Friday, 7 August 2015

William and the gadgies............August 7th.
                                                     William, detective and walker.
William was bored. Since the mystery of the missing masterpiece and the search for the golden cuckoos there had been little to occupy his detective skills. He lay on the bed, yawned, licked his paw and scratched behind his right ear. He began his fifth siesta of the afternoon when the miaophone rang. A voice he vaguely recognised asked if he would like a day out with the gadgies. William had heard of this strange group of elderly gentlemen who went walking in the hills, usually on a Friday, before heading for a pub.
"Why not?" he thought, "Might as well get some exercise, see the sights and join in their fabled Herbie Spot feeds. Perhaps for me there will be a special fishy treat."
He got his rucksack, packed it with a tin of mackerel and a small bottle of cream, chose a map (OS OL 42 The Cheviot Hills as he had been informed and waited to be picked up.

    William was well kitted out for his walk in the Cheviots. He thought boots were for softies
        Today's walk, he was told, was a favourite gadgie walk; from Carey Burn Bridge to Broadstruther, across to Cold Law and back to the car. The start is familiar, but just in case take A1 north, turn on the A697 at Morpeth, go into Wooler, turn almost first left up Cheviot Street, take the right fork and turn right at the signpost for Langleeford. Down the hill past Skirl Naked, pull in to the grassy area on the right just before the bridge. It is at NT976249.
  William was quite pleased; he had been asked to lead the walk which meant pointing the way for three gadgies, Brian the punmeister, John H the musicmeister and the blogmeister himself, plus a  special guest, Helen, Williams friend. Other gadgies were on holiday, Ben had taken his caravan to Settle. Brian said it was a popular place with ducks as they had room to settle down.
Of course the gang stopped in Wooler for breakfast at the Terrace Cafe, bacon for some, tea for others and a plate of sardines for William, although he wasn't too keen on the tomato sauce.
The walk;
Having parked and changed shoes for boots the  five prepared to set off. William noticed that the route up Carey Burn is not on the map but it is signposted just before the Carey Bridge, so he led the way.
                                               This week's car park in Harthope  Valley
                                               An interesting sign, near the bridge.
  The footpath kept close to the stream, occasionally it was rocky but there nothing difficult for a small cat. The bracken and gorse grew close to the path and there were times when William could hardly see where he was going but the group walked on passing a wooden hut waiting for August 12th, and a pretty waterfall before reaching the footbridge over the burn.

                        The waterfall on Carey burn, considering the recent rains there isn't much water in the stream.
                                             Shelter for the grouse shooters and home to some swallows.
William enjoyed crossing the footbridge, the alternative was to cross the stream by picking your way across on some slippy looking stones and he didn't want that. He was also pleased that the party had not come across any adders which, he was told,  are common in the area.
The blogmeister had said that Noah had told the animals to go forth and multiply as they left the Ark but the snakes said it was impossible as they were only adders. The punmeister added something about them being seen in summers but William ignored the pair.
                                         Carey Burn from the footbridge, beautiful today.
Once over the stream the group simply followed the well worn, and posted, path until they came to Broadstruther. Once a ruined farm it is now a lodge for grouse shooters but as it is only August 7th it was locked up. It does have a nice new fence around to keep the sheep away from the door.

                             Broadstruther, Herbie Spot
  Although not too far into the walk the gadgies called a Herbie Spot and settled down for sandwiches. Today's offerings included pork pies, brought by Brian to give Helen a true gadgie experience. Alpen bars, chocolate and home made flapjacks were also on offer. William enjoyed his mackerel but kept an eye on the sheep, they were quite large and menacing.
                                   A sheep, Brian and Helen at the Herbie Spot. William is not too keen on being photographed and kept out of the way, Cat of mystery.

Lunch over the party continued on their way. A little way past Broadstruther William spotted the marker on the left which pointed the way by footpath across the moor. The path was a little boggy, especially for a cat, but eventually it joined a farm track. At the fence line, in the absence of Dave, Brian pointed out a stone:
                                        A stone, a boundary marker.
At this point the party turned north east and headed up the fence line to the trig point on the top of Cold Law.
                                                     Helen, a little puzzled. "What's a trig point?"
                            Looking west from the top of Cold Law. Looking east the north sea is visible along with the Farne Islands, Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island.
There are several paths down to the Harthope Valley from Cold Law. William chose the fence line heading north north east passing Carling Crags. After a walk downhill of about threequarters of a mile the gadgies went through a gate and followed a grassy path downhill. Eventually it joined a good farm track although everyone took care, remembering what happened to poor Dave on a similar stony path. The path led down to the valley road and having turned left and crossing the Carey Bridge they were all back at the car.
                                               Carey Burn, another view from the bridge.
Changed the group headed home, stopping of course, at the Anglers Arms to complete the gadgie experience for Helen. Directors, Black Sheep and Bombardier were on offer. William enjoyed his glass of catale brewed especially at the Feline Brewery.
William went home, tired but happy. He lay on the bed, stretched, yawned, licked his paw and scratched behind his ears. he smiled to himself and wondered when Helen would find the live mouse he had brought home and hidden in her shoe.

My pedometer recorded 7.4 miles but  7 is probably nearer the mark. Nobody had a GPS.
Contains OS data copyright. Crown Copyright and Database right 2015

For more adventures with William buy "William and the Missing Masterpiece " and/or "William Heads to Hollywood" both by Helen Hancocks and suitable reading for anyone aged 3 upwards