if all went well we would take a peek at St Mungos Well,:-

 Its feed from a natural spring that also supply’s Holystone.

Then the lady’s well: -

Then if all went to plan we would use a forestry trail to go to Dove crag where there is a secret glen known as the fairy glen, where if we are really lucky will would see a lovley small waterfall trickling over the sandstone walls and if we have been really good people we would be visited by the fairies (I had my doubts about being visited by the fairies I mean I had Yvonne with me, I know that I’ve been good but I’m not so sure about Yvonne)

And then from there we would mooch around and generally have a good day out hopefully arriving back at the car sometime ………..unless we got captured by the fairies of course.

On parking in the car park I could help but be impressed (I’m easily impressed nowadays) by  the picnic tables the forest people had place around the site plus an info boards with several graded walks marked on them . So that was it gear was sorted and off we went. Our route (see map) was brilliant and during the day not only did we get to see what I planned to see we also where treated to a few deer sightings and we even got to see a few Red squirrels, unfortunately I couldn’t photo them as they buggered off before I could take a photo but it was nice to see them. The only down side...if there was a down side was the weather it stayed cold, misty and damp, we did about 5.4 miles, I slipped over and got a wet bum and according to Yvonne I squealed like a little girl when it happened (strange I don’t remember that bit) and of course Yvonne must have been a very bad girl because we didn’t see the fairies.

A few photos enjoy:

Just out of the car park and heading toward the well

Looking back towards the forest as we go towards the well


First sightings


The sign self-explanatory really


Don’t say that I never try to bring a bit of culture to Yvonne’s life

A view showing it all


I had to stop Yvonne from paddling in to get this money


A look at the seat, we sat there


Now heading into the old bit of the forest


Can’t really get lost on this path


Then we burst out onto a forestry track and get greeted by this dull sky


Now heading up the top secret path towards the fairy glen (If I tell you where it is I will have to kill you …..Just kidding)


This “fire break” path is really wet and soggy and we both went in right up to our knees in places


First sighting of the sandstone glen (we link up with another path at this point)


Getting closer


And in we go, hoping to see the fairies


Nearly there


The small water fall (trickle)


Close up (note the ice)

Looking at the sandstone walls (no fairies)


A few more photos as we make our way out


Hello miss fairie (i'd stop here  if you dont mind Yvonne) wow what a babe xx

Now leaving the secret Glen by a dark scary path (It's rumoured that the fairies get you here if you have been really bad )


And back on the footpath


A bit further along


We come to the edge of the forest and the view opens up


Now heading down to the old roman road and the Holystone burn


The burn

Same again

Looking down at Holystone common, there are footpaths down there but we decided to leave them for another day


We decide to walk back along a forestry track


St Mungos Well


And a quick look at the lamas on the way home


Day after thoughts :- no problems at all today , in fact we both had a good day , there are a lot of footpaths scattered about so I can safely say that we will be back to do a bit more exploring and who knows if I come on my own I might even get to see some fairies

 ABOUT ME            NORTHUMBERLAND         WALKS 2006