DATE                                 01.03.11

DISTANCE                        10.6 MILES

WEATHER                        BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH               ROADSIDE PARKING AT THR ROWHOPE TURN OFF

The yearly trip to Windy Gyle

Well its that time of the year again where its time to pay a visit to windy Gyle again , I have been returning to this place every year since my accident , I am certain there is a reason for it but at the moment I am at a loss for the reason why. Just one of the many strange things that I do nowadays.

The weather was good, bright and sunny but still cold, perfect for walking so all that praying that I had been doing to the weather gods had paid off.

I parked the car at the lay-by where the Rowhope burn joins the River Coquet and headed straight up Hindside Knowe along the footpath known as the “Street”. This is a bit of a steep climb, or I think it is especially as it is the first bit of walking you do after getting off your arse out of the car and getting your gear on, if you have problems with getting your lungs working first thing this isn’t the best starting place for you, myself I tend to get up the hill a few meters then stop to take a photo or two, which really means that I am getting my breath back and just to rub salt into the wound its one of these hills that doesn’t look that steep or high , but every time you think you have reached the top there is yet another bit of uphill to go at. But it goes without saying that the views make it all worth while (just keep telling yourself that as your lungs are bursting)  

Walking along the Street would take me along the ridge taking in Bought Law, Swineside Law; Black Braes pass Cross Dyke to Plea Knowe where I would link up with the Pennine way if all went well, actually if the truth was known, the path is that well used you really would have to be a numpty to miss it and wander off someplace But stranger things have happened or so I have read.

On linking up with the Pennine way it is a simple case of more uphill up along windy rig skirting the border with Scotland until I reached the summit of windy Gyle at 619 meters and the nearly famous Russell’s cairn where I would stop for lunch and a think.

There are like most places several ways back down from the summit, today rather than take one of the shorted return routes I decided to extend the walk a bit further. On the downside of things it meant that I would be walking a bit further along the Pennine way and for the next few miles the path had been flagged with huge stone slabs, I understand the reason for the stone path , the terrain is very wet and boggy up here and the heather is doing its best to overgrow the path but as an above knee amputee I always have trouble walking on the uneven surface or these stone slabs and if I take a tumble it hurts but on the plus side it is very easy to build up a bit of walking speed and I can cover a few miles quite quickly, the Pennine way follows along the edge of the border and lends itself to some very fine views and numerous stone cairns have been built along this section by someone  or some people for some strange reason that I cant be bothered to find out about.

I decide to start to cut down where the path from Cock law crosses over the border , I think that in the good old days this was yet another drovers road , I have lost a bit of height and am now at 542 meters so there is still a bit of down hill to go before I return to the car, again once on this path it splits up numerous times giving me plenty of choices , I have no set route in my head at this time , just going where I want to , I decide to cut down by the side of Hazely Law simply because it a route that I haven’t walk before , but there must be half a dozen other routes down from tracks, footpaths or even sheep trails , its all open access up here so it really doesn’t matter. Eventually this path brings me down to the stone track from Uswayford Farm where I will stay on it and walk back past the two small farms at “Trows” and finally Rowhope where the stone track turns into the tarmac road back to where I have parked the car.

Once again a very enjoyable walk about 10.6 miles with about 2257 FT  of the ups and downs, as normal a few photos.

 

Taken from where I parked up looking towards Hindside Knowe, the route I took up, it’s a long uphill pull to start with.

Looking again from the car towards the route I should be returning along later today (if all goes well)

Part way up (really stopping to get my breath back) looking towards where the car is.

 

Still heading up and yet another breath stop.

 

Looking right towards the farms at Rowhope and Trows, if all goes well I should be passing them later today.

 

Nearly at the top, a few views.

  

Looking back and down towards the farm at Carshope in the valley

 

Looking back.

 

Looking towards a very distant Cheviot with a few patches of snow and ice on it.

Looking towards Yearning LAW

 

Looking up the valley towards Blindburn.

  

Old sheep stell.

A few more views as I make my way along the street.

Looking down towards an old storage shed.

 

Looking back down along the Rowhope valley.

  

My path heading up a distant Black Braes (more uphill)

 

Looking back.

 

Cutting across Foulstep sike (I am now on the Pennine way)

  

On the boarder ridges looking across into Scotland.

 

Heading up on windy Rig.

  

Cheviot goats.

   

A couple of photos looking into Scotland.

 

 

Last push uphill to windy Gyle, you can just about see Russell’s cairn from here.

  

Looking back along my route.

  

Made it , the trig point at Russell’s Cairn at 619 meters it’s the highest that I will be going today and for once windy Gyle isn’t living up to its name hardly a breath of wind today.

 

A small stone shelter someone has built, with the weather being so good today I won’t need it.

  

Food thrown down my neck, time to get back on the English side of the boarder and back on the Pennine way.

This section of the Pennine way is flagged with these stone slabs, I find it quite difficult to walk on this type of path and try to walk alongside it wherever possible.

 

Looking across into Scotland and one of the many stone cairns that are dotted about on this section.

 

Sheep ahead.

 

Have now linked up with Clennell Street, time to head down.

 

The path heading down.

 

A bit further down, there are many branches of this path that will take you off in almost any direction.

 

The path that I chose took me down by the side of Hazely Law at 499 meters its still steep in places, being a wimp I took the easy route down.

At the bottom looking back at my route.

 

Now on the stone track heading back towards the car.

 

The ford at Trows Burn.

 

Now on the last stages of the walk, on the tarmac road looking towards the side of Hindside Knowe where I walked up earlier today.

 

 

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