This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Lumsdon Law and Hearts Toe (Cheviot Hills)
I’ve had Lumsdon law on my bucket list of Fings Wot To Do for years and years…….. it lies just off the Border ridge not too far from Carter Bar and is a huge great lump of a thing and it’s hugeness and lumpiness is probably why I’ve always been put off from leaving the Border fence for the bagging of it. But today was the day. I let superdawg drive the knipemobile up to Byrness as he’s much better at keeping within the speed limit than me and I was a bit sleepy from the porridge. We heaved our fat and wobbly carcases up the Northumberland County Council comedy bridleway through the forest to Harry’s Pike and Hungry Law. Its a joke because for the most part it runs parallel to the forest road , but in the forest and the gate at the top is chained and padlocked and you’d never get a horse over it, so horses aren’t allowed. As a bridleway, it’s a bit of a failure, but then this seems to be a bit of a pattern where Northumberland rights of way are concerned (The last time I pointed this out to Northumberland, their pathetic reply was that they’re like that because nobody uses them. It hadn’t occurred to them that nobody uses them because they’re an utter joke.) Anyway, on top of Hungry Law, it was bright and sunny and if it hadn’t been for the howling gale, it would have been quite spring-like. Getting to Lumsdon Law involves a bit of a traverse around a large and beautiful corrie and a tussocky plod over squishy sloppy stuff, followed by lunch involving a boiled egg and tomato butty and a choccy bar, and then a short heave up to a flat and windy top. The location of the highest tussock may be debateable. We returned to the border, more or less whence we came, and climbed up to Hungry law on the Scottish side. It was noticed that the English fence was letting in quite a draught from England. We sploshed along over Greyhound Law to Heart’s Toe. I think this is a spelling mistake, and so does Bruno. There’s a bit of ground near Heart’s Toe which may , under certain lighting conditions, and with the eye of faith, look a bit like a deer’s foot – so maybe, Hart’s Toe… Anyway, its the place where an old route crosses the border. The customs and excise officers were on their teabreak when we passed… Another comedy bridleway leads off down through a wide gap in the trees to a comedy wild camping spot. Here, there is nowhere to put up a tent. This might be why it’s been designated by the Forestry Commision Practical Joke and Jolly Jape Department as a wild camping spot. The bridleway continues through many a tussock and bog and quite a lot of forestry brash in the general direction of Spithope Bothy. No dignity will remain for anybody who tries to follow the route to Spithope, especially when the frazzled walker, picking yet another sharp stick out of his bleeding thigh, realises that there’s a much easier route using a forestry road and a footbridge. Spithope seems to be a nice place, though. Quite small – with room for six or so, and a good stove and a shed with saws and axes and spades. We spent half an hour there drinking coffee and reading the bothy book. (Bruno just had a snooze…) The comedy bridleway continues up some “informal” muddy steps up a steep bank (may be too steep for a horserider!) and has a couple of waymarkers till it hits a forestry road. here, I found a large supply of slabs. I guess these are for building a path to Spithope. A long plod through Christmas trees followed till I got to Byrness Hotel and the short but bijoux path back to the car. We did 13 miles. That’s probably why my legs are stiff…. Here’s a map.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.