Saturday, 18 April 2015

Hedgehope again.... with a slightly different route.
  A landmark. Yesterday I passed 50000 hits.  not much compared to some blogs but it pleases me. For some reason the majority of readers on the last two days have been Russian or Ukrainian. It has been suggested that they are using the maps to study our little island, well their tanks would get bogged down today.
Five gadgies today, Harry, Dave, Brian, Ray and me, squeezed into Brian's car. We headed for Ingram, intending to breakfast in the Muddy Boots cafe but it was closed, a sign on the door said it was hoped it would open in early summer. On to Hartside where we parked just off the road. As a reminder to get here go north from Newcastle on the A1, turn off on the A697 and shortly after Powburn turn left at the sign post for Ingram. Follow the road for several miles to Hartside, where a polite notice requests you go no further. Take map OSOL 16 The Cheviot Hills. The car park is at NT977171, slightly different from the spot in "Walk the High Cantle" blogged on February 20th.
                  The car park, popular today and free. Hartside farm in the background.

The walk:
 We set off, with a very light breeze and high light clouds, almost perfect for walking. The road from the car heads west towards Linhope, a hamlet of some half a dozen houses tucked into the Linhope Burn valley. It is a pretty place, one house has 1879 on the gable, one house has a display of aubretia, tumbling down the wall.
                                                 Aubretia at Linhope
The road curves round the houses, becomes a farm track and turns north west alongside a wood. If you want, take a detour to Linhope Spout, waterfall and pool. Or continue as we did and take the shepherds quadbike track on the left (Look for yellow markers, close the gates) that meanders across the moorland in a westerly direction past Rig Cairn before arriving at High Cantle.
                            Ray, Harry and Brian take in the views at High Cantle. Note the shorts, my hero!
 The ground was not quite as soggy today, there has not been much rain recently. At High Cantle we paused, enjoyed the views and continued across increasingly boggy ground in a north west direction along Sheilcleugh Edge  until we reached Coldlaw Cairn where we stopped for Herbie, just under five miles into the walk.
                Coldlaw Cairn, we ate on the other side out of the breeze which was increasing.
           As usual we shared our offerings: Mrs A's chocolate coated flapjacks, other flapjacks and Czech Chocolate.( I have brought back a good supply) The view over the hills was spoiled by the acres of coniferous plantations on the way up to Windy Gyle. They just don't look natural.
 As Brian relaxes, Dave and Ray get out their lunches.
                                     A feast of human forms for Kathy from Goole this week.
Lunch over, and temperature falling we followed the fence line due north before turning north east  over Comb Fell and then in an attempted straight line to the top of Hedgehope. Attempted because of the peat hags that had to be negotiated. At one point an attempt to aid walkers has been made by laying a geo-textile mat across the ground. A mesh of thick green plastic, it is hoped that when the grasses have grown through it will provide a bog free footpath. A polite notice asked walkers to keep off until the mat had been grassed through. At least two of the team are illiterate.

                                                 Pretty clear

                                            Approaching Hedgehope. I like this hill, it's the first I ever walked up
                                             in Northumberland, early in 1965. From the other side it looks like
                                            a child's drawing of a hill, neatly conical.

             Ray, Dave and Brian looking smug as I struggle to the top. Plus a trig point.
After a pause on the top, again to enjoy the views of the Cheviot and out to sea, there was some discussion on the way back. Some wanted to visit the Social Worker known as Great Standrop, others preferred the more direct and better path in a south east then southerly direction which eventually joins the farm track by the Linhope Burn. Others won. Once on the track we turned left and walked back through Linhope to the car.

                        Quadbike bridge, great invention.
                                                  Great Standrop known as the Social Worker
                                                 Going South from Hedgehope
                                           Distant Simonside. Linhope centre right.
We called in at the Anglers Arms on the way home. The pub was offering Marstons IPA, Speckled Hen and Timothy Taylors Landlord, what a choice. The bar maid expressed great surprise when informed that amongst us gadgies the birthday boy buys the drinks. In this case the task fell to me and Harry who share a birthday.
Another good walk out.

The Matrix MMXVJ
                                                                                      steps                          miles
LIDL3D                                                                      27786                            11.93
Higear                                                                         26090                             11.84
Dave's 3D                                                                   25758                             10.56
Dave's USB                                                                25129                             10.31
OUTDOORS GPS                                                                                             11
Brian's GPS                                                                                                        11.1
Ray's GPS                                                                                                           11

Pretty consistent