Friday, 30 September 2016

Meet the Hewitts.................Sept 30th
Hewitts are Hills in England Wales and Ireland more than Two Thousand feet high. I never knew  that. Hedgehope in Northumberland, at 714metres or 2343 feet is one of them.  It is a child's idea of a mountain, nice and conical and today, not for the first time, nor the last, we gadgies are going to walk up it.
The walk starts at Hartside in the beloved Ingram Valley, home of the river Breamish. To get there, A1 North, A687 at Morpeth, turn left after Powburn and follow the valley. Stop for breakfast at the Valley Cottage café first and then move on to Hartside, which is as far as the public can go. Beyond is the settlement of Linhope. The cafe hopes to stay open weekends over winter, it will need support.
There is off road parking at Hartside. The walk is covered by OS OL 16, The Cheviot Hills and the start is at GRNT976162
A good turn out today, seven of us: John C., Brian, Ray, Harry, Ben, Dave and me.
We followed the road west from Hartside passing the hamlet of Linhope. (Semantics, a hamlet is a village without a church, apparently) On the right a sign post directs walkers towards Linhope Spout, a pretty waterfall and pool but at the end of the plantation we took the footpath on the left and headed uphill on a rough grass track past Rig Cairn and on to High Cantle.
On the way, the road to Linhope. A fine day for walking too, just as the weather maid had promised.

Turn off the road at this marker and head up the track

The grassy track, it meanders a bit

At High Cantle we turned north west and continued across Shielcleugh Edge to Coldlaw Cairn. It is well worth noting that the ground on this section, and indeed almost to the top of Hedgehope, was very boggy, peat hags led to some meandering and most of us admitted to damp feet. At Coldlaw Cairn, another rocky outcrop, we called a Herbie Spot.
Jackets are an indication that although a bright day Autumn has arrived and temperatures have fallen. We shared Ben's ginger biscuits, first time for a while, Pork Pies, Jesmond Cake  Company ginger flapjacks and a cream topped juicy cake from Mrs A...
Lunch over we headed north and then turned north east on Comb Fell. An experiment here with some plastic mesh proved interesting. Vegetation has grown through it and we were freed for a while from the bog but eventually it ran out and we battled through more hags before hitting the relatively dry and grassy path to the top of Hedgehope.
Hedgehope has a fine cairn offering shelter from the wind, and it has a trig point too.

 Shelter and trig point, Hedgehope
There are several routes down from Hedgehope. From the top head south east, follow the fenceline around the plantation and hit more bog approaching Dunmoor Hill, head west of south past the Staindrops, some bog, or turn south at mile 8 and follow the relatively dry grass track downhill to rejoin the road at mile 10, by the plantation at Linhope. This is the track we took and were soon back at the cars. Changed, surprisingly we headed for the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge which offered beer or coffee.
A good walk on a fine blowy day.

                                                                               steps                           miles
NAK                                                                    32652                          13.24 (mmm)
Dave's 3D                                                            26052                          11.5
  "      USB                                                           24988                          11.43
  "      NAK                                                          24796                           11.34
Etrex GPS                                                                                               11.1
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                     11.01

Walking time 4hrs 23 min                            talking time 53 mins   Height climbed 2695 feet

Contains OS data copyright. Crown copyright and data base right 2016