Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Alwinton to Wether Cairn - Northumberland 24 Sept 2015.

Alwinton to Wether Cairn
Distance 20km Climb 563m
Thursday 24 September 2015

I saw a lovely walk on the internet the other day and so I thought I would give it a go.  Unfortunately due to the time I left home I was already running a little behind on the timing, but I thought I would have a look anyway. It was a walk by someone called Geoff Holland and his site was full of interesting information.

I started in Alwinton and walked east through the village over the green and small bridge onto an ancient drovers trail called Clennell Street.

Where I headed north for approx 600m before taking a path across a style eastwards again over a couple of open fields, towards Clennell.

At Clennell I crossed the footbridge over the River Alwin and walked onto the road passed the west side of a farm.

The road continued in a northern direction passed a small forestry block then below an old fort, Camp Knowe, before crossing back across the River Alwin. It was as I crossed the River Alwin for the third time at the bottom of The Dodd I realised something was wrong and I had to return back the same route to Alwinton. Turning back put over another hour onto my walk and this meant I would certainly not be able to complete the whole route today.

Another hour later I was back at the bottom of The Dodd ready to follow the grass path north up the 332m climb. I could see to the north east the exposed hillside from the work that had been done in harvesting the wood around Kidlandee.

From The Dodd I continued along the footpath north east over a gate and followed the fence up Puncherton Hill 410m.

After following the fence line north east, I continued north east over the open country, keeping to the high ground heading to the far east side of Kidland Forest avoiding any unnecessary climb down.

I reached the fence on the south east corner of Kidland Forest and followed this north east again. Crossing the style I headed north passed the cairn up to the trig point on Wether Cairn 563m.

I had a short rest, a drink of tea, quick snack and considered my options,after the late start and the hour having to return to Alwinton. I could have continued with the route but I would not have returned home until it was late, and this would have caused some problems. I thought about going as far as Bloodybush Edge but again I would have been late getting home.  So I decided to return back to Alwinton down the south east side of Kidland Forest.

It was warm and sheltered by the forest as I followed the steep fence line down hill. At Cat Cleugh I crossed the style onto a forest path that continued south east along the forests edge.

Near the bottom of the Allerhope Burn, I could see the extent of the wood harvesting.

A lot of work had been done in the area including a new bridge. I crossed the bridge and turned south down the forest track.

I could have stayed on the forest track which was the same track I had been on earlier and would take me back to the bottom of The Dodd then onto Clennell. Instead I decided to cross the style about a 1 km from the footbridge. This would take me onto a grass path that travelled south climbing the east side of a hill.

From the track it gave me a view over almost all of the walk up over The Dodd, Puncherton Hill and up to the east side of Kidland Forest.

Looking east I could also see over onto the old fort on Camp Knowe, where I had walked below three times today.

The path joined Clennell Street near an area that showed what looks like to me ancient field furrows, but I may be wrong.

The path then drops gently down to an area shown on the map as Castle Hills.

Castle Hills have a very commanding view over the area.

From Castle Hills I turned east and rejoined Clennell Street.

I followed Clennell Street, back to the footbridge at Alwinton where I crossed and returned to my car.  Including my un planned return to Alwinton earlier today I had walked 20km with a 563m climb.  Although still a lovely walk, I will get up earlier another day and come back to do the walk I had planned.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to another walk to Wether Cairn - 14 Oct 2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Jarrow to Penshaw Monument - Tyne and Wear 18 Sept 2015.

Jarrow to Penshaw Monument
Tyne and Wear
Distance 27km Climb 156m
Friday 18 September 2015

I previously thought that I would not write up this walk on my blog, as it started as a very urban walk along very busy noisy roads. Not particularly interesting or pleasant but from the Washington Wetlands Centre the countryside and the views took over and made me change my mind. This is reflected in the number of photos I took.

I walked through Jarrow on the B1516 York Avenue heading south. Over the roundabout passed the Prince of Wales along Calfclose Lane. Turning south under the road metro bridge. Continuing south east on the main road over the busy A19. At the T junction I turned right and continued south east, this was a busy noisy road.  I passed the cinema complex and the obligatory McDonalds, on my right was the Boldon Quality Hotel. Crossing the road at the roundabout took some time due to the traffic, within a short time I was walking south on a quiet narrow bridle path.    

The bridle path moves by the A19 and I climbed the side where many had walked before up to the road that crosses over the A19. I turned south west over the A19 and continued on the A1290, I could see Penshaw Monument in the distance over a number of wind turbines.

This was another long busy, noisy road that took me passed the Sunderland Aircraft Museum.  Which looked an interesting place to visit with our grandchildren. I passed the Nissan offices junction as I continued south west, passed West Moor Farm to the next road junction. I turned left, south east onto a road that turned south west under the Nissan bridge, passing large factory units on either side. Nissan car transporters moved loudly up and down the road.  This took me to a roundabout next to another Nissan unit, I turned left and headed south east again, passed more large factory units. Another right turn at the next T junction and I was heading south. This took me passed the large Fire Brigade Centre at Barmston Mere.

This road joined a large roundabout that was where slip roads joined the A1231, I took the path that crossed the A1231 towards Washington District 15, Pattinson. Another few hundred meters south and I was at a sign pointing left, east, towards Washington Wetland Centre. Another few hundred meters and I turned right, south, towards the Wetlands Centre, passed a large DWP complex.  At the end of the road is a car park for the Wetland Centre.  I had a quick look and again thought this looked another interesting place to bring our grandchildren.

Back at the car park I took the path at the far side towards a narrow footpath that headed towards the River Wear.  This in places had a steep steps down hill, and was where the walk turned into a real pleasure. I could hear birds singing it was a real delight.

Heading south west by the river I could see the Cox Green bridge over the river. There was a narrow steep footpath down beside a house where I could see some beautiful roses growing over the garden fence from the top of the path. A number of paths joined at the bottom and I saw signs for a marshall point on a walk that was being held this weekend.  I crossed the bridge.

On the south side of the river I turned right and walked a couple of hundred meters by the river before turning left up a steep footpath south away from the river.

At the top the path took me across an open field that led back to a small wood, the path was now a gentle climb and took me through a narrow path with nettles and blackberry bushes. This came out near some farm buildings and led to a path across another open field where there were a couple of nice looking horses. I could see Penshaw Monument over the trees and bushes.

The footpath took me across a road and started to climb the edge of a field, it did not take long before the views opened out behind me. I saw more signs for the walk this weekend. The narrow path reached a small track where I turned left, A sign on my right directed me to a narrow steep path up the side of Penshaw Hill to the Monument and trig point at 136m high.


I could see for miles, the views were stunning, another reason why I decided to include in my blog, after a few photos I headed back down. I took the same route back down to the farm buildings and rather than the footpath across the fields I headed down directly through the wood which took me by a small stream, a gentle climb and the footpath then dropped down to a road. The road took me to the east side of Cox Green, where I saw an interesting pub. I resisted the temptation to call in.

I crossed the bridge and climbed the small bank by the house with the roses in the garden and returned on the path by the River Wear where I saw a shag sunning itself.  I stood and watched it for some time but could not get the award winning photo I had hoped.  It did not take me long to return to the Washington Wetlands Centre.

I returned by the same route, however this time as I passed many of the junctions there were numbers of cars with people either going home or starting work at Nissan. The A1290 was particularly busy, as I passed a gap in the bushes I took a photo of a plane held at the Air Museum.

As I arrived back in Jarrow, my new mobile phone showed that I had been walking for 5.5 hours and covered over 27km with approx 156m climb. Although the walk was along busy, noisy roads and through factory units the part from the Washington Wetlands Centre up to Penshaw Monument was brilliant and worth the effort. That was why I decided to include in my blog.

More to follow

Boz North 
Follow links to other walks from Jarrow.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Cheviot from Langleeford - Northumberland 1 April 2010.

The Cheviot from Langleeford
Distance 10km Climb 600m
Thursday 1 April 2010

I was looking at my blog recently to send my friend a link so he could see photos of one time I had walked The Cheviot with Anne, in heavy snow, when I realised I had not posted them.  This could be because this walk was before I had set up my blog.  Never mind here they are.

As part of my preparation for the Cape Wrath trail, I took all my kit for a walk up The Cheviot 815m.  We left the car on the grass near the farm at Langleeford 240m, it was bright and clear when we started. We took the path near the farm that travelled west towards Scald Hill 549m, we could see the snow and the snow line was low and we reached it before Scald Hill.  

It was firm underfoot and we were able to get a good grip so we continued. The path turns south west as we climbed, the snow was deeper the higher we climbed, you could tell by how much of the fence was shown. The weather was still clear and we rested a few times on our way up. A beautiful day really.  

As the ground levelled off a little, a fence line joined us from the right, here the wind decided to pick up some speed. Our visibility became poor as snow was being blown into our faces, we only had a few hundred meters to go so we continued.  In places we could see a bluey white colour in the snow. It took us a few minutes to reach the column on The Cheviot, once there we took a couple of photos as we were being buffeted from all sides by the strong gusts of wind and snow.  

Turning around we were soon on our way back down, it only took a few minutes to return to the leeward side of the hill again where we were out of the wind and back into clear sunshine. The walk back down was uneventful until we reached the level ground near Scald Hill. Due to the warmth of the sun the snow had softened in places, where it had been solid and firm on our way up was now soft and would not take my weight especially with the kit I was carrying.  Occasionally I would take a step and I would go deeper into the snow causing deep holes, not a real problem just an inconvenience. We soon left the snow line and returned to the car.

A very good walk, we had covered 10km with 600m of climb.

More to follow

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Jasna to Ciprinik via Vitranc - Kranjska Gora - Slovenia 1 Sep 2015.

Jasna to Ciprinik via Vitranc
Kranjska Gora
Distance 13.5km Climb 1022m
Tuesday 1 September 2015

We left the Pension Milka after a good breakfast, at about our usual time and passed Zlatorog the mythical mountain goat with the golden horns.  It was going to be a very warm day and today I was going to have a walk up Vitranc by myself. I waved Anne off as she walked into town and I took the same path we had previously taken earlier in the week.

On my way up I kept hearing movement in the grass and under the leaves on either side of my path, at one point I saw a grass snake and at another a small lizard scurrying up the bank.  It did not take me long to climb the steep path over tree roots to reach one of the crags that jutted out over the Mala Pisnica.  Down below I could see the area we had sat earlier in the week when we had a lazy day and sat in the shade reading our books.  Today was not going to be like that.

After a further climb up a steep path that twisted and turned I had a brief rest at a short seat set on the north side that over looked the town, Kranjska Gora.

A little further on I was able to take this photo showing the town on the left and the valley where Jasna and Milka was on the right.

Followed by another steep climb I reached the junction where Anne and I turned round the previous walk up Vitranc, a German couple were resting.  Over a short rise I took the path across the scree, which lead to a nice forest trail.

The forest trail on the whole was level but had a number of twists and turns around rocky outcrops before dropping onto a wide forest path that took me to the chair lift station.

A wide gravel road lead up hill and must be used by skiers took me higher and in places was a very steep climb. This turned into a narrow gravel path on the side of a steep drop near the start of the higher chair lift station.

The path then turned up into the woods and started twisting and turning using tree roots as steps up hill.  The path was almost following a direct route up hill under part of the chair lift.  In places the path was so steep and the gravel slippery, rope had been tied to posts and trees to help walking up hill.

The path came out in an open area at a another Alpine Hut, which was closed. A sign said a view point a 100m further east, but when I got there the views were limited because of the trees.

Turning back west there was a further climb up passed the top of the higher chair lift station. I was now on the top of a high wide Alpine ridge, with trees all the way along.  The trees provided shelter to the strong wind that had been blowing in the bottom of the valley. After a small drop and further climb up I reached Vitranc (1636m).

I gave Anne a quick call to let her know where I was and that I was moving up to Ciprinik.  I could see Ciprinik through the trees.

After a short climb down and up, then down again I was soon starting to climb up Ciprinik (1746m).  I was worried about how exposed it would be but it was very calm and clear when I reached the top.  There were a few cables to pull yourself up on and metal rung steps to climb but well worth the effort. Looking north west I could see down onto the ski jumps near Podrun.

Looking east I could see down the Sava valley.

North I could see Pec where the three borders met, Slovinia, Italy and Austria.

After a short rest I started down hill, being steep I took my time.  I passed over the ridges again to Vitranc.

Passed the top of the high chair lift station.

Down the very steep, slippery path using the ropes back to the top of the lower chair lift station.  Where I decided to walk the ski path back into the west side of Kranjska Gora.

Where I met Anne and we had a piece of home made cake at a well reported cake stop. Followed by a complementary glass of blueberry schnapps.  Then following a couple of what I would call, well deserved beers we walked the 20 minutes back to the goat and the Pension Milka for a well deserved rest before enjoying our evening meal on the veranda.

I had walked 13.5km with 1022m climb. A brilliant day walking.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to previous walk in Slovenia Mojstrana to Pericnik