Friday, 10 May 2013

This time we made it, didn't we boys.  May10th

Today's gadgie walk is almost a repeat of  Almost the Bizzle September 28th 2012.
The fearless four who are out today, encouraged by a good weather report by the young lady on local TV are pm., vm., hm., and bm. and we are going to walk the Bizzle from Langleeford. A familiar starting point but to get there, A1 turn onto the A697 at Morpeth, drive into Wooler but take the first left (Cheviot Street, how appropriate), turn right at the first fork and continue to the sign saying "Langleeford 4", turn right , up the hill, down the hill and go as far as it is possible for the public. There is a grassy area on the left used as a car park.
A map is useful for this walk, and a compass.  OL16 The Cheviot Hills covers it all and the car park is at NT952223.

The walk:

Of course we stopped for breakfast; the Terrace Café  in Wooler, where we welcomed as old friends and as usual some ordered bacon butties and tea, some just tea. The butties were excellent as usual, copious amounts of tea, great value too. Five flitches +T.

                                          Yes, another car park, a future book perhaps?
Across the road from the car park is Hawson Burn, the start of the walk and we set off in fine weather up the side of this pretty valley. On previous walks we have seen Ring Ouzels, a member of the thrush family, and Adders warming themselves in the sun. Although fine it wasn't particularly sunny so we saw neither. The adders had obviously stayed in rather than go forth to multiply. I know a good mathematical joke about this, £5 and an SAE and it's yours. The path  is a good one for part of the way but then peters out to moorland. We crossed the stile at the fence line and followed a slightly muddy path downhill, through a short stretch of plantation  until we met a forest track and turned right. The track came to an end so we continued across fields high above the Lambden Burn until we came to Goldscleugh. (Probably Golda's settlement on a ravine). The path across the fields provides another Geography lesson; meanders slowly forming Ox Bow Lakes.
                                                   The Cheviot
                                                 College Valley, I think it is the most beautiful of the
                                                Cheviot Valleys.

                                                             Meandering stream.

                                       The farm at Goldscleugh.
At Goldscleugh farm we followed the tarmac road to the next settlement in the valley, Dunsdale.
This farmhouse is now a holiday let, a very peaceful place to stay I would think, and a good centre for walks. The outbuildings are still used by farmers and we made use of one as a Herbie Spot, the steadily increasing rain helped persuade us.

                    Farm building, erected as long ago as 2004 which provided shelter from the rain and a Herbie Spot.
 Dave still refuses to bring pork pies so we had to make do with the usual sandwiches, coffee, Ben's brilliant ginger biscuits and some ALDI chocolate.

                                        Still a few snow patches  at the head of the Bizzle in May.
Lunch over we set off for the hardest part of the walk, up the Bizzle, an elongated glacial corridor on the north side of the Cheviot. It was the last area to be covered by ice in England, some 11000 years ago the last of the glaciers melted, having carved out this steep valley and left rocky deposits in its path.
Brian, (pm) asked when the ice age ended, Dave, donning his geologist's hat told us again it would have been some 11000 years ago.
"Would that be the day that morraines came down?2 asked Brian. (You need to be a gadgie for that one)
The Bizzle is a narrow and very steep climb. The side og the stream that Ben, Brian and  I chose to follow, was grassy in places and quite slippy. It was hard work, constantly watching our feet, occasionally scrambling, but eventually we made our exit at the top. Dave chose the other side of the stream and had similar problems.
Looking up the Bizzle
 Almost at the top
                                                  Looking down
                                          The last snow in England 2013.
The photographs do not really show how steep this climb is but if you plan to follow the walk, prepare for a tiring day out. I was last to complete the ascent and very happy to join the other s at Bellyside Crag for a rest.
                                                Bellyside Crag, out of the wind, feet up, recovering.

 Having recovered somewhat we set a bearing of South South East for the Cheviot summit. The Cheviot Plateau is  covered with peat hags and Dougalls*, the summit is not visible from the Crag and the hags need to be crossed with care, they can be extremely boggy.
Soon the uninspiring summit marker came into view and we gratefully hit the flagstone path that has made this stretch of the Pennine Way passable turning left.
 Rising out of the peat hags, the summit trig point.

                                               Another one for the book
At the end of the flagged path we crossed the stile and headed downhill along a path that changes from moorland to scree for some way. At one point Dave and I spotted a line of shooting butts and decided to follow them downhill to the valley floor. Brian and Ben continued along to Scald Hill and down to the car park.
It was a steep descent along the line of butts and we joined the track just south west of a plantation at Langleeford Hope, another holiday let and the last building in the valley.

Langleeford Hope.

From here the track is strait forward, passing the farm at Langleeford  and arriving back at the car park.

                                          Langleeford farm
                                                      House Crags, high above the farm and looking
                                                   like a volcano.

 Changed we headed for the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge where we welcomed loke old friends, which we have become.
On offer were Timothy Taylor's Landlord, Directors and Bombardier. I chose Timothy Taylors, it was like nectar sipped as my father in law used to say.

The Matrix MMMCCVI

                                                                  steps                           miles
ASDAped                                                  23218                        10.67
LIDL3D                                                     28106                         12.77 ridiculous
Dave's LIDLUSB                                       22890                         10.1
LIDL3D                                                      17533                          8.09
Those LIDL 3Ds are going to have to go.
Sadly I had forgotten to charge mu OUTDOOR GPS so it died, as did Brians's GPS but Ben's said 10.1 and I measured it as 10 miles. But 10 very tough miles.

*Dougalls. Big tufts of grass named aftyer Dougall in The Magic Roundabout.


Bird of the blog
We saw wheatears and meadow pipits, a wren some chaffinches  and we also heard a cuckoo. But the bird of the blog, spotted very early on is a Red Legged Partridge.
                                                                Red Legged Partridge.

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