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Saturday, 31 August 2013

With The Splinterers On Pen Hill

it's not what it looks like, Bruno..

This was the Splinterers third walk, but only the second for me since for various reasons I didn’t go on the last one.  (I’m not sure if this group has a proper name, yet by the way – so, in the meantime, I’ll use “splinterers” cos they splintered from the Durham County Council guided walks and, I understand, there are splinters of the splinterers too – what my granny would have called a “spell”…)

waterfall - its a bit tilted.  sorry...whoops..

heading off up the dale

It was Sheila’s turn to lead and so, armed with a map and walk description out of the Northern Echo (I think..) seven of us and a small Dot of a dog. (Bruno was too knackered from the walk around Dunnerdale the day before – he’s showing his age a bit…)After visiting West Burton’s waterfall, – see pic with flowers – its not what it seems… we hurtled off from up the dale for the bridleway that goes to Carlton in Coverdale. Another group seemed to be following the same navigational strategy but kept going the wrong way, so despite being ahead of us, they occasionally turned up behind us. I would say that the walk descriptions in newspapers are quite often fairly hard to follow…

north face of penhill

So we crossed the pass between Pen Hill and Harland Hill to Carlton where lunch was declared in the grounds of the little chapel there.

jackies 2

beacon

After a bit more moorland walking over to the local gallops, a short committee meeting was held and the Northern Echo route was abandoned for an assault on the North face of Pen Hill where a break was had by the beacon, which seems to be collapsing a bit. Never climb on the beacon is my advice, even though you might find a bunch of flowers up there.  Avid readers with Very Long Memories might remember that we’ve been here before…. Here we met a family group having a bit of a ramble with their many dogs, one of which was a Dandy Dimble or something (Dandy Dimnont- just googled it…) – a sort of very furry sausage dog…

walking the edge of penhill

We followed the scarp edge of Penhill for a bit – a fine high-level trundle and then steeply down an old sledway to the Morpeth Gate road – best known for the fact that it doesn’t go anyway near Morpeth – and probably a drove road to and from the market at West Burton.

never climb on the beacon

A short diversion brought us to a high viewpoint on a crag overlooking Bishopdale. It was here that Dot the dog (not much bigger than a punctuation mark) viciously attacked a passing rambler who defended herself bravely with a stick. Her partner joined in by jumping up and down and whingeing. I’ve included several pictures of Dot the dog, just to demonstrate just how scary an approach from such a beast could be. Shortly afterwards, Dot had to be restrained and told off for being a naughty girl and running about daft whilst ignoring all instructions to come and get her lead on.

We finished the walk steeply back to the waterfalls and the pub at West Burton for jinkies.

It was about 11 miles and 2500 feet.

Several of the pics included in this blog post were provided by Jackie Ritchie, Dot’s boss…

i'll take that as a no, then

carlton moor

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Mike it looks suspiciously like you are going down on one knee to propose to that wee dog, though I am sure your intentions are honourable??!! Carrying bunches of flowers on the hill is different too. Looks good though!