DATE                          01.04.2007

DISTANCE                  5.2 MILES

WEATHER                  BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH         ROADSIDE PARKING AT BIDDLESTONE

 

 

For today’s wander me and my long suffering better half would be heading off to a slightly different section off the cheviot hills starting at a place called Biddlestone, the route that I had found whilst I was busy mooching around the internet thingy wasn’t all that descriptive and only had a hand drawn map attached but it had planted that seed into my head and I thought why not ………….then much to my surprise when I mentioned it to my better half she agreed to join me for the day so that was it , gear was all sorted , food made and packed away in the fridge ready for an early (ish) start the next day . At this stage I should point out because we didn’t expect to venture far into the hills and there are no big or dramatic fells in the area I didn’t pack a o/s map and I didn’t check the state of the batteries  in my GPS after all it’s just a little stroll around nice well-trodden paths around Biddlestone.

And so the next morning we found ourselves driving up to the start point at Biddlestone  , weather wise we couldn’t have asked for better , clear bright sunny day but still a bit on the cool side (my better half informed me that it was still freezing cold) but for me it was almost perfect weather , we quickly parked up , gear was sorted , which means that I get to have all the heavy stuff in my rucksack whilst she carries next to nothing ……………..still I shouldn’t complain because at least she has a rucksack on now . And off we went, the first part of the walk was along the old track up past the quarry at Biddlestone, what the hand drawn map didn’t show was it was a long slog up not particularly steep just a long long plod uphill all the way, however it was a lovely day and as I have already mentioned there are no dramatic fells or deft defying drop just miles and miles of gently rolling hills, we stayed on the farm track all the way up to the farm at Singmoor , where we left it and headed off along a grassy path / quad bike track , still heading up into the hills , the quad bike track split up in several places but being the carefree people that we are we decided as long as we were heading in the right direction it really didn’t matter , it wasn’t till some time later when the quad bike track stopped at a feeding station we realised our mistake , somehow we made the novice mistake of thinking that the main track was the one we were supposed to be following . I naturally blamed Yvonne …..After all she had the “map” in her pocket, she of course blamed me and spent several minutes letting me know what a good navigator I was ….not.

At this stage several years of training kicked in and as casually as I could I got the GPS Out of the rucksack with a very smug look on my face, only to discover that the batteries where dead .this of course was picked up upon by my better half who continued to let me know about how bad I was and proceeded to use some very shocking language about the state of the world and me in general  Once again years of training kicked in and I called a coffee and tasty chocolate bar break, this of course was a stroke of genius on my part , after all it was a lovely day , the sun was shining and so we did what all good walkers do , sat down and stuffed our faces , however there is a lesson to be learnt ………….I should kept an eye on things and more importantly checked that I had spare batteries and or a o/s map for this area in other words had we been out in rotten  weather on some exposed ridge this “happy sit down to enjoy the views and have a  break” could have been a lot more serious, so I mentally sorted it all out and where we went wrong and more importantly why away in my head  and promised that this wouldn’t happen again .

However the sun was shining and we had some lovely views and so we might not have been quite where we should have been, it really didn’t matter, it’s not like we was lost or anything after all no one can get lost around here, from our “rest spot” I could see Kidland forest and even see a distant Kidlandlee, looking further along I could even make out the Alwin valley and saw which way it was heading towards Clennell , no today we was lucky as I knew where we was , admittedly  not where we should be but certainly not lost (small point I know)

After a suitable amount of time it was time to start again, this time I decided that we would head towards the distant trees that we could see that would be near the farm at Puncherton and then we should pick up the footpath again, and due to some fantastic navigation we crossed the path right where I thought we would (more luck than judgement) once on the footpath again my better half forgave me , once we got to the farm we very successfully linked up with the farm track that would lead us back till we came to London hill where we once again threw caution to the wind and followed a fingerpost to Biddlestone home farm and back to the car . On the way we stopped and had a quick mooch around Biddlestone church then it was back to the car.

Driving home we had once quick stop to have a look at the dam at Netherton Pond. Link: http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/NPD.htm

As normal a few photos:

Yvonne looking very happy with her “light almost empty rucksack”

 

Looking up towards the quarry

 

Looking back down the track, it’s not steep but it certainly had me puffing

 

The track is levelling off looking back

 

Yvonne posing with the farm Singmoor in the background

 

As we made our way along, the views towards Alnham (or in that general direction)

 

Getting closer to Singmoor

 

Now past the farm looking back

 

Looking back at a way marker (the last one we saw)

 

Looking back

 

Looking forward

 

The footpath has come to a halt …duh!

 

Time for a sit down I think

 

A few views from where we decided to have a sit down (there are worse views on a day like today)

 

Now heading towards the farm at Puncherton

 

Yvonne is happy again now we are back on route

 

Looking back at the farm at Puncherton

 

Some of the views as we make our way along

 

Now back on the footpath heading down London Hill

 

Biddlestone church hidden in the trees

 

Our path heading down

Looking across at the quarry

 

A bit closer

 

Looking back

 

Looking across at Cold Law

 

Yvonne having a pose

Heading towards a strange looking building

 

The church

 

An old tree in the middle of the pine trees

Looking back at the strange old building we walk past earlier

 

Last look at the quarry

 

One quick stop on the way home to have a mooch around here

 

Day after thoughts:

Despite getting it slightly wrong, we both had a great day, it’s all easy walking around here, nothing dramatic or anything like that, but very peaceful and relaxing, miles and miles of gentle rolling hills, however it was a bit of a wakeup call when I realised that we had wandered off the path, no big deal today but it won’t happen again and it just goes to show that I should have checked my gear before we set off ….lesson learnt.

Arty leg and stump wise no problems, but then it was a very easy stroll,

And finally I re did this walk and used the GPS (that’s how we got the above route map)

Cheers

ABOUT ME    NORTHUMBERLAND     WALKS 2007