DATE                              09.10.13

DISTANCE                      5.5 miles

WEATHER                      WINDY BUT BRIGHT



Todays walk was going to be something special, I had arranged to meet up with my old walking partner Yvonne or Carey burn as she now go’s by, we have been out all over the place over the last few years but I had to call it a day when I well and truly buggered myself and my stump up earlier this year see: -

That was back in June (doesn’t time fly) and since then its been one long struggle to get my arty leg working or my arty foot fixed then let my stump heal ……(queue violins) in fact its been a bit of a bummer for me ……….however I have been getting out again with the pups and slowly building up my ability to walk again and slowly building up my speed so I now had the confidence to go out with someone again and not  feel as if I was slowing everything down .

Eventually times and places where sorted (I really do need my old navigator / route sorter outer ………to start eh! Sorting stuff out again) and off we went , for todays walk I would be taking Bob with me , I am getting to the stage where Bob is pushing his limits and mine for that matter on what he is allowed to do , I have noticed that he is wandering off a little bit too far and is a little bit to slow when returning and has developed selective hearing at times so today I might have to lay the law down with him and explain that I am the boss and I am taking him for a walk not the other way around. And I can’t think of a better place than out in the open somewhere.

Our route today would take us up to Simonside in the Northumberland national park; this had two advantages one being that I know the area well and the second being Yvonne had never been up this way so she could finally say that she had been up to the crags.

Simonside itself is mostly forestry walks with a short but steep trip up to the crags and as such is very popular, however this time of the year on a school day it should be quite, but as with all areas it’s the easiest thing in the world to extend any walk.

The route that I had in mind for today was flexible and a sort of make it up as I went along depending on the weather and how we felt, so that was it , we arrived and parked up in the free car park , gear was sorted and we where just about to set off when the heavens opened up , we knew that it was windy but the trees gave us shelter , but not from the rain , now both Yvonne and myself like to think that we are seasoned walkers with all the right gear so putting waterproofs on shouldn’t be a problem , but after a quick think we all dived back into the car and waited it out. Five minutes later it had passed and off we went feeling pretty smug about it.

Bob instantly took point and was in his element, he is one dog who loves being outside and spent the whole day running backwards and forwards only stopping to stuff his face with the beef out of my sarnie (I think he even got some of Yvonne’s sarnie) then he was off again, we did meet up with a few other walkers some of which even had dogs with them, and I was once again pleased with how well he behaved.

Our route (see map above) was a mix of forestry tracks a scramble up to the crags where it was extremely exposed and we where nearly blown over along a newly laid stone pathway (erosion control) then down to Lordenshaw where I blew Yvonne’s mind with the nearly word famous cup and ring marked stones and hill fort then it was back to the forest in time for coffee.

Somehow we missed our pre walk coffee so this made up for that oversight and of course Yvonne produced a pack of Jaffa cake which both me and Bob got stuck into , all in a very good days walking about 5.5 miles  with a bit  of the ups and downs .

As normal a few photos enjoy:-

Heading up the forestry track at the start of the walk.

Little Church rock, I thought that Yvonne might be impressed with this but that wasn’t the

This isolated outcrop of fell sandstone is hidden within the forest. Its name may be a reference to the rock’s use as a gathering place. There is a set of cup marks in the stone on the lower right side of the rock which are thought to be man-made and could be over 4,000 years old.

Bob on his own rock.


Heading down a less used forestry track.


Time to leave the track and follow this path, it gets very wet in the wetter months. Bob of course is leading the way (I have to ask how did he know that we where going to pick this path or is he taking us for a walk?)

One of the many huge sandstone rocks that are scattered around this area.


First sight as we leave the forest, last time I was here it was all trees on Tosson hill.


Looking across towards the distant Cheviot Hills, what the photos don’t show is how strong the wind is now.


Looking up at our route to the cairn at Simonside.


Part way up and catching my breath, looking at the sandstone rock.

The route up, there has been some work done on this route to help prevent erosion, sadly they stopped part way up but with the strong wind blowing behind us we nearly flew up. Bob of course went up and down a couple of times.


Stopping near the top, watching Yvonne fly up behind me.

Bad hair day?


Me and Bob posing near the edge (I put bob on a lead just in case)


A few photos whilst we are up here, I was planning to stop for dinner but it was just too windy.

Yvonne leading the way towards Old Stell crag where we hope to get out of the wind, Bob coming back to check on me.


A photo showing the path in the distance.

A windswept Bob, he seemed to love it up here.

Peering round the sandstone crag.


Yvonne waiting for me to catch up.


View from the top (can’t see much from here)


Looking the other way and our path can clearly be seen.


Looking towards a distant Rothbury & a finger post so we know that we aren’t lost (yet)


Time to head down off this crag.

An arty type photo that didn’t work well.


Bob leading the way down.

Looking back.


The strange sandstone shapes at Dove crag.


Our path heading to the distant Beacon cairn.


Looking back along the ridge line.


Heading down, looking towards the car park at Lordenshaw.


Still heading down.


The nearly world famous cup & ring marked rock.

Bob making it a bit more famous.


Heading back into the forest now, last look back.


Back at the car park.


Day after thoughts.

Was a little bit stiff first thing in the morning, but once I was up and moving I was fine, arty leg didn’t cause me any problems and the terrain was quit changeling in places so I was pleased with how that worked out . Bob was a star and I just know that he had a good day, and despite my misgivings about him and his attitude he was mint. And lastly Yvonne (if you ever read this) ….. Thanks for your company and your Jaffa cakes.



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