Friday, 3 July 2015

Twin Peaks and St Cuthbert.........July 3rd
  Britain is suffering a minor heatwave, trains are delayed because the lines may buckle, the BBC warns people to wear hats and sun screen if they go out, and Wimbledon is on, strawberries and cream sales have rocketed.
But the weather has not prevented four gadgies  (Harry, John C , John H and me) from going out on the usual gadgie Friday. Only four, holidays and injuries, poor Dave has broken his elbow and is banned from wearing a rucksack.
 Today's walk is from Wooler Common, which not surprisingly is near Wooler in Northumberland.
By now you should know the way, A1 north, A697 at Morpeth and drive into Wooler. A sign post on Ramsey Lane points to the common and after about a mile there is a car park and picnic site on the right. This car park is known to gadgies as "Who let the dogs out". Explanation for £5 and an SAE.
 We did stop in Wooler at the Terrace Cafe, which is next to Ramsey Lane, for morning tea but nobody had a bacon sandwich. It's working for me, 175 pounds US 12 stone 7 for the UK.
Morning tea at the Terrace cafe in Wooler, well worth a visit. See the sign post too!
The walk;
We started at the car park, (free). Should you need a map use OS OL 16 The Cheviot Hills and the car park is at  NT 977272
                                                 Wooler Common car park.
 On the north side of the car park there is a footbridge across a small stream or beck or burn or brook, English is rich in regional variations. In the wood a strange sign says "Dog Loop", follow the footpath through the wood, it is quite a steep start to the walk so take your time if it's hot, we did. At the edge of the wood go through the gate and follow the footpath bearing west across the fields until you come to a junction with an upturned truck, a useful landmark. Take the footpath heading downhill just east of north,  At the last field we   headed northwest on the distinct footpath that leads, steeply, on a hot day to the top of Humbleton Hill. This hill has the remains of an iron age fort.
                                                       Ancient walls, like those of Jericho they have tumbled down.
Nearby is the site of the battle of Humbleton, fought in 1402 between the Scots and the English. It gets a mention in Henry 1V part 1, a play by a certain William Shakespeare, Harry Hotspur and his dad, Earl of Northumberland were involved and came out as winners.

               The route down from Humbleton Hill, we went to the right of the Cleugh (Stony bit) on our way to the next hill.
There are good views looking east to the sea from the top of Humbleton Hill and for Geographers  a future Ox Bow lake is clearly visible on the River Glen.
From Humbleton we headed north of west, and off the official track so we could climb Harehope Hill and from the top we crossed bilberry and heather as we descended to the small farm at Gleadscleugh.
                                   Small farm at Gleadscleugh
Here we joined a farm track and headed west for a short way to a gate. Here we turned off the track and followed a path up the west side of Glead's Cleugh and on to White Law on a well marked footpath. The path continues west  until it reaches the south side of Yeavering Bell where footpaths lead to the summit. Yeavering Bell is an interesting hill. It has two summits and a very large fort, more likely an enclosure. It was the centre for the tribe of ancient Britons the Votadini who were in this area when the Romans arrived. The name Yeavering means goat and comes from Old English "geafringa". I don't suppose the Votadini called it that as they weren't English.
                                           We sat by the cairn on the east summit for Herbie time, dining on the usual sandwiches with added hobnobs, mini Mars bars and chocolate. I'll walk it off today in the heat.

Yeavering Bell from St. Cuthbert's Way. The remains of the enclosing wall is visible near the top.
Lunch and admiration of the spectacular panoramas over we headed on a footpath down hill. This footpath eventually joins St. Cuthbert's Way, a long distance footpath. The junction is clear, there is a low level sign post which you could miss in snow. St. Cuthbert was a monk on Lindisfarne. When he died his body, which miraculously never decomposed, was carried round Northumberland and Durham by his trusty friends until they came to a halt at what is now the City of Durham and set up a church. The original church was replaced by the wonderful Durham Cathedral World Heritage site. St Cuthbert's remains are buried behind the high altar.

Cheviot View

St Cuthbert's Way is well marked and easy to follow. It passes near an outcrop called Tom Tallon's Crag, meanders gently across the moors until it arrives at the upturned truck mentioned previously. From here we followed the path back through the wood to the car park. Near the car park, on a metalled path we came across a slow worm and it really was.
                                                    Slow, and harmless.

The purpose of the walk was to get in some ascent, ready for next week's annual Gentlemans Stay in Killin, Scotland. A full report will follow.

The Matrix MMXV  Q
                                                                  steps                              miles
     LIDL3D                                              28033                              9.97
OUTDOORGPS                                                                              9.4
Etrex20                                                                                            9.4

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