Friday, 19 June 2015

Votadini was 'ere too......................June 19th
  This is a popular gadgie walk, covered several times including "Brough Law, Branto, Birthdays and Beer" way back in April 2014. However the weather forecast is not great so we are off on the same walk again, almost, it has a couple of slight variations.
There are six out today, John H, John C, Brian, Dave, Harry and me.
The walk starts at Ingram Centre, once the Muddy Boots Cafe which has unfortunately closed. It will reopen on June 27th 2015, so don't go there this week.
To get to the centre, A1 north, A697 at Morpeth and just beyond Powburn turn left at the signpost for Ingram. The map to use is OS OL 16 The Cheviot Hills and the car park is at NU019163.
 This week's car park, the familiar one at Ingram centre with the temporarily closed cafe behind.
                                                               Ingram Church, St. Michael's.
The walk; Leave the car park and walk up the lane past the church, turn right and head for the valley road. Go past the farm and after about half a mile (near the car park on the right side of the road) there is a footpath on the left that leads uphill, skirts a plantation and climbs to Brough Law, an ancient fort whose bivallate (two walls) enclosing walls are clearly visible. This is another Hillfort trail but not one we will be following too closely.
 Looking up the Ingram Valley from Brough Law.
                                      The remains of the ramparts on Brough Law.
Leaving the fort behind the walk continues south across moorland On Ewe Hill, easily recognised by the number of sheep, following green tracks with the occasional marker for either the Hillfort Trail or a public right of way. There are several paths going off to left and right, follow the one until Chesters Farm lies directly to the west then turn east, passing close to an ancient settlement before turning south then south east across Cochrane Pike before heading downhill, crossing a farm track and continuing downhill to a gate at Fawdon Dene.
                                    Aim for Old Fawdon Hill, which has an enclosure and.............
                                                    ....................a trig point
Once through the gate the path heads in a fairly straight line in a north east direction to the top of the hill. We called a Herbie Spot at this point, slightly down from the top to keep out of the unseasonably cold wind. Back to normal rations; Hobnobs, chocolate, mini Mars bars,almond slices and Mrs A's high quality chocolate covered biscuits. And a sandwich, spicey Mexican cheese in my case, with sandwich spread.

Fuzzy fort from Fawdon Hill. It is on Gibb's Hill and looks impressive in real life.
Leave the hill and head down, keeping a small plantation on the left and cross several fields to Fawdon Farm.
 Look carefully, you can make out the enclosure embankments, just.
                                          It was a very young calf.
Turn left in the farmyard and take the unmarked footpath almost immediately on the right which leads across  fields which show clearly the old ridge and furrow system.
Ridge and furrow, our resident archaeologist says the crop was planted on the ridge.
We cheated a bit and did not follow the official path which crosses fields and comes out at a footbridge near the entrance to the Branton Consevation Area. As naughty gadgies we walked down the edge of a hayfield, turned left at the road and walked through the very pretty village of Branton before entering the conservation area near the bird hide.
                 An old hemel (cowshed) in Branton, converted to cottages.
From the hide. We saw swans, Canada geese, swallows, martins, grebes, oystercatchers, moorhens and several varieties of duck, including stone ducks, Ben's speciality.
From the hide take the path between the two ponds (or walk round them both if you want) and leave the area by the footbridge. Do not cross the bridge unless you want to walk back on the road, but go through a gate on the left and follow the path through  a recently planted deciduous wood, across a hayfield and on to the footpath that passes Ingram Mill. Turn right down the lane back to the car park.
On the way home, surprise surprise, we called at the Anglers Arms which offered Speckled Hen, Young's Blonde and Youngs Gold. All went down well.

The Matrix MMXV  PP

                                                              steps                                        miles
LIDL3D                                               29284                                          10.82
Dave's LIDL3D                                   23442                                           10.73
Dave's USB                                         22706                                            10.39
OUTDOORGPS                                                                                         9.81
Etrex                                                                                                          10.18
Brian's GPS                                                                                                10
John C                                                                                                         10.1
Remarkably consistent.