DATE                           21.02.17

DISTANCE                   9.04 MILES




It was Edwina’s turn to pick a route for this week’s wander so I was feeling rather smug about the whole thing, after all picking a route is harder than walking the actual route and of course writing it up for this blog of mine is even harder still, sometime I think it takes more time to write it up than the time spent actually walking it, of course my typing skill is almost none existent but at least I have a spell checker now so I don’t get a constant supply of e mail pointing out my poor spelling .

Anyway Edwina suggested a route starting up at South Middleton and produced a route map (what a girl), myself I was over the moon, what a brilliant walk she suggested, after a quick look I realised that I had done something very similar way back in 2008 (hence it isn’t written up on this site) .one day I will catch up with the back log of walks but at the moment I am years away so if anyone cares …..You will just have to wait for them all.

Anyway getting back to today‘s wander. Weather forecast looked ok for the start of the day with strong winds and rain later on / early evening, great if all goes to plan we should be finished and back home long before the storm hits. Times where agreed and that was it all sorted.

The next morning , gear was sorted out and thrown into the car , Bob dog went into his “I don’t care where you are going but I’m coming with you mode “ which really means that he is stuck to my side in case I try to go without him , he did of course remind me that his treat bag is starting to get a bit low in the rucksack and needed to be topped up before we went  and not to forget his roast beef when I called in and got the sarnie, then Edwina pulled up her gear was sorted and off we went with just the one stop to pick up sarnie and Bob dogs roast beef and then we were off.

Parking was at the small but free car park at South Middleton by the pond, I’m not really sure if this is a car park or just a bit of waist ground but it served its purpose so all was good. Gear was sorted Bob dog once again had his coat put on, he did moan a bit as it wasn’t cold but we was in for a long day and I knew that the ground would be sopping wet in places so it was more to keep him dry than any other reason, but I did inform him that I would remove it later on the return leg.

Bob dog not looking happy in his coat

Then we was off, our route for the day was in Edwina’s hands and she had her Gps booted up and ready to go and I have to say it was a really good route, one that I think I could redo in the warmer summer months, I will admit to taking a small detour and I believe that we did stray off the original route to mooch around a bit , but that didn’t really matter as we both like to go where we want to go rather than stick to a set route . Any way what we did was to head off from South Middleton walking along a very good track, heading past Middleton dean then down towards Threestoneburn woods passing Steel crags as we went, on thing we both noticed before we entered the forest was how strong the wind was, we both knew the forecast was for strong winds this evening but come on its still morning bloody weather people are useless.

The forestry people had been busy cutting done mile upon mile of the forest, but they had rebuilt the forest track, making for very easy walking,

 Easy walking along this forest track the views are pretty good as well

The last time I was here (years ago) this was all overgrown and as a result we wandered past our turn off onto the footpath that would lead us out, (I blame Edwina) but seeing as all the trees had been cut down it seemed a shame not to carry on simply because of the views that could be seen , however we had to turn off sometime and at a suitable place (old fire break) we made our way to the edge of the forest and onto the fells , from there we backtracked back to where the footpath was and resumed our journey , at this particular section it was wet and boggy , no that should read very wet and boggy , I naturally had a tumble but due to some serious body twisting I managed to land in a dry ’ish spot , it took ages to get clear of the wet boggy section , then on a spur of the moment we decided to head off to Tathey Crags.

Looking towards Hedghope from the small cairn at Tathey Crags

Not one of our best ideas but we slowly made our way there , and climbed to the small stone cairn at the top , this of course exposed us to the wind , which by now was getting quite strong , at this point we both agreed no more playing silly bugger’s and headed back over some very rough ground back to the footpath (not that the footpath was much better) our route then took us up to Langlee crags where once again we was literally blown up the short but steep hill to the crags , taking shelter out of the wind behind the crags we decided to have  lunch  , bob dog of course had his roast beef , then woofed his treats then sat there expecting to eat some of mine as well ,

Lunch was had using the crags for shelter out of the wind, we got some good views from up here

After lunch we had a small council of war and decided to head back down to the track and head back using that as far as possible , I will be honest and say that walking with the gusting wind made it a bit tricky for me , but as we lost height the wind seemed to drop as well , the only problem now was the fact that the top of both the Cheviot and Hedgehope had disappeared under a dirty grey cloud that seemed to be heading our way and we could feel the odd spot of rain , but luck stayed with us and we went one way and the clouds seem to go the other just missing us , our route then took us over the side of Brands Hill then across to Middleton old town sadly I couldn’t really see anything just a few piles of stone work , however we did pass an old cottage and had to mooch around , Edwina was looking with love in her eyes at an old bath tub.

Old bath tub, the weather is still a bit cold for Edwina to make use of it

I did offer to fill it with cold water from the nearby stream for her but she declined , then we set off on the last leg what took us back to South Middleton and the car , I will admit to feeling a bit on the knackered side , more to do with the fighting with the wind earlier on , I really do struggle when the wind is gusting but with Edwina’s company the last bit soon disappeared and then we was back at the car , gear was sorted and packed away then …………………..tea made by the lovely Edwina , a correct way to finish a walk , then just as we got into the car for the drive home , the heavens really opened up …….how lucky was we ?

We walked about 9.04 miles with about 1292 ft. of the ups and downs

A few photos

And we are off we are off, Bob dog leading the way as normal


Leaving the track and heading “off road” now

Old trap on tree


Looking towards Cunard Crags, it used to be covered in trees, someone has been busy


Looking up towards Middleton Crags (well what you can see of them)


About to enter Threestoneburn woods by Steel crags


Bob dog having a mooch around the tree stumps


Heading along the forestry track, Hedgehope in the distance


By this time we have gone past the footpath and start to look for a way out of the harvested trees


I think that the route we took was an old fire break, heading out passing an old sheep stell


Looking back


Now heading back to join up with the footpath, it is very boggy here, we need to get to the hut before we get on solid ground again


Made it, but the wind is starting to pick up now and we lost a fair amount of time getting here

Looking up towards Langlee Crags


But first we go to Tathey Crags for a look see (not my best idea)


Looking towards Hedghope now covered with a dull grey cloud that is heading our way


Heading up towards Langlee Crags


Bob dog leading Edwina up to the crags


A few photos taken at the crags where we had lunch, mostly looking towards Langlee valley

Edwina leading the way, what you can’t see is how windy it was up here

Last photo taken at the crag before I set off


Now on a lovely grassy track, we make good time on this section of the walk


Looking down at the valley (still got one eye on the low cloud)


A bit further along

Bob dog waiting for us to catch up


Looking down towards the Carey burn (you can’t see it from here but it’s there)

Time to start to head back our route takes us up here


Looking across towards Hart Heugh


Big old sheep stell


Once again we find ourselves on a nice grassy track


Not sure what I’m looking at or why I even took the photo


Now heading down to an old ruin (small farm, shepherds house?)


Old fire place


Edwina and bob dog looking for long forgotten treasure or something


One of the other rooms


Taken at one of the out buildings, was this a small generator was stored?


Looking back, this must have been a nice place to live at one time


Looking back over our route, the wind has finally dropped and we seem to have missed the rain




Now back at the farm at South Middleton and some of the new arrivals in the barn


One of the locals


Now back at the car, looking at the “duck pond”


Day after thoughts:-

I was knackered, home sort bob dog out, gear sorted then hot bubbly bath , boy I was tired , walking in strong winds really takes it out of me , sadly when I removed my seal in liner there was a reddish brown layer all-around the inside … I had broken the skin and rubbed it red raw , I knew that I was developing a sore spot towards the end of the walk and should have stopped and dealt with it but being a first class dick that I am I carried on …………well this is the result not one but two fifty pence size very red and very sore spots that seem to want to do nothing but bleed and let me know that they are pissed with me , ok lesson learnt it won’t happen again ( how many times do I say that ) still over the years I have developed a treatment for this sort of stuff so apart from a few days of being unconfutable and a bit tender I will be ok .