DATE                               28.02.15

DISTANCE                      8.7 MILES





Today I would be joining the Facebook Group I walks  for a wander, not only that I would be taking Bob dog along with me, so I had to make sure I packed all his gear with me , things like pooh bags (just in case he decided to go where he shouldn’t ) his fold away water bowl (which so far he has never used ) a box of bisects for his lunch and a bag full of his favourite treats as well as his water bottle , something that I have carried miles and miles and he has never used yet , when it comes to having a drink he much prefers to drink out of a stream , puddle or more or less anything but I still carry it just in case . And lastly because the weather didn’t look to good I had to pack his waterproof coat and fleecy jacket. If it wasn’t for the fact he was so small I would look at getting him a coat with built in storage pockets so he could carry his gear himself but sadly they don’t make them in his size.

BOB DOG ..........WHAT A STAR!

I gave some serious thought about taking Flynn and munchy dog as well but neither of them really like the cold and I think that it would be a bit unfair on them to keep them out all day ….pre haps in the warmer months but at the moment its still to cold and wet for them .

I have no concerns about Bob dog, he simply loves being out and about, ranging off but never to far and always returns when I call him, the only trouble I have with Bob is when it comes to walking on a short lead, its something we seldom do and I know that he doesn’t like walking close to me, I think that my Arty leg worries him a bit something we both will have to work on.

However I knew that there wouldn’t be much call for walking him on a short lead today, just a small section at the start of the walk and a small section at the end of the walk when we walked back along the road to the car.

Unknown to Bob when I was getting my usual roast beef and salad sarnie at the shop I got extra roast beef put in the sarnie , I knew that Bob would help me when it came to lunch time and just for once I though it would be nice if I got some beef instead of just the salad. As it turned out when it came to our lunch break things worked out very well, firstly he helped me eat the cake, then whilst I was feeding him his roast beef I actually had some left in the sarnie so things worked out well, I think this must be the first time I actually got roast beef in my sarnie, I goes without saying that despite me putting Bobs bowl down and filling it with water and putting his brisket bowl down he totally ignored them ……………I really don’t know why I bother ! , however the other thing I was worried about was would Bob go begging scraps from my fellow walkers, something I am not keen on, I personally think that there is nothing worse than a dog begging for scraps when you are out eating, as it turned out Bob was great he didn’t  approach anyone when they where eating and stayed pretty close to me ………….I felt rather proud of him, in fact his behaviour throughout the walk was brilliant , he never went to far , always responded when called , didn’t pester or get in anyone’s way and as a result he got a few more tasty treats than what he normally gets and to be honest with you all I really think that he enjoyed his day out with every one .

Any way getting back to the walk, Doug our walk leader had given me a time and a place where we would all meet simple I thought until I turned up at Whittingham expecting to find a car park and found nothing, so I decided to head to the entrance of the village and simply wait till he turned up and simply follow him and park up where he did.

Gear was sorted and we where ready for the off, Doug knowing how anal I am about knowing where and what route we would be taking took a few minutes to trace the route on his o/s map, something I was grateful for, it’s a habit I have got into and I feel rather unconfutable if I haven’t got the route stored away in my head, of course unknown to anyone I quietly switched on my GPS in the back of my rucksack so at any time I could confirm where we are etc. but once again it wasn’t needed .

Doug explained the route for the day would take us Out of Whittingham , then cut down and follow the Callaly Burn , of course once we where clear of the road I let Bob off and away he went having the time of his life , running and sniffing everything . Our route would take us past Callaly Mill past the Castle (which is now all but disappeared and built into a newer building) and then into Callaly woods where we stopped for lunch, after lunch off we went straight into Thrunton woods (don’t ask me where the woods change name coz I don’t know) and the long slow climb up to Castle Hill and the remains of the old hill fort and quarry that once stood there , the slow but steady climb up certainly got my lungs working , but we all where walking at a nice steady pace so it wasn’t to bad , with the rain we had been having it did make certain sections a bit slippery underfoot but nothing to get concerned about , Bob Dog had no problems he was busy ranging all over the place , there was lots of sights and smells for him to explore . Then at Castle hill he decided that he would climb a few trees (I sometimes wonder what sort of pooch he is at times)

Now things started to get fun, our next place of call was the hand-hewn cave and one-time solitary retreat of Macartney, a 19th century monk from nearby Callaly. This proved to be fun; the terrain went very steep both downwards and upwards and with the recent rain it was not only very boggy but also slippery, and then we had a really steep climb up the side of Callaly Crags which forced me to forget about my hiking poles and use my hands …..Not very dignified I know but hey I got to the top no problem admittedly out of breath and panting like an old man (hang on I am getting on now) but I got there safe and sound , I could here that the other where helping  each other up and it wasn’t to long before we where all up on top of Thrunton Crags , our path now become much easer , we soon picked up the well used footpath that went along the crags , normally we would have been treated to some brilliant views but with the low cloud and grey damp sky’s they where somewhat limited but with this group it didn’t really matter , the jokes where flying around and everyone  was having a good time , we made very good time heading down along the footpath which brought us down to the small road near the old brickworks from there we headed towards How Moor where we would cross a couple of fields on our way to Whittingham Lane, However the field we had to cross was chock a block full of cattle , now as anyone will tell you , I’m not partially bothered by cattle , but these straight away took to much interest in us even before we went into the field and they looked mean and of course I had Bob to think about , there was no way I was going to put Bob in the same field with them , I have done no training with regards to cattle with Bob and I certainly wasn’t going to start today , in fact I don’t ever want to have Bob and cattle together , he is just too small to run away and he is such a friendly little dog he just wouldn’t understand the danger until its to late .

I was busy explaining to Doug that I would say my goodbyes here and make my own way back taking a different route avoiding the cattle when it seemed that no one fancied walking in amongst them, a quick detour down to the few buildings at Thrunton then back on another footpath taking us past the small holding at Thrunton Mill then it was across a couple of fields and we where back at Whittingham Lane, where Bob had to go on his lead for the short walk along the road into Whittingham , we just about made it as the heavens opened up , we had been rained on a few times during the day but it was mostly light stuff but now it appeared the weather gods had decided to hurry us along and so our goodbyes where rather short .

We walked about 8.7 miles (according to my GPS)with about 1310 ft. of the ups and downs some of it quite steep and fun in places but as always when you are with a great crowd the time and distance just seem to disappear . Bob of course easily did double that, but I did notice that he straight away snuggled down onto his sheep skin blanket in the car and had a snooze on the way home.

As normal a few photos from the day:

The church at Whittingham

Not really sure what this is


Callaly Burn


Following the person in front


The Burn


Still flowing the burn but its easy grassland now


Some small unnamed burn linking up


Bob waiting for me to catch up


Callaly Mill


General view, pity it’s such a dull grey day


First sighting of Castle Hill


Somewhere in that building are the remains of a castle

Not sure what this was / is old dried up pond?


Water trough (yes the tap does work) 


Looking up at Castle Hill


Nice easy path (to start with)


Bob sitting down waiting for me to catch up


Heading up


Bob just hanging around waiting for me


The path weaving between the trees


The old quarry face at Castle hill


Same place

Same again


Bob thinking that he is a squirrel


Having a good sniff


The old trees that live here


Bob checking up o every one (it started to rain and the lens got wet)


Sandstone rock where the Macartney cave is


The entrance


Same again


Looking up at more of the huge sandstone boulders



Looking up the crags as some of the group make there way up


Me on my hands and knees (it’s a bit steep in places)

More sandstone boulders


Stopping to get my breath looking back down towards some of the others


Nearly at the top looking down


Bob waiting for me to catch up (there was a lot of that on this climb)


Not sure what Helen is doing with that stick (I just hope that she wasn’t going to beat me with it)


Phew made it …..Looking back down

Doug looking at the view from the crags


A few more photos taken as we walked along the crags (I have played about with some)


Now on the road by the brickworks




The old ruined outhouse at Thrunton Mill


Looking back towards Thrunton Mill


Day after thoughts.

Home ,coffee  sort  wet gear out and a hot bath , no trouble with my stump or Arty leg for that matter and much to my joy no aches or pain the next morning  in fact I felt that good I had the boys out along the river most of the day . Bob of course had a snooze on the way home and after a mad half hour playing with Flynn and Munchy had his tea and snuggled down in front of the fire and had an early night he was a star.


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