DATE                                      05.03.06

DISTANCE                             5.3 MILES

WEATHER                            BRIGHT BUT COLD


Cold Kidlandlee view

Once again my better half Yvonne agreed to join me for a wander out someplace even though it was icy cold so for todays wander I had to pick something different.

I had been mooching around the internet looking at photos of certain areas when one photo just stood out straight away and that was the view from the old ruined building at Kidlandlee looking out over the hills wow I just had to go there and see it for myself, I knew a lot of the area as I had spent a lot of time up that way, just practising and enjoying my days out, however today we would be going that little bit further and trying out a couple of new footpaths that could prove interesting , but if the worse came to the worse we could always retrace our steps and walk back the way we came .

I pointed out where I wanted to go and Yvonne agreed, naturally I would be carrying the rucksack so I tried to keep it light but seeing as it was cold outside I knew that I had better pack a few extra layers just in case and as we had found out in the past it is always colder in the Cheviot hills and today we would be climbing up a little bit and gaining a bit of height so my brain told me it might get colder still, but that really didn’t matter I was returning to an area that I loved and going that little bit further than what I had before , and the cold weather just gave it that something extra .

On a slightly different note I had been having something nagging away in the back of my head, something important but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was only that it had something to do with Kidland forest, this “thing” wasn’t a problem but it was starting to bug me and I was hoping that today when I entered the forest I might see something that would trigger a memory flashback or something. (note from today, I have spent silly amounts of time walking in and around Kidland forest for years before the memory came back in fact it bugged me till 2011 when I was up Crossfell and right out of the blue it all came flooding back and guess what it was about nothing important but at the this time it bugged me and continued to bug me for years)

Our route for the day would be to park up near Clennell Hall, walk  along the beautiful Alwin valley along what we call the red road to the entrance of Kidland forest , then link up with a footpath that would take us up to the old ruin & holiday lets at Kidlandlee , looking at the map it looked a fair old steep climb up but there was a track a bit further on if I couldn’t manage it , from there we would admire the views then cut across Kidlandlee down into the forest at Midlern Hill and link up with another footpath that would take us back to the valley bottom where hopefully we could cross the river Alwin via a foot bridge then get back on the red road and walk back along this lovley valley . A good plan I thought so that was it gear was thrown into the car and off we went.

Much to our delight, once we got near the Cheviots there was a light white icy ground covering, with the blue sky this made this day seem even better.

We quickly parked up gear was sorted and off we went, the icy made a lovley crunching sound when we walked on it , much to our surprise it wasn’t even slippery and was easy avoided by staying where the sun had reached .

The air today was cold but sort of invigorating and had that lovley freshness about it, naturally I loved walking along the river Alwin, this valley has so many special memories for me and even now I find it hard not to smile when I remember how I struggled in the early days with just walking a hundred meters or so, today I would be entering the forest .no big deal for most people but something special for me and you know something I was really looking forward to it.

I couldn’t help but notice that Yvonne had her happy head on , I secretly think that she is starting to enjoy her walks with me rather than just tagging along to make sure I don’t do anything stupid , she was well wrapped up against the cold and as far as I could tell was a happy bunny .

It didn’t take to long to reach the forest, we both stopped loads of times to take photos, there is something special about this valley and with a blue sky and a dusting of the white stuff its almost magical, then we started on the uphill bit, I will admit that I struggled a bit and had to stop several time just to catch my breath , by the time I got to the top I was almost dead but it was in the shade and really nice and cold so it didn’t take long before I had recovered and off we went towards Kidland lee , walking around the corner and wow the views just opened up , fantastic this made it all worth while , we slowly made our way across the pasture until we found a nice sheltered spot where we stopped for food and drink , our food stop was kept to a minimum because of the cold but once again I promised myself that I would return sometime in the summer months and just sit here taking in the views and …………well just sorting stuff out in my head , it also gave me some rather grand thoughts about hiking over all the hills that I see (it took a few years but I’m really pleased to say that I did them all and still do on a regular basis nowadays )

Then it was time to start down, once again we entered the forest, the trees where planted that close together no snow could drop down on the path which was just as well as to say it was steep was an understatement, I just hung on to each tree s I passed it a bit like a monkey does when he swinging from tree to tree, it might not look very dignified but it worked and we both got down , me a lot faster than I thought was possible , I literally burst out of the forest right onto the footbridge , how’s that for skilful navigating I asked Yvonne , she just smiled , but I was dead pleased with myself , I mean all the way down there was no path as such just a dead layer of pine needles and it was that thick  and dark you couldn’t see anything , (plus I was doing at least 50 mph ).

A few more photos where taken once we had both recovered, I had a good look around trying to see if anything triggered anything in my rather messed up brain (yes I do have one someplace) then it was a slow wander back along the river Alwin back to the car before it started to get dark and really cold, the last thing I wanted to do was keep Yvonne out when it turned really cold.

I had a brilliant day you know the sort that stay with you forever and walked back with a huge smile on my face we did about 5.3 miles mostly easy walk with one hard uphill bit (well I thought so) and one really fast scary downhill section .

An internet link thingy with all the old info about this place (well worth a read)


A few photos (some from Yvonne as well)

Taken from where we parked the car


Part way along the red road looking back, the road is icy in places but it’s not a problem


Looking at the side of Clennell Hill and the Dodd


A bit further along looking back at Clennell Hill


Me taking a photo of Yvonne who is taken one of me


Now about to enter Kidland forest and the uphill bit (it’s steeper than what it looks)


I’m not the only one who has to stop and get their breath back


Now linked up with the track, it’s a bit cooler here.

Approaching Kidlandlee


Looking towards the old building


Well! We must have done something right coz we are in the right place


The views across the forest pretty good eh?


Now heading down (its steeper than what it looks believe me) there is a footpath somewhere !


On the footbridge looking at the river Alwin


Back on the red road heading back

The river Alwin


Looking back along the burn


My better half, with a happy look on her face (very rare nowadays)


Back out the forest and heading back

A few photos that Yvonne took, same place looking down the valley


Me heading up the steep uphill bit


Me looking like I’m not really knackered


Looking towards the old school house (now a holiday let)


A couple of the views


Icy water run off


Last couple showing the ice laying in the field where the sun can’t get to it


Day after thoughts , There are walks that I enjoy (after all why do them if you don’t enjoy them ) then there are those special days for whatever reason , it could be the weather , the views the company ….he list is endless …..Well today was one of those days that will stay with me for a long time I can’t tell you why but today was just one of those special days out.

We both enjoyed this walk, the fact that we stopped at Clennell Hall for a drink just added to the good feeling we had . arty leg wise I had no problems at all so yep a good day out thank you .



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