Sunday 22 April 2018

Midweek daunder

This was a circular walk proposed by Mike. it began and finished in the little village of Ingram. An added bonus was that car parking was free. To offer moral support to Mike in his desire to wear a walking kilt, I wore my hiking skirt.
It was a long, steady plod up out of the village, following the bridleway that leads over to Prendwick. We turned off before that to contour around and up to Old Fawdon Hill.
The wind was quite strong on the top.

This whole area abounds with hill forts, ancient settlements and evidence of medieval farming methods. A steady descent and then Mike nipped up to bag West Hill.
It was then a case of heading over to Gibb's Hill, another ancient fort, down through a field of frolicking new lambs and on to Fawdon.
Turning off the bridleway, we continued on, over east Hill and descended down toward the River Breamish. Farmers were making the most of the spring weather
. A somewhat boggy path led us back to Ingram.
an enjoyable day's walking.
A local resident, a fine shire horse.

Sunday 8 April 2018

Spring like in Northumberland!

  1. There was the suggestion of spring in the air when we left the car by East Woodburn Common in Northumberland. Despite a sharp edge to the wind it was a sunny day. Mike too, was optimistic that spring had arrived, looking resplendent in his new hiking kilt! Underfoot the ground was sodden.
 There was something in the way of a path up to the crags of Staniel Heugh. From there across to Hartside Cairn it was rough going through knee high heather and tussocks. Felt wobbly as I reached the cairn. A quick fumble in the rucksack for my water bottle, one of my emergency tablets washed down with some energy drink and half a snack bar, a five minute breather and I was back on my feet.
More rough going over toward forestry where a path was actually sign posted. As we entered the dense plantation the path promptly vanished.
All the way over to  Blaxter Lough the path remained intermittent. Navigation was by map and Mike's GPS system. It was obvious the paths in this area are little used. Much of the ground was saturated bog. It could be disconcerting to stand on a tussock only to find it sinking under one's feet. The secret was to pick a route through and keep moving, the ground undulating and rippling as you passed over.  At one point Mike hit a very sloppy bit of ground and ended up with one leg plunging deeply in to the quaking bog.
The water of the lake looked dark and murky. Situated as it is, surrounded by bog, it was probable the bottom would be thick with sludge!
More navigation by gps and map and the crossing of much boggy terrain led us around by Wishaw and thus back to the car. A fine day of walking. Mike's new venture of wearing a kilt went ok. Hopefully he will grow in confidence and begin wearing it on a regular basis?