DATE                                 19.12.06

DISTANCE                        5.9 MILES

WEATHER                       COLD BUT BRIGHT



Once again I found that I had a day off with no jobs that had to be done around the house so I was free to go out some place for a wander, I hadn’t really got a clue where I would go but then I remembered a chat I had with a work mate about the “Harthope valley” or Langlee valley (depending on who you speak to) and decided that I really should pay the area a visit as I really didn’t know the area at all. I had been at the entrance of the valley or the start of it if you like when I had a wander along to see the Carey Burn waterfall and walked back along the road but that was it. Being the sensible person that I am I spent an hour or so looking at my o/s map the night before and decided that I would have a simple walk along the valley bottom, according to the map I could drive a fair way up nearly to the farm at Langleeford where it becomes a private road, park up and simply follow the road along to Langleeford Hope by this time the road was a simple farm track once past this “holiday let”?? The track turned into a not so well used footpath, as I found out I’m not even sure footpath is the correct term, more like a sheep trail.

I didn’t have any real plans on how far I could go up this valley and had been warned that it get rough going as you make your way along , but I just had to go and see for myself. Of course the fact that Harthope burn runs along the bottom of this valley and is surrounded by the two biggest mountains in Northumberland those being the Cheviot and Hedgehope just added to the whole feel of the place sort of like the last wilderness and of course I really wanted to get fitter and better at walking so one day I could finally hike to the top of both these mountains. Likewise I was certain that ground would be frozen along the valley bottom as the steep side would effectively block out any direct sunlight and so that was it all done and dusted.

Gear was sorted and thrown into the ruck sack with a couple of extra layers thrown in just in case after all it was December and cold and icy but I really didn’t expect to need or use them but it’s better to be safe than sorry plus I had spent some of my hard earned cash and bought a good head touch (well I hope it’s good) which was put into its own  pocket in the sack ready for use with spare batteries but I really expected to be back at the car drinking coffee long before it got dark .

And off I went, on the drive up I was pleased that the sky remained blue and clear which should mean a good days walking for me.

I parked the car right up the valley almost as far as you are allowed to go, this area is very popular in the warmer summer months when you get a lot of day trippers just chilling out by the river with their bbq but today I was the only person there.

Gear was sorted, boots and coats where put on and off I went. even though it was a cold winters day there is something special about this area ……………Hang on don’t I say that about every area I walk in I suppose it because you are walking between the two biggest mountains in Northumberland . Today I did something that I normally don’t do even though I was walking straight along the valley bottom then turning around and retracing my steps I kept the o/s map handy and kept checking local landmarks out on the map and by sight , this way I feel that I got to know the area a lot better than just walking along .( this proved to true because whenever I return to this area I seem to recognise all the outstanding landmarks and features and can place exactly where I am with having to look at the map again )

There isn’t really that much I can say about this walk other than I really enjoyed it, passing the Holiday let? At Langleeford hope reminded me of an old scary film that I once watched about a family of werewolves that lived in a remote building (just like this one…gulp) who came out at night and do whatever werewolves do to passing strangers which isn’t really nice so I believe (mick makes a note to himself stop watching late night scary films) and I will admit that I picked the pace up a bit till I was out in the open again …………..I know I am a wuss at times , as the path turned into a glorified sheep trail I got my hiking poles out which made life so much easier , as I made my way up the valley the path all but disappeared and the going got a lot rougher and at a certain point I decided to call it a day and turn around , no real reason but I had to stop at one point , I certainly wasn’t  good enough to go all the way because I then would have had to head left or right and go up and down either the Cheviot or Hedgehope and that wasn’t a good thing with my ability .

I only made one mistake on this walk , I was planning to drop right down to the burn and have a look at the waterfall Harthope Linn on my way back , but forgot all about it …till I got all the way back to the car ……duh!!!! , but as they say there will be another day, I walked about 5.9  miles and enjoyed every step (apart from getting scared by Langleeford hope) and I know that I will be back in this area to explore further afield as I get more mobile.

A few photo’s .enjoy:

Taken from where I parked up looking towards the Hawsden Burn


Looking up towards Langlee Crags


Now going onto the private bit of road, it’s covered in ice so I walk on the grass verges


Looking at the ford at Langleeford


Same place but taken from the foot bridge


My path, still very icy


Looking back and across at Housey and Long Crags


 Looking back towards Blackseat Hill


Looking along the Harthope burn and a distant Hedgehope


As my route starts to climb a view looking down

Looking up towards the lower bits of the Cheviot


Looking back at Long Crags


A bit further along looking back


Looking along the track, it’s still cool in the shade

Entering the small plantation at Langleefordhope


Small ford from some unnamed burn running down the hills


The holiday let, smallholding? At Langleefordhope


The views from the front garden


A bit further along looking back


The Harthope burn (much smaller now)


Looking along the valley towards the sheep pens


The path follows the burn for a while


Looking back


Looking ahead


A few more phots as I make my way up this valley


This is about as far as I go today

On my way back now

A few photos as I make my way back


Nearly back looking at Housey Crag


Looking down towards Langlee Crags


Near where I parked the car


Hawsden Burn


Last look up at Langlee crags


Day after thoughts:

I really enjoyed this walk today no that’s not really true I loved today with the open skies, fresh air and feeling of open space, there is something about walking along this valley floor that shows how small I really am, however I once again got the feeling that the valley welcomed me and I know that once my ability get better I will return and start to explore the hills around here and you know something I am really looking forward to it.

As far as Arty leg goes I had no problems what so ever, so today will go down as another successful day