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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Border Walk – Back to Kielder

I left Byrness at about 8-ish and wandered down to the Pennine Way, crossed the River Rede and took the unwaymarked path up through the forest to join the Toll Road back to Kielder.
This is point and fire stuff. There’s no messing about here, and little of immediate interest unless you really like trees – that is, spruce trees, not oak or anything with a bit of life in it – just spruce. Miles and miles and miles and miles of….  spruce.
blakehope nick summit
I got to the summit of the road at Blakehope Nick in fairly short order and found that it was only six miles to Kielder Castle. More point and fire happened, but now it was mainly downhill.
deadwater fell from kielder head
Just a note of information for anybody daft enough intent on bagging the Dewey Wool Meath. It’s very very rough. But you can leave your pack somewhere in the trees near Ridge End Burn.  Or there’s a small car park at the summit of the road….! (for those with a car).
By about one o’clock I was talking to the nice police lady at the car park behind the Anglers’ Arms about why I’d abandoned my car there for three days and scared the locals into thinking I’d gone off into the woods to top meself.
She was very nice about it, though
kielder castle signpost
Today was 12 miles and 1400 feet and not specially interesting. I could have made more out of the wild life hides (I thought the notice was an obvious statement… wild life does hide, doesn’t it?) and the Osprey thingy, but I just couldn’t be arsed, to be honest.
For anybody walking the Border, it’s a very quick and easy way to Byrness and will only take half a day, so best have a lazy breakfast at the Kielder castle tea room.
So that’s that. There’s a bit more Borders sweeping up to do, but we now have A Route. The high level route is easier walking than the Kielder-Byrness bridleway, but is 22 miles and will likely take an extra half a day.
toll road 1
toll road 2


The Odyssee said...

Nice one Mike, Scaring ladies eh, a new hobby!

You wasn’t out last night was you by any chance was you.
It was a b... awful night here and where Sheila’s mum lives in the Lakes.

Mike Knipe said...

No, Alan, I was tucked up at home last night. It was chucking it down outside, I'm pleased to say.

-maria- said...

Thats exactly why I think our Finnish forests are a bit dull to walk in sometimes - it's just miles and miles of spruce!

Obviously people care for each other there, with them being worried that you went into the woods for good :)

Mike Knipe said...

Yes, Maria, it was nice that people were concerned enough to ring the police - in other places, they'd just pinch the wheels.
Kielder is man-made and mainly the haunt of off-road cyclists. They're too quick to notice that the landscape is a bit dull.

Laura said...

Mmmm! Bit spiky that spruce........

Mike Knipe said...

Have you ordered your Christmas tree yet, Laura? I know where there are some good specimens...

Laura said...

Not yet, but there'll be plenty on sale soon...

GeoffC said...

Good informative report Mike.
Maybe the ridge walking is ok after all.
I rather suspected the expanse of moor between Carter Fell and Blakehope Nick, including Girdle Fell and Wool Meath, would be the work of the devil. I'll have to weigh it all up again next summer and see how I feel about it.

Mike Knipe said...

I did that Carter Fell - Blakehope Nick quite a few years ago and it was very soft and energy-sapping. As there's nothing significant grazing the moor, I expect it can only have got worse. The best time to try it would be in a hard winter like the last one when it's covered in a hard and deep neve.