DATE                                          25.02.2014

DISTANCE                                  ABOUT 5 MILES

WEATHER                                  COOL BUT DRY



The boys hit Simonside crags


After spending what seemed like a lifetime on weekend night shift I was determined to get out and about someplace on my days off, the only problem was where, I have been doing the coastline to death and really fancied a change, the Cheviot hills would be nice but the ground would be soaking wet and I was planning to take the pups with me and as I have mentioned before due to there low ground clearance they get soaking very quickly and it just isn’t fair on them to be cold and wet all day so that meant that the hills would be out till it either warms up a bit or the ground dry’s up , either way that wouldn’t help me today. After much thinking I decided to go to Simonside , there are miles of forestry tracks to walk along with lots of interesting stuff for the boys to run and play with and of course there is the crags to climb up , and as I know once up on the crags there is a well laid stone flag path to walk along so really it was a win win situation , the boys should stay dry (ish) lots for them to do , myself I love the area and the views from the crags are brilliant plus it will give me and arty leg a bit of practise when it comes to climbing up the crags , with this in mind I went to inform the boys , they of course couldn’t really care they just love being out someplace for the day , I did however pack there coats “just in case it rained” really that should have been for when it rained but as luck would have it despite a few very dark clouds and a few showers falling all around us we didn’t get rain upon till we got back in the car , so may be all that naked dancing and singing to the weather gods is starting to pay off ……who knows .

On arrival at the car park I parked right down into the woods as far away from the main entrance as possible, this was so I could lets the boys out and they could go daft whilst I made coffee without having to worry about some driver coming into the car park and not seeing the pups (after all they are rather small) as it was I needn’t have worried as I was the only car there. Also I picked a spot right by a picnic table which made for a bit of comfort whilst I put my boots on and made the coffee.

Coffee was made and drunk, gear sorted and off we went, I hadn’t really got any definite route sorted …..A just make it up as we went along as it turned out I did what’s known as the red route according to the forestry peoples notice board. once we where off the pup’s went mad for the first mile or so running , playing and generally mooching around , Munchy almost disgraced himself by trying to roll in fox poo , but I got there just in time and informed him that this was a no no .

Climbing up the crags proved to be a bit more of a challenge , with the mud being very slippery and the fact that the boys had gone racing to the top in front of me only stop turn around then come bounding down jumping from rock to rock , only to get under my feet before racing to the top again , in fact I think that they went from top to bottom about four times by the time I clambered to the top breathing very heavy , once on top of the crags the wind did what it normally does and started blowing a hoolie , its surprising how much shelter the woods offer . And for the first time that day it made me realise how cold it was. Nothing to get concerned about but could be a problem if any of the boys had got wet.

Flynn had to be shouted at a couple of times , he has this thing about getting close to the edge of the crags and looking over , it’s a long drop and I know that I would have been in big trouble if I went home without one of the pups or one of them got hurt .

Lunch was had or should I say my lunch was eaten in a sheltered spot, only once my roast beef roll had been scoffed the boys woofed there lunch down, then it was off again, this time cutting down off the crags and back into the woods, the boys where still running about and playing but started to show signs that they where getting tiered, still it was only a short distance to the car and they kept running all the way back , I think that we did about 5 of our earthly  miles with1000ft  of the ups and downs as normal a few photos enjoy :-

Looking up towards the crags on a dull morning


The boys leading the way, at this stage I was just following where they went, I had no set route or anything planned


Look we have found a dark hole, I’m not going down there said Flynn


Flynn and Munchy playing “lookout” on a rock


Bob leading the way yup a very wet and muddy path


Heading up, there was something on top of the big rock ahead


Just Bob checking on me


A couple of the huge sandstone rocks that are scattered around these hills


Munchy having a look across the path


The small cave that munchy was looking at


About to leave the forest and the weather has brightened up


Now heading up towards the crags


The stony path up to the crags.


Flynn waiting for me to catch up “hurry up mick it’s nearly lunch time”


Munchy and Flynn on there way down to see me.


Looking up to the sandstone crags (really I getting my breath back)


 Flynn & Bob heading back down


Munchy getting ready to jump on me

Flynn jumping down from rock to rock


Another breath stop

Yet another breathing stop looking in the other direction

 Looking down, it doesn’t look that steep but trust me it is and would hurt if you bounced all the way down


Yeah at the top looking towards the distant Cheviot Hills


Same view just a bit further along

Looking towards the stone cairn


The boys tearing along the flagged path towards old stell crag


Looking along the old route that closed to prevent further soil erosion


Munchy mooching around


Our path, it’s still muddy where it hasn’t been flagged


Flynn mooching around, this dog is fearless when it comes to steep drops either that or he’s stupid , I had to call him away from the edge a few times


Looking back at the crags, we had our lunch in there out of the wind


Bob checking our route out


Back on the flagged path, looking back


Munchy waiting for me to catch up


Now at Dove Crag and the strange sandstone rocks


Flynn waiting under one


On our way back down Bob and Flynn waiting for me to catch up again


The path, it’s a bit wet and boggy in places


Looking up to the crags

Still heading down towards the forest


Last look across at the crags


Now back on a forestry track about to enter the woods again


Last look up


Heading down towards the car, Bob coming back to check on me


Followed my a Munchy


With Flynn bringing up the rear