DATE                          29.11.12

DISTANCE                9.2 MILES

WEATHER                BRIGHT & SUNNY BUT COLD

START / FINISH      VILLAGE GREEN AT ALWINTON

 

Saughy Hill

Todayís walk didnít get off to a good start, as I was woken up in the middle of the night not by my better half Yvonne who might have wanted to practise her night time navigating activities but Bloody awful phantom pains, why? I couldnít even throw in a guess as to why nothing had changed or had it; anyway after a few hours of leaping around in bed whilst I got zapped eventfully I managed to drop off to sleep.

That mean when I woke up I was feeling fussy and not the normal cheerful person that I am (as well as feeling knackered) anyway that wasnít going to damper my mood , today I was going back into my beloved Cheviot Hills for a well deserved days hiking.

My plan was to visit Saughy Hill, well the summit of it, I have walked all-around this hill but never made it to the top, the closes I have come was with my walking partner when we did a winter walk earlier this year .see http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/SHILLMORE_ROUND_.htm

When we stopped off at a sheep stell for coffee and cake, but for some reason or another we didnít take the detour to the top.

Other than that my route wasnít set in stone, I would just make it up once I got there.

Gear was thrown into the car and off I went, on arriving at Alwinton the first thing I couldnít help but notice whilst I was drinking my pre walk coffee was the smell of bacon being cooked, it smelt lovely and I would have given my right hand for a bacon butty or if my walking partner was with me I would have sold her body for one. Anyway it wasnít to be and off I went, my route took me up Clennell Street with a small detour onto Uplaw Knowe along to where the ruins of the old YHA at Wholehope are situated (not that there is a great deal to bee seen now) up onto Wholehope Knowe (494 m) then it was a slow up to the top of Saughy Hill (494)

On reaching the top it was time for lunch and what a spot for lunch, weather wise it was cool but bright, and I could see the snow covered Cheviot in the far distance something that I am not up to yet with my current level of fitness.

Now where? I decided to have a mooch around this top , like a lot of the hills in this region you get much better views getting to the top or coming back down due to there  roundness so I headed down towards the far side towards Batailshiel Haugh , after dropping down a few hundred meters I was greeted by the whole of the valley suddenly appearing , what a view this is , but (there is always a but) it did mean I either retraced my steps or went down the really really steep hillside into the valley , naturally there isnít a path or anything so it was a case of picking the best route down , something that wasnít that easy when there was patches of ice underfoot , but as normal my brain went into donít think about it mode and I soon found myself safely on the track on the valley floor , this track follows the Usway burn all the way to the farm at Shillmoor  and is a very pleasant (fast way ) to get into or out of these hills. Walking along this track reminded me how cold it was once I got out of the sun which in turn reminded me that I had a couple of hours of daylight left, so it was a case of keeping an eye on the time, I had checked that I had packed my head touch and a spare set of batteries but I really didnít want to be in the position where I had to use it.

At Shillmore I picked up the well used path that took me along the side of the Knocks and onto the lovely path over Pass Peth which is normally a joy to walk along, however today the path was a nightmare, frozen in all the wrong places and deep soft mud in other bits, even putting my micro spikes on didnít help as they ďchoked upĒ with mud and vegetation then throw in the chamber was all the wrong way for me to walk on made for a long couple of miles , however the views along the Coquet valley more than made up for the slow progress I made . And because it was getting close to sunset I thought why not wait a few minutes and see if I could get any decent photos.

From there it was a case of dropping down off greenside hill and walking back to Alwinton along the small access road. Where I treated myself to a well deserved cup of coffee.

All in all about 9.2 miles according to GPS with 2043 ft of ups and downs.

As normal a few photos Ö..Enjoy.

Taken on the village green at Alwinton.

 

Part way up Clennell Street looking back.

 

Looking across towards Clennell hill and Silverton Hill.

 

Across towards old Rookland.

 

Looking down towards the start of the Alwinton burn.

 

Looking towards the Dodd and Kidland forest.

 

Unnamed tree plantation.

 

Looking back along my route.

 

Towards Kidland forest.

 

Same again, itís just possible to see a snow covered Cheviot.

 

A distant Puncherton hill.

 

Back on Clennell street.

 

The ruins of the YHA at Wholehope.

 

My route.

 

Starting the long slow climb up Saughy hill.

 

Looking down towards the Wholehope burn is.

 

Starting heading up not sure what this is.

 

At the top a few photos, a snow covered Cheviot.

 

A few more looking in different directions.

Time to start heading down looking towards the castles.

 

Taken a bit further down.

 

Looking down further up the valley where I hope to be a bit later.

 

General view, not bad eh? And I didnít see a single person all day.

 

Looking down towards the farm at Batailshiel Haugh.

Same again just taken at a different spot on this hill.

 

My route down heading towards the Usway Burn.

 

Looking up the valley.

 

I was going to walk down his ridge line but there was a lot of frozen water which made it very slippery.

 

Last look at the farm and house.

 

Still heading down (very slowly)

 

Looking back up, I decided to keep in the dead fern, that way I had some grip.

 

Yeah Ömade it to the bottom in one piece.

 

Taken on one of the bridges looking down the valley.

 

HELLO MR SHEEP HOW ARE YOU? (YES I TALK TO THE LOCALS)

 

 A FEW PHOTOS AS I WALK ALONG THIS VALLEY.

 

At the farm at Shillmoor.

 

Looking back towards the farm with Shillhope Law in the background.

 

Crossing the Wholehope burn.

 

Looking back along the valley.

 

The river Coquet.

 

My route ahead.

 

Part way up Pass Peth.

 

Made it to the top (I am knackered now) looking along the Coquet Valley.

 

On Greenside hill and my first sight of Alwinton. (Taken at max zoom)

 

Looking across towards Barrow scar.

 

Last few photos the sun setting, I was hoping for a nice red sunset but it didnít happen.

 

Day after thoughts.

Home, bath with coffee (the wife made it) and a really early night helped, but I was knackered, I didnít even sort my gear out.

In the morning I was stiff as an old boot but as the day went on got better.

My knee was sore but I think that was where I twisted it when I slipped on some ice rather than the old problem coming back.

Arty leg preformed above and beyond what I expect from him especially coming down that steep hill, so I will reward him with a good clean and spray with a silicon spray.

My stumpy leg didnít do anything bad but still feel different maybe itís always going to be like this.

But what a day and I had the place to myself.

NORTHUMBERLAND