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Friday, 23 September 2016

Great Hetha Circular. (Scotland / Northumberland Sept 23
 After a week's holiday in Spain (Coming to a blog near you soon; Walking with the gadgette volume 5) I am out with the gang again, six of us: John x 2, Brian, Dave, Ray and me. This week's chosen walk is a circle in the Cheviots, starting just over the border in Kirk Yetholm but mostly in Northumberland.
To get to the start A1 north, A697 at Morpeth and a couple of miles past Wooler turn left on the road to Kirk Yetholm. Turn left at the village green, past the Gypsy King's house, up the hill, down the hill and on the left is a grassed parking area. The map to use, and it is advisable, is OS OL 16 The Cheviot Hills and the car park is at NT839276.
                              Correct equipment is essential for a day in the hills. These gentlemen are wearing gaiters and jackets, except for Ray who is a hard Geordie lad.
In the east corner of the car park a finger post pointed us on the path along part of the Pennine Way, we crossed the Halter Burn by a footbridge and walked on the south side of Green Humbleton, a hill with a fine fort on the top. back in England on a path that doubles as St. Cuthberts Way and the Pennine way, we left the path and headed north east across moorland to Ring Chesters, another hill fort.
Not much left of the hillfort at Ring Chesters but the walls can be made out, just.
Leaving the fort and going downhill we walked through a plantation and emerging, decided it was lunch time after a mere three miles. (Note there was no café stop for breakfast.) Another feast, almond slices, biscuits, flapjacks from www.jesmondcakecompany.com and cheese scones from Mrs A.
Break over we continued east across sheep infested moorland, turned south east and arrived at Hethpool. Hethpool is at the entrance to the College Valley. It is possible to drive down the valley with a permit obtainable at John Sales Estate Agent in Wooler (£10) but there is a car park just beyond the cottages and you can walk from there.

Distant view of the Hethpool Cottages. We turned right at the little hut you can just see over the edge.
After a short walk down the valley road we turned right at the finger post indicating Great Hetha. Initially a gentle climb alongside a wood the path becomes much steeper as it approaches the top of the hill, on which is a hill fort! Great Hetha, just one of several in the area, and not much to see.

                  Not much to see of Great Hetha fort, good view though.
Piles of stones, formerly the walls of Great Hetha.
 (I have mistakenly labelled Great Hetha as a Herbie Spot, the real one was miles back, at mile 3.)
Leaving Hetha we headed south west across moorland to Trowupburn, one of the most isolated homes in Northumberland. Great place for an author who likes the company of sheep.
                                          Trowupburn and inhabitants.
The path turns west and climbs again, we stopped for a break at mile 8. Dave observed that Brian's cap was frayed. Brian replied he was "fraid it was" but didn't wear it backwards like an American teenager, a style affected for the day by Dave.
We headed west on fairly level paths before rejoining St. Cuthberts Way/Pennine Way. (There are two branches to the Pennine Way here, we were on the high level one) Going downhill at the end, we reached the car park, changed and headed for the Anglers Arms, which had Pedigree New World, Speckled Hen and Adnams Ghost Ship on offer.

The Matrix MMXVI zzzz
                                                                        steps                          miles
NAK                                                              27745                        12.26 needs adjusting again
Dave's 3D                                                      23274                        10.28
  "       USB                                                    22210                         10.16
  "       NAK                                                   22162                         10.14
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                               10
Garmin                                                                                               9.7
Brian                                                                                                  9.64
John C                                                                                               10.1
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