DATE                                     03.02.07

DISTANCE                            4.8 MILES

WEATHER                            BRIGHT / SUNNY BUT COLD


Old Rookland

Once again I had been surfing around on the internet thingy , no not looking at porn but at things to see around the hills in the Northumberland National park , I had developed a very strange feeling that I wanted to start to go up some hills , I did lay down but the feeling didn’t go away , my arty leg hadn’t been causing me any problems so why not , any way I found a little bit of reading material about an old abandon small holding that has fallen into a bad state of repair called old  Rookland as I read a bit more about the place I realised that it was quite near one of my favourite valley’s , for those of you who can’t be arsed to read some of my earlier walks , I have very fond memories of the red road   with the river Alwin , it’s a place where I came when I couldn’t walk more than a few hundred meters without having to stop , in fact I could hardly walk when I first came to this valley and I promised myself that one day , instead of just looking up at the hills I would somehow manage to get to the tops  well today if my carefully worked out route “worked out” I would not only start in my favourite valley but I would get to climb up the first couple of hills right at the start of the valley , then head back down towards old Rookland before taking an old cart track back , strange as it might seem I was very excited about doing this route , just think exploring a new area with an old hill fort on top of Clennell hill , getting to see my Favorited valley from a different view and at long last starting to “tick” off a few hills ………..yes my life is now so sad I get excited about just thinking about getting out onto some hill, I will go on and say they aren’t  really that big height wise or dramatic but today they really do mean something to me .

After reading up and plotting a route on memory map I mentioned it to my better half, who once again shocked me by saying that she would accompany me for the day and we should get the gear ready the night before because we would need an early ish start ……………………now hearing this from really shocked me, it’s a well-known fact that Yvonne doesn’t do hills …..and I did point out that there was a couple of small hills to get up , nothing really big Clennell hill at 322 meters then on to Silverton at 385 meters but she informed me it would be a walk in the park1.

As so we found ourselves scoffing breakfast at silly o’clock in the morning, gear was thrown into the car and we were off.

Parking was off road near Clennell Hall there is plenty of room and the “road” is really a gravel track heading off into Kidland forest so it’s not like it’s busy. Gear was sorted and off went.

I have to say that we couldn’t have picked a better day , it was cold but we was treated to an almost cloudless blue sky with a big round very bright thing that I believe is known as the sun , a few photos were taken and off we went , the first section was along a track but was still heading up hill and I have to be honest and say …………I was puffing and finding it hard work …………to many mince pies over the Christmas period I think , so I resorted to stopping and taking lots of photos , after a bit we left the track and made our own way up , at this point I wasn’t sure if we were following the footpath or some sheep trail , but sticking to the tried and tested method of heading uphill we made it to the top of the first hill at this point we were standing in the old hill fort of “camp Knowe” , I have to say knowing nothing about these old hill forts I wasn’t impressed but as we carried on walking up and got to look down onto the fort the outer walls and the camp seemed to spring into life , likewise the views started to open up and wow I loved it .

We slowly carried on heading uphill making our way up Silverton Hill and the views just got better and better , looking down into the valley and the river Alwin really brought it home how far I had come , I could remember the last year or so like it was yesterday when I was really struggling just to walk alongside the river below sitting down to regain my strength and looking up towards the hill tops thinking .one day .well today was that day and I loved it , we made the top of Silverton and then headed back down towards old Rookland , crossing the Rookland sike wasn’t a problem as we found a spot where we could just step across it , then it was up to old Rookland , its used as a feed store now (well a small part is ) we had lunch here and I have to say it’s a lovley spot , after lunch we headed along an old track that would wind its self-round Silverton and take us down to another track where we would walk back to Clennell and the car , we walked about 4.8  miles with  1128ft of the ups and downs some of it made me puff and pant like a steam engine , a bit was a bit scary dropping down to the sike and some of it was easy walking along a grassy track but walking along the ridge looking down into the Alwin Valley was …………great

A few photos enjoy:

Taken from where we parked the car looking towards Silverton Hill


Heading up (having one of my many breath stops)


Nearly at the top of Clennell hill and a photo of Yvonne


Looking down into the Alwin valley


Looking along the valley (I love it up here)


Just getting my breath back before we continue to head up


Looking up towards Silverton


But let’s have a coffee break first


Looking the other way towards the Simonside hills


Now looking at the Camp Knowe hill fort


Same again from a bit further up

Looking towards Clennell Hall


Looking along the valley towards Kidland forest


Our route (we are following sheep trails for a while now)


First sighting of old Rookland


A bit further along (slowly getting closer)


Heading down (its steeper than it looks)


At Rookland sike looking back up


Old Rookland


Not a great deal left of it


Mooching around


A couple more photos whilst we are here


Lunch spot


Looking back


Splashing around


Looking back …how lucky are we to have views and weather like this?


Another rest stop (I change camera lens)


Taken at max zoom from the same place


Looking at the building at Kidlandlee (at max zoom)


Normal lens same photo (I’m very impressed with the camera lens)

Time to start to head back nice grassy path to follow




Part way down and another of Yvonne

Now back on the track heading back to Clennell


A few photos as we make our way back …lovley isn’t it?

Nice house at Clennell


Clennell Hall (coffee and cake will be eaten soon)



Last photo as we get back to the car


Day after thoughts:

What a great day we had yesterday, I will admit to feeling a bit tired towards the end of the walk but I was so happy walking along the ridge above the valley .fantastic that’s all I can say, Arty leg behaved himself but I did have a sore spot that needed to be treated when I got home but nothing to get concerned about and I was a bit stiff when I got out of bed but once I got moving around things and stuff where fine ……but what a day !