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Friday, 5 June 2015

The Gaelic pointed mountain...............June 5th
Two walks in two days, preparation for the annual Scottish trip. After the relatively flat but longish walk along the side of Kielder Water we are back in the Cheviots today, at least four of us are, holidays and family business having taken their toll. There are four of us out today, John C, John H, me and Dave. A word about Dave, occasionally known as archaeologymeister. He has had a letter from hospital saying he is fine but the letter began with "Today I have talked to a very nice gentleman" so no longer Fat Gadgie Dave, simply AvngDave. Thank taxes for the NHS.
The walk starts from Kirk Yetholm which is in Scotland, just. To get here from base take the A1 north, A687 at Morpeth and a few miles beyond Wooler turn left at the sign for Kirknewton and Yetholm. Keep going past the marker for the ancient Saxon Palace at Gethryn, through Kirknewton and stop by the village green in Kirk Yetholm. There is a pub, "The Border Hotel, end of the Pennine way." And there are picnic tables, useful for booting up.
                                                From Ian Allans book of car parks, Scottish division
                                                   One of the cottages in the village is called Th Gypsy Palace.
                                           Like many of the houses here it is pretty and whitewashed.
A map could well prove helpful, the one to use is OS OL 16 The Cheviot Hills, no grid reference, start at the car park in the middle of the village. The target for the day is a mountain called The Curr which could be from the Gaelic corr meaning the pointed mountain. Looked fairly rounded to me.
Across the road from the village green a sign post points the way with the magical words The Pennine Way. This is the end or the beginning of the longest walk in Britain, starting in Derbyshire and following a path north for 268 miles, or 268 miles south if you go the other way. We are following it for a few miles.
The first part of the walk is on a metalled road and is quite steep, just to get you in the mood. After about a mile you have a choice, take the upper Pennine Way over Great Humbleton and see the hill fort (a fine one says AVNGDave, and he knows his hill forts, believe me. Alternatively be like we old gadgies and take the gentler lower Pennine Way which goes round, not through a farm at Halterburn, watch out for the sign. Beyond the farm the route rejoins the track which becomes  a grassy path and reverts to a grassy track, possibly once a well constructed pack horse trail. It passes Burrhead and Old Halterburn, climbing steadily and passing an area where attempts are being made to reforest the valley in the original type of trees, deciduous, much nicer than all those coniferous plantations.
 A distant view of the Schill, a favourite walk covered a few weeks ago.
Those plantations do not look natural at all, bring on the birches.
Eventually the seemingly ever upward path comes to a fence line from which you get a good view of The Schill and several other Cheviot bumps. A few hundred yards beyond the fence the upper and lower Pennine Way paths come together and continue south to Derby. He crossed the fence and turned right, following a rough path made by quadbikes to the top of the Curr, which has a trig point!
                                     The chaps admire the trig point on the Curr
Just below the summit we called a Herbie Spot near some rocks. As you can see from this picture of AVNGD they were designed for human comfort. Apart from sandwiches we shared Hobnobs, Trackers and mini apple pies. I have been losing weight, I fear it could be returning.
Lunch over we headed down hill over Lauder Grass (see glossary of gadgie terms) to the side of a plantation. The ground here had been churned up by cattle and although dry there were plenty of hoof holes which need watching carefully to avoid tripping.
At the bottom of the field a gate gave access to a track which we followed down the valley to Primsidemill, another pretty hamlet with whitewashed cottages covered in clematis and another flowering climber which nobody recognised.
                                The Bowmont River at Primsidemill
Turning right we followed the road for a few hundred yards before turning right down a path at the cemetery, turning left and crossing fields alongside a pond on the left and the river on the right.
At the bridge we turned right, crossed the bridge and immediately turned left to cross fields before emerging by the Kirk Yetholm YHA and the village green beyond.
On the way home we stopped at the Anglers Arms which had Speckled Hen, Directors and Bombardier. It also sold a fine pot of tea for the designated driver, (me).

The Matrix MMXV  LL
                                                                  steps                                            miles
LIDL3D                                                    27819                                         10.02 (set for me as 4' 8"
Higear (on a rubber band                           22669                                        9.861
Daves LIDL3D                                         22458                                         9.2
Dave's USB                                               21904                                         8.98
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                          9.46
John C                                                                                                           10
Pretty good results, Dave has been appointed Ofped, like Ofstead but examining pedometers not schools.