DATE                                    11.03.014

DISTANCE                            9.9 MILES

WEATHER                            BRIGHT AND SUNNY




I know that I have been to these woods so many time I almost know every tree, but I like these woods , it’s a simple as that , plus they have the advantage of not being too far away from home , it’s a safe place for the Pups to explore and when all said and done it’s a lovely area .

Today’s walk was however going to be slightly different , for the first time in ages I was thinking about would it be possible to “link” different bits up into one walk ………… know put all the good bits together in one walk .

I also had wanted to explore a bit further alone the crags, something that I have never even though of before.

I mentioned all this to the pups who replied yep that’s great let’s go, and so we found ourselves driving up to the woods (well I drove the pups slept in the back) the weather couldn’t have been better, we had a light frost the night before and was now heading out in a beautiful clear blue sky, great almost perfect walking weather, bright, sunny but not to warm.

On arriving it was gear on, the normal riot act read to the pups who totally ignored me and then we were off, I had once again parked away from the main car parking area , this was more for the pups benefit than any other reason , this way I didn’t have to worry about them getting run over by some day tripper who wasn’t looking where he was going when he was parking and it saves me the bother of putting them on the leads …………………I know I am a lazy hack at times .

As we made our way into the woods the first thing I noticed was that they had been busy redoing the forestry track , they had dumped and flattened tones of that red stone and raised it up , in time it will settle down but today it made walking on it very difficult in places and kept throwing “Arty leg” off balance which caused me no end of trouble , I suppose that they must be getting things ready for Harvesting ……………I hope not because one of the things I like about this forest is the way it’s been managed and once you get away from the main area how peaceful it is. .

After a mile or so we came to the end of the refurbished track and got back onto the old muddy / stone / grass paths and I knew that the state of the paths would only get worse from this point on , however it’s this sort of path that I like , I think the pups did as well , I couldn’t help but notice that had kept off the stone track keeping mostly on the sides as we made our way along , whereas now they were belting up and down the path like there was no tomorrow , I did let them know that they should take it easy as they had a long day ahead of them but you know the boys when they are playing , I decided then and there that I would have plenty of rest stops today so they didn’t get to tiered and I could always do with an extra sit down .

We left the woods and approached the crags but first we had to cross the Heather moors, the boys loved this they all went charging into the Heather and disappeared, all I would see was the odd dog “jumping or bouncing” from one bush? To another sometimes getting a couple of foot into the air as the springy heather threw them upwards, they loved it , it reminded me of a childhood TV program I use to watch ..The magic roundabout and the models that had springs instead of legs.

Our route took us to Coe crags where we then linked up with a very well used path up to Long Crag at 319 meters would be our highest point of the walk, once again as we approached the crags the views towards the Cheviots opened up, I love this view it might not be as dramatic as the lakes but its good non the less.

There is a very steep path that cuts almost straight down from Long Crag but today I want to wander further along the ridge and so the pup’s went bouncing off into the heather again, to start with there was a very old quad bike track heading in the right direction, however that soon stopped and then it was a case of me following any natural break in the heather or walking along any animal /sheep? Trail .this proved to be extremely hard work so after a mile or so I was forced to head towards a fence and follow that back to the base of Long Crag where we linked up with the footpath again.

A lot of hard work but at least I know NOT to go there again because there is nothing there.

We stayed on the foot path till we came to a small unnamed stream, this was a good spot for lunch, the boys helped me eat my dinner then set about scoffing there’s without sharing with me, but there was an abundance of clean fresh drinking water for them, I know that they must have been getting thirsty and I have given up carrying a bowl for them as they never use it, preferring to drink out of any puddles or streams as we come across them.

Dinner was had, the boys played in the stream then we all had a well-deserved rest, lovely soft dry grass and a warming sun made it very easy to just lay back and take it easy, even the boys had a quick snooze.

Snooze over it was time to carry on our route took us up to the stone cairn at Hard Nab again passing through a heather moor, this time there was a well-used path, the boys of course just went bouncing along, Munchy and Flynn managed to disgraced themselves by finding what can only be described as disgusting rotten fox’s pooh and rolling in it, they stank! Their fur was all matted and clogged up with it and just to make matters worse they didn’t seem to care when I bollocked them.

I knew that we would be going into some seriously boggy / wet sections later on and hope that a lot of it would be washed or wiped off before we got back to the car.

Our route took us back into the trees along Callaly Crags and the small pond / tarn where I am pleased to say a lot of the smelly stuff got left behind, don’t get me wrong they still skank but at least they weren’t covered in it, a couple of miles later found us at the Coe burn where my two little stinking pups where given a quick wash much to their disgust.

Once again we had found a good spot to rest up and so I decided to let them all have a snooze, I was starting to get a bit concerned about Munchy, he is the smallest and normally I put him in the rucksack when he get tired, but there was no way that he was going to be picked up and put inside my rucksack today, the thought of him climbing up on my head stinking like he was just wasn’t going to happen. As it was after half an hour he was ready to go, our last bit meant a bit of uphill into more trees then we should link up with the newly refurbished forest track a short way from the car.

The pup’s kept up and still managed to run around playing right up to where they jumped in the car. Driving home meant the front window was open, not that it mattered as it was such a nice day but the smell was rotten.

I had one last duty to preform before I got home and that was a simple phone call to Yvonne warning her to get a bath ready for all the boys, even Bob was getting stinky now after rolling around playing with them.

As we pulled up at home Yvonne was waiting and ready and before they knew what hit them they were all splashing around in the bath getting shampooed and showered. Three towels and one hair drying session later we had three very fluffy, pleasant smelling pups.

We did just under 10 miles with 1733ft of the ups and downs of course the pups did double or even treble that.                  

As normal a few photos:-

 Just got out of the car, some of the old trees at the edge of the forest


Looking back at the refurbished track


Now leaving the track and getting onto the old muddy path


The boys running along a track in the Heather


Approaching the crags and the view towards the Cheviots starts to open up

Looking back at Coe Crags

Still looking back towards Coe Crags

The boys still racing along the path with the Cheviots in the far background

The boys at Long crag

The stone cairn a bit further along

Looking towards the Cheviot Hills

Now heading off on an unmarked quad bike track (that goes now where) doh !!

The pup’s still playing around, they loved this heather

Looking back up

The quad bike track has stopped; I can either go all the way back or press on

The Boys busy rolling in fox pooh

I decide to cut down to the fence line it might be a bit easer

There is some sort of path here running alongside the fence, I decide to follow it

The views

Still a way to go before we leave this Heather

Looking up at the crags

At last I can re-join the footpath again

A few photos taken from our lunch spot, there are worse places to have lunch

Bob now at the stone cairn at Hard Nab

Another one with hills in the back ground

Looking back along our path towards the crags

The view as we make our way along

Looking back to the stone cairn

Now entering the woods again

A break in the tress and this view opens up

An old bit of this forest


An old pond as far as I know it doesn’t have a name

Same again

Cutting across another Heather section before we enter the trees again

Now on an old track Munchy waiting for me to catch up

A few photos of the views as we make our way along this section of the walk

Looking across to where we need to be, there is a track that takes us across this bit so it’s easy walking

Looking up at the crags where we was this morning

A bit further along

Heading up again, Flynn and Bob waiting for me to catch up

Last bit of uphill now (just as well coz I’m starting to feel it)

A clearing in the trees lets me see this view

Where we left the forest and re-joined the track not far from where the car is parked