DATE                                 13.05.06

DISTANCE                        5.8 MILES

WEATHER                        COOL BUT DRY




Today we found ourselves heading up towards Kielder waters for a wander; we had never been up this way before. Or I think that we had never been up this way for a walk , what prompted this trip was a write up I found on the internet and so armed with a printed off a 4 sheet off we went . this was a mistake , no one should ever go into the woods or wild places without a proper map however we wasn’t planning on going to far so ………..Finding the parking spot didn’t prove to be too difficult as the forestry people have made quite a few ready made car parks with wooden picnic tables etc., the one we wanted was the one at Lewis Burn and much to our surprise we found it no problem, as I said the forestry people had done a wonderful job of sign posting every thing from the main road .

We quickly parked up and sorted our gear out, deciding to have a coffee before we started, much to our delight we where visited by some of the local birds, chaffinch, blue tits or where they grey, yellow finch, bull finch .err to be honest I wasn’t sure what birds came and settled on the table, but they all hopped around begging small scraps of bread or in our case biscuit crumbs it soon became apparent that these birds are used to human contact and had no fear from us , in fact they didn’t fly off till we had our gear on and headed off . I must admit that these birds made my day but I had to wonder how long it would be before there was some spoilt kids up here that would take great delight in trying to catch these birds or do something even worse .

Over the years I have often come across places where these birds would fly over and hop around waiting to be fed , if you take your time and move real slowly I have even had them take small bits of bread out of my hand before they fly to a safe distance a few meters away where they scoff it down before slowly working up the courage to approach again , sadly I have also seen kids doing there best to chase them away or try to catch them or even throwing things at them just because they can .sadly there parents tend to turn a blind eye and get quite abusive if you say anything ………… yes it’s a sad world we live in at times .

Anyway after a quick read of the sheet of paper:-

This is a delightful walk that follows the Lewis burn upstream away from Ki elder water. It leaves the crowded areas of Ki elder well behind as you gradually climb up through the forest to some undiscovered places of tranquillity, with just the trickle of the burn in the background for company.

Your return journey ends with a lovely section following the Akensnaw burn before you join up again with the Lewis burn. This section follows some lovely woodland tracks and there are plenty of points of interest on the way.

With a small hand drawn map attached

We set off, the hand drawn map proved to be worse than useless, but that didn’t really matter, it was easy walking along a forestry track following the delightful Lewis Burn , the birds where singing and despite our fears there was no midges buzzing around , yes it is a lovley quite area , sadly we followed the instructions and left the track and headed into the forest , this is where things started to get a bit difficult , the footpath hadn’t been walked for years and quickly disappeared into an overgrown mess that blended in with the rest of the forest and caused me some grief , it seemed that we where walking for ages and getting no where fast when we suddenly hit another forestry track and as luck would have it we hit the spot that our sheet said we should ( this was pure luck and we both learnt a very important lesson about always having a map when out walking ) , from this point we followed forestry tracks that took us down towards the Akenshaw burn where we linked up with a well used track that run along side it then totally forgetting about our hand drawn map we made our own way back , finally linking up with a very well used path alongside the Lewis burn back to the car park , we walked about 5 .8 miles most of it easy but about a mile or so was a nightmare and caused me no end of grief but it was a lesson or a wake up call if you like , I wont make this mistake again .

A few photos from today:

One of the "finches" that dropped down to say hello

On our way past one of the "nature ponds"

Another pond

First sighting of the Lewis Burn

A few more showing the brown peaty water


The old bridge

My better half looking like she knows where we are going

Small waterfall, there was loads of these small falls

A few photos showing the area (or what we can see of it)

The bridge

Me on the bridge

Burn photo

Yvonne having a pose

It’s at this point things start to go a bit wrong

Showing where the track has been partly washed away

Our route, you can just about make it out with the dark green grass

Me leading the way trying to find the best route

At this point I am seriously thinking about turning back

Now back on a forestry track and we find these

We think (note the word think) that they are grave of long forgotten pet dogs; so far I haven’t been able to find anything about them.

One of the views we got to see today, don’t ask where because I’m not really sure where we are

Same again but at least we are heading in the right direction

Now following the Akenshaw Burn

And Yvonne is a happy girl again

As we get nearer to the car park she gets happier and happier

Me being a complete plonker

Looking down at the burn

Now on a very well used path along the burn

It’s a bit dark in places

Back walking along the Lewis Burn

It’s very quite and peaceful here

Yvonne looking like she means business

Our path winding its way around the trees

Bird box

Mossy photo

Back at the car…… and look who is straight down to see us.

Day after thoughts :- today we got lucky when we went off into the woods without a proper map or any form of guidance, getting a printed A4 sheet off the internet that someone has posted on there is not good enough so lesson learnt.

As a result of the stumbling through the rough under growth I caused a skin rub on my stump , fortunately the skin didn’t break so all was well in the morning but it was close , if the skin had of broken it could have means a week or so before I could wear Arty leg .

But despite all that it really is a lovley quite area and we where lucky .no mossies’ or midges


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