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Thursday, 19 August 2010

Border Walk Day 6 Beaumont Valley to Town Yetholm

fortified settlement
Today’s word is “Mizzly”
At about six in the morning, I awoke to the unmistakeable sizzle of drizzle on the flysheet. A brief peek out revealed a grey world of drifting fine rain. I snuggled down.
By half seven the mist had lifted up the hillside a bit, but the rain was still driving across the fells, and across the flysheet. I really didn't fancy the Border ridge in this clag, and I was wet enough already in the sock supply department. The solution was clear. I was at the head of the Beaumont Valley – which, if followed northwards, would deliver me in a reasonably dry state to Town Yetholm, which has a campsite and a pub, and, possibly a shop where Toblerones can be bought. And – and this is important – I could have a lie in because it wasn't too far and it was, basically, downhill.
So thats what I did.
A lazy breakfast of tea, porridge and prunes later and I packed up the soaking akto and pushed my way up through the Juncus to the col which holds Clennel Street.
clennel street and another settlement
The downhill bit to Cocklaw Head is a delight to walk on. And – for those interested in such things, it passes a fortified settlement or two on the way. The Cheviots are full of these things – almost one on every hilltop. They are, in the main, just a ring of earthworks circling a hilltop, big enough to hold a family or two and their cattle and horses. They’re also very close together, so they must have been some kind of tactical support arrangements. Anyway, they’re nothing to do with the Treaty of York borderline – they’re iron age and were generally occupied by the Votadini, a British tribe with a positive attitude to the Romans, who, despite the Wall being far to the South, had a significant presence around here.
This is Goddodin – Hen Ogledd. These peeps founded Edinburgh as a place for shopping and slightly surreal street plays. Read all about the Votadini here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Votadini
border walk 046
Anyway, there’s not much to say about the Beaumont Valley. I expect its quite pretty, but the hillfog was well down and the drizzle drizzled continuously, so nothing much cpuld be seen.
Town Yetholm was much better. The campsite is good and cost just a fiver, the shop has pies and bread rolls and merlot and chocolate….   and the pub, where it was going to be Caribbean Night, come in a loud shirt, was friendly and I chatted to a couple of camper-van campers from the campsite (where else?) over several pints of Guinness
I had a night in with the merlot, corned beef and rolls and the last of the shop’s supply of Sly Cake (Fruit slice to you) and The Scotsman newspaper. It drizzled continuously most of the night.
Today was just ten miles and 400 feet of uphill. A purist and idiot would have done the Pennine Way, which would have been much further and wetter and there would have been a fine view of exactly bugger all.
borders day 6

4 comments:

Phreerunner said...

You are 'Wimp Man' (and the capitals are important, as the [censored] might add)...

Mike Knipe said...

At least I'm not hallucinating, Martin.

Phreerunner said...

Are you sure about that!
How's that other wimp, Bruno, BTW? Pleased to have missed a wet walk?

Mike Knipe said...

Bruno would have liked to come - he doesnt mind the wet. Too many suckler cows for comfort along the Borders, though, specially at either end.
And he eats too much...