DATE                                      20.01.12

DISTANCE                           9.27 MILES




This was the first walk of the season with my long suffering walking partner , Yvonne aka Cheviot Stroller , naturally I had to pick a route and chose this one for several reasons , my fitness levels still wasn’t what they should be , and the dark night where still drawing in rather quickly .

One thing that I didn’t take into account was the icy road once we got past Alwinton the drive along the Coquet valley, was bad (we are talking change your underwear bad), sheet ice everywhere, driving a rear wheel car was…… Fun to say the least, I fully expected to skid off at every bend even the sheep kept well out of the way. However we got to Shillmoor in one piece only to nearly end up on my arse as I got out the car, it was sheet ice everywhere.

You can see the route by looking at the map but one thing I must  say we were very lucky with the weather, grey skies and low cloud all around us but where ever we walked the clouds seem to bypass us, we were briefly caught up in a snow shower whilst we were walking through Kidlandlee but the trees sheltered us from the worst of the wind, just letting the snow fall straight down giving a very Christmas type feeling   and as we left the shelter of the woods it stopped as if someone had thrown a switch .

This was my first accompany walk for some time and I must say it was a belter of a walk and brilliant company.

 The one thing that can’t be captured by any of the photos is how remote & lonely these hills can be giving so few  people visit this area which I think just adds to the  wilderness feeling that they can give you.


Anyway enough waffle:-

A few photos taken along the way enjoy.

taken from where we parked up looking across at the farm houses at Shillmoor

Our route , what isnt shown was how icy the path was , we both expected to end up on our arses several times

A photo showing how steep these hills are on either side

Looking back at the farm at Batailshiel haugh at this point we are very happy to get off the track , the grassy path gives much better grip

Looking back at the base of whats known as the Castles

Still following the Usway burn , the path at this point was covered in ice making life a bit tricky for a few meters (i have to admit i would have laughted if yvonne slipped and went into the river )

The path now takes us into the forest of Kidlandlee

Small waterfall on the Usway burn

A clearing in the trees looking back down the burn

Now on one of the many forestry tracks , we are heading up to briefly join Clennell Street, it was at this point we got caught in a snow shower , the trees sheltered us from the worse of the weather , giving the walk a almost christmas feel .

A bit further along

Now on Clennell Street , leaving the forest and the snow stops , we have been very lucky so far , the sky is full of snow and you can see it falling all around us .

A few photos as we walk along the street .

This is our turn off , we are now heading for Copper Snout

A view of some of the surrounding hills

Looking at the path down Copper Snout

Looking down at the farm at Battailshiel Haugh

Looking to the farm at Shillmoor

despite all the ice it was a really good day , and even better news was that the road out to Alwinton had been gritted so getting out wasnt a problem .


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