DISTANCE 14.3 MILES
WEATHER COLD FROSTY BUT BRIGHT
START / FINISH ROADSIDE PARKING AT CLENNELL HALL
After my last walk up at Kidland forest I made a silent promised to return as soon as possible and have a mooch around the areas the forestry people had opened up with there new tracks and see what could be seen now as zillions of trees had been chopped down , I had a few hills that I wanted to get up and spent a silly amount of time on goggle earth seeing if it was possible to see a route , in the end I decided just to play it by ear and see how thing worked out , however I knew that they had opened up Sneer Hill so that was my target for today , it meant that it was going to be a bigish walk but hopefully most of it was going to be on forestry tracks so distance wise it shouldn’t be a problem.
The only problem that there might be is daylight hours , to compensate for this I decided on a early start and would make sure that I had my head torch packed and a spare set batteries also I would make sure Bobs coat has the fleece attached and had the little flashing light fitted with a spare batteries .
For once I got all my gear ready the night before, so when the alarm went off, it was up & washed.
Breakfast and coffee was thrown down my neck and off we went, I had decided that Bob was the only Pup who would be up for this walk and was most surprised by his lack of willing ness, in fact I had to carry him to the car and snuggle him down in his fleecy bed where he promptly dropped straight off to sleep again. (All right for some I thought) but I knew that once we arrived he would be more than happy, just to make sure I packed extra treats as well as his food for the day.
The drive up was uneventful but as it got lighter I could see that there was a frost covering the ground and the sky was clear ……….Great this should be a good day I thought.
On arriving at Clennell street I noticed that the on-board temperature thingy dropped to -2 and the puddles where frozen solid.
I gently woke Bob up whilst I was sorting my gear out and drinking coffee, after a bit of stretching he was ready for the off, I decided to put his coat on after all he had just woken up in his nice warm bed and it was a bit cool outside, he of course wasn’t impressed but after a tasty treat was offered all was well.
And so off we went, Bob did what he does best and set a fast pace, only to stop and sniff every few meters but I could see that he was having fun, we disturbed a pheasant and I don’t know who got the biggest scare the bird or Bob, all I know was one minute bob was upfront next he was between my legs looking sheepish, The sun came out and hit the valley bottom and almost immediately the temperature rose quite a bit so it was off with our coats this was turning out to be a brilliant day , we entered Kidland forest which was doing its best to impress us with a good show of autumn colours where it could, Bob disturbed a heron and seemed quite pleased with himself , then suddenly whilst Bob was mooching in the undergrowth a fox dashed out straight at him , stopped dead turned around and disappeared into the undergrowth , if it wasn’t for the fact I had my camera out I would have missed the whole thing , it all happened in a blink of a eye , I thought at the time the fox was after breakfast i.e. Bob it wasn’t till I got home later that night and checked the photos that you can see the fox did indeed catch something as its got something in its mouth , I cant see what as its blurry when you blow the photo up .
FOXY DOING A RUNNER
Bob of Couse didn’t know a thing about it, but when he came back to the track he went mad barking and growling ……………..I wonder how many more things are going on all around us when we are out in the wilds but unless we just happen to be looking we never see it.
We had to cross the Lindhope burn Three or four times ,& remembering what happened last time I made sure that I picked Bob up in plenty of time so he didn’t get wet , I of course got wet feet or should I say foot but that didn’t matter I knew that it would dry out as the day went on .
Then we came to the old track that I have never walked along before, Naturally we had to cross over the burn again to get to it so for the last time Bob got a carry and I rewetted my foot, even though I was walking on an old forestry track I got that excited feeling that I sometimes get (I know I’m sad at times) what’s around the corner, what’s over the next rise?. And sure enough I was treated to some brilliant views and sights, sometimes I think that I am very lucky to have this place to myself and today was one of those days, the track swung round and started to climb up Whey Stack and for the first time I could see where the forestry people had been busy clearing the trees and as I got higher the old track that I was on merged with a new track the loggers had made and hopefully would take me off in a different direction. I walked along the new track enjoying the views, something that wasn’t possible before, then for the last half a mile or so I had to make my own way to the end of sneer hill, there are two lower peaks on this hill, I had already decided to have a look from these first then make my way to the summit at 440 meters, pre haps not that highest but I haven’t been here before so it’s a first , and with the hill being surrounded by dense trees I don’t expect many people have either despite there being a non existent footpath someplace near.
It was at this point I hit a problem, the last small rise to the summit was extremely difficult, there was a sort of tufty grass that grew on top of last years tufty grass which was like walking on stepping stones only it was soft , if you put a foot wrong you would simply sink 2 foot , this made placing arty leg fun , several times I thought that it had my weight only to sink down , I was sweating and puffing by the time I finally made the top , I noticed that there was a small pile of stones at the top in fact there was two separate piles so whilst I caught my breath I rearranged them into a mini cairn , there that’s my good deed done for the day , Bob of course was in his element and just bounded form one clump to another in fact he looked like the bionic dog doing super leaps.
Getting back down to the track proved to just as much fun and I found myself laying face down several times but the good news was it was lovley and soft so no harm done, eventually I re joined the new track and had a very well earned sit down, the last hour or so had totally buggered me, the rucksack was opened and me and Bob scoffed some home made cake, bob of course had a few treats as well and went off to mooch about whilst I got my breath back.
Time to go, Bob informed me and so we followed the new track past Dry Hill which gave us some excellent views down towards Whiteburnshank and the valley (haven’t a clue what its called) around the lower slopes of Bloodybush edge onto Mid hill then up onto the lower slopes of Yardspath Law then we linked up with Clennell Street, all the time getting some great views of the up till recently unseen valleys. The only downside was we where treated to a very fine wet mist which quickly had us putting on our coats , it was that sort of mist that soaks you very quickly , however as quickly as it came it went and for the rest of the day we had brilliant sunshine .
Dinner was had sitting on a log, Bob woofed his dinner down then proceeded to scoff my roast beef as fast as I could feed him (I do spoil this dog at times) and then it was a gentle stroll back , we had made very good time so I wasn’t worried about the lack of daylight hours left ..We would be fine,
We stayed on Clennell Street till just past Wholehope then on an impulse I decided to take us back on a much more scenic route (see map for details) I think that this route is much more enjoyable and like Clennell Street is easy walking , the only down side was the sheep , Bob like myself was starting to feel tired now and the sheep really didn’t want to get out of the way until the last minute so I put Bob on the lead , I really didn’t want any agro between a tired Bob and a stroppy sheep , also when we stopped for a rest , Bob sat on my lap I noticed that his little legs where shaking , he wasn’t cold but must be worn out , I decided to put his coat on as the sun had lost its heat now and we spent thirty minutes or so just resting .
He seemed much better after the rest and food and I didn’t want him or me for that matter to stiffen up however he didn’t want to be carried so off we went , fortunately it was all easy walking and only a mile or so back to the car.
Once back at the car Bob jumped up into his bed and once I had removed his coat snuggled down, being a bit of a softy that I am I covered him over with my fleece with his blanket over the top, he looked very snuggly.
I sorted the gear out and made coffee for myself a quick look at the GPS and was surprise to see that we had walked 14.3 miles with 2477 ft. of the ups and downs...No wonder Bob was knackered.
However by the time we got home I was fully expecting to have to carry Bob indoors, but he leaped out of the car and proceeded to run round the house with Munchy and Flynn till it was tea time (so much for being tired) but later on when I went for a shower I found him asleep on the bed where he stayed for the rest of the night.
As normal a few photos enjoy.
Bob leading the way alongside the river Alwin
Looking down at the river where the sun hasn’t got to …. Very frosty
Now entering Kidland forest looking across at inner hill
A fox doing a runner, it burst out of the undergrowth turned and back again in the blink of an eye
Looking back towards Puncherton Hill
Bob exploring in the dark scary forest
Bob waiting for me to carry him across the ford
Bob still waiting
Heading up alongside the Lindhope burn
Still frosty where the sun can’t get.
Looking along our track
Bob still ranging out in front, he won’t get closer unless there are treats about or he starts to get tired
Peering up threw a gap in the trees, if all goes well we will be heading up there later
Looking back down this valley
On our way up stopping to look back down
Bit further up
I think that I am looking towards a distant Cushat Law
One of the views
We have now linked up with the “new” track on Sneer Hill
Now at the far “peak” looking towards the summit of Sneer Hill
Looking down towards the valley where we walked along earlier
Bob having a sniff
Some old forgotten cut down trees
Looking down towards the building at Whiteburnshank
Same again only at max zoom (I always thought that Whiteburnshank was quite high up)
Bob at one of the cairns on the summit, it doesn’t look much but the grass is murder to walk along
Last look while we are up here.
Now on the new track looking back at Sneer Hill
Further along the valley looking down at Whiteburnshank
Same again but on max zoom
Ok last look
Looking across to the track on the other side of this valley (where we should get to a bit later)
Last look along the valley before we go into the trees again
Now on the other side, a break in the trees shows us where we was earlier
Where did that come from? For the next thirty minutes we got rained on then it went as suddenly as it came
Our route stretches out in front of us now, after the rain we can see for miles again.
Looking across to the other side you can just see the grassy top of Sneer Hill
Last look across
Now on Clennell Street looking back
Typical rolling hills of the Cheviots and not a person around
A few views of Kidland forest as we make our way along Clennell Street
Looking over the other side at the rolling hills
Last time we was here there was a few more trees standing wont be long before they have all gone at this rate
Have now left Clennell Street and making our own way back along one of the many quad bike tracks
Local sheep, at this point I put Bob on the lead, the last thing I want is bob and some stroppy sheep having a battle of wills.
Looking back at Kidland
Starting to cut down towards the river Alwin and the car (still a mile or so to go)
Nice easy grassy path heading towards Clennell hill in the background
Looking down to the river Alwin
Looking further down the valley to the farm and where the car is.
A bit further along still heading down
Looking along the valley that we walked along earlier today
Looking across at Silverton Hill
Last look across as the sun starts to go down it will be dark in another thirty minutes, we just have to cross over the river and then we are back at the car
Day after thoughts.
Going to bed the night before I really thought that I would suffer in the morning, but much to my surprise (and pleasure) I woke up feeling refreshed and had no aches, I had no sore spots on my stump and no aches or pains what a great feeling that was, Bob of course woke up and showed no bad signs either and was tearing about with Flynn, Munchy and some other big dogs on his morning walk like he had done nothing the day earlier
ALL 2013 WALKS NORTHUMBERLAND BOB MUNCHY & FLYNNE DAYS OUT