DISTANCE 7.2 MILES
WEATHER DULL, WET AND GREY
START / FINISH OFF ROAD PARKING AT HARTSIDE
I had been at work for the last few days so I couldn’t wait to get out and get some fresh air into my lungs, unfortunately I would be walking on my own but that didn’t matter as long as I got out that’s all that counted at this stage, a quick check on the weather forecast told me what I already knew just by looking out the window, wet dull and grey and the chances where it would be worse up in the Cheviots .but hey I was getting out someplace no matter what.
After my arty leg going bleep on me when it got wet a few walks ago I knew that I would start to have problems if it got wet so I had popped over to go outdoors and splashed out some of my hard earned spondoolies and go myself some craghopper waterproof over trousers , I must admit that I looked and felt like one of the village people when I put them on but if they work so be it , I had always worked on the principle that my legs where waterproof and didn’t need any protection when I was younger but I knew my arty leg wasn’t so time for yet another change in my life style I also knew that as soon as I put them on I would start to sweat but its all swings and roundabouts isn’t it?.
I decided that I would have a wander up Ingram Valley, it seems like years since I was up that way and it would be good to start to explore that area, I had been looking at the surrounding hills when I was last up this way just waiting to get fitter / stronger more confident and I had to start sometime so today would be that start that I had been promising myself, just to get the feel of the place I would be sticking to well used paths and tracks , I had a rough route sorted in my head and would take it from there sorta make it up as I go along , being the good boy that I am I duly informed Yvonne of my plans and informed her what time I should be back , and informed her at what time to start to panic and what time that she should do something …………….Anything !!!Naturally she took it all in good fun and proceeded to dig out the insurance policies to see if she would get lots of dosh if something really bad happened to me and if I was even covered for doing stuff like this.
I left her sitting down trying to work out how much she would get if anything bad happened to me compared with how much money I would be bringing into the house if I was alive and still working, it must have been a close call because there was steam coming out of her ears …………so I left her to it and proceeded to sort my kit out. She was still struggling with the numbers when I threw the gear into the car and I was off.
Driving up and the weather didn’t seem to get any better but then I didn’t get any worse so all was well, not that it would have made any difference .
I parked up by the farm at Hartside and got the gear sorted, I decided to walk along the track to Linhope, this gave me the advantage of settling down into the socket before I started on any rough ground, plus it gave me the chance to alter the micro settings on my knee a bit, I wanted to “stiffen” the knee up a bit which in theory means that I should be able to walk slightly faster but it takes a lot more effort to walk , but I figured it would do me good to work the muscles a bit , from there I planned to cross over the river Breamish , there used to be a foot bridge there years ago and at this point I wasn’t sure it would still be there , then it was up Meggrims Knowe , where I would link up with the metallic track that runs to the small farms at Bleakhope , once I got to the small farm at Low bleakhope I would head back walking alongside of Shill Moor along Salters road , which starts of as a stony track and slowly deteriorates into a pleasant grassy path before it turns into a boggy mud patch , where a lot of moving from side to side is required to keep you from sinking down to your knees , I think that a lot of these mud baths are thanks to the amount of off road bikers that seem to use this track they certainly churn it up .
I stayed on Salters road till just before Little Dodd where I swung a left and found the footpath running alongside Scaud Knowe down to the Farm at Alnhammoor where I had to cross over the Rowhope Burn then it was back on the small farm access track across the river Breamish and back up to Hartside and the car .
I found the going on the boggy ground hard work and having to criss cross the track made it hard work , it was very sinky in places and due to the nature of the fells I found it hard to find “dry ish” places to sit down and rest but I dare say that was because of all the rain that we had been having , my choice of route also highlighted a another problem that I had and that was on the return section down Scaud Knowe I was walking against the hill chamber which made it very difficult , if I would have thought out the route before hand I would have walked it in reverse that way the chamber would have been in my favour and would have been so much easer , I guess that I will mark this down as a very important lesson…………,Look at the map and work out the cambers before the walk and alter accordingly (this turned out to be a very important lesson for me and whenever possible I always plane my routes out taking the hill cambers into account now )
It might have been a dull grey day but I really had a great day out and returned back to the car feeling very happy with things, I walked about 7.2 miles and didn’t feel too tired so yes a good day.
A few photos:
Taken from where I parked up looking towards Shill moor
Heading towards Lindhope
Some of the locals came for a visit
The Lindhope burn at Lindhope
Looking down at the river Breamish
Just crossed over (after finding the footbridge) heading up Meggrim’s Knowe now
Looking back (really just getting my breath back)
Looking down at the river
Now on the track heading along the valley towards Low Bleakhope
Small set of waterfalls along the river
Looking back along the river
Looks like they must have dredged the river at some point with all the rock laying on its banks
The farm at Low Bleakhope (just as it started to rain again)
Now on Salters road heading up the side of Shill Moor
Still heading up
Looking back down my route, the “path” is starting to get a bit wet and chewed up at this point
Looking ahead at my route along Salters road
Starting to head down now
I can just about make out Hartside from this point, it’s a shame the visibility is so poor today
Looking across towards the lower slopes of the Cheviot
Looking down the valley’s at the rolling hills
Looking across towards Dunmoor Hill and Cunyan Crags
Nearly at the Rowhope burn looking back at my route
Heading towards Alnhammoor along the valley bottom
Looking up towards a distant Great Standrop
Again looking back at my route down today
Getting close to the farm now, easy walking along grassy tracks
Looking towards Het hill and the river Breamish
Last look back
Now on the small road heading to the car looking back
Heron on the river (catching his supper)
Day after thoughts, I really enjoyed this walk, yes the weather wasn’t at its best and there was a fair bit of walking along metallic surfaces but I loved it, I didn’t see a single person all day and I spotted several other sheep trails and quad bike trails that I might return and walk when I get a bit more fitter and stronger, they are all filed away in y head for another day.
Arty leg behaved him, and I had no problems with my stump so yet another good day and I learnt the lesson that I need to study the map taking note of the chambers and plan my route accordingly i.e. go Clockwise up and down any hills so Arty leg isn’t such a problem .
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 2006