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Windy Gyle & Cushat Law

Windy Gyle & Cushat Law


Postby poppiesrara » Sun May 26, 2019 10:20 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Bloodybush Edge, Cushat Law, Windy Gyle

Date walked: 12/05/2019

Time taken: 5.75

Distance: 25.75 km

Ascent: 1015m

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A very long and warm epic in the far north, a few slow steps nearer the end of the Hewitts.

windy_gyle.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


After a noisy and crowded weekend in Newcastle, the Cheviots seem a lot further away in spirit than they are on the ground – great empty countryside miles from anywhere but a few hamlets, and only a handful of walkers seen all day, even on the Pennine Way. The drive in up the valley of the cascading Coquet is terrific, almost worth the trip by itself, and the first few miles of walking along the undulating firm bridleway from Barrowburn equally good tempting green hills (or 'Laws') rising around and a feeling that you could walk them for days undisturbed. Definite signs of habitation at Uswayford, and a slight lack of welcome, are a bit of a jolt (the farmer – judging by the amount of signage – is a stickler for all observing the convoluted rights-of-way around his place, and also a believer that geese are more of a danger than I'd imagined!).
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North from Middle Hill

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Hazely Law & Usway Burn

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South to The Middle

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Track to Uswayford

Ticking the hill boxes then means a pretty gruelling six mile there-and-back over unpathed rushy grass and then brown moorland to Cushat Law. It's never a real hardship to be out in the hills on a nice day, but this is a bit of a test of will – the destination looks a lot further away from the top of Bloodybush Edge, and a lot higher, than the actuality, and knowing you'll be treading all the same ground, and reaching the same summit, twice (there didn't seem much of an alternative on the map) doesn't help. But the open views to the higher Cheviots are good, the underfoot not as bad as it looks after a dry spell (still quite a lot of bog-dodging in the dip between the hills though), and there's a reliable guiding fence to show the way.
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Yarnspath Law & Windy Gyle

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The well-furnished summit of Bloodybush Edge

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The Cheviot from Bloodybush Edge

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Cushat Law

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Bloodybush Edge

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Hedgehope Hill & Shill Moor from Cushat Law

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The Cheviot

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Back at Bloodybush Edge, looking to Windy Gyle in the distance

Once back at Uswayford after a couple of hours away, it's all pleasant walking for the rest of the day, starting with a good open path up through the valley-cut conifers. Easier and more scenic than the map suggests, and then onto the clear trodden ways of Clennell Street and the Pennine Way. Right up to a few yards short of the summit of Windy Gyle, the path stays the English side of the ridge-fence, the ground falling away more sharply and attractively to the north. It's flags over marshy terrain much of the way, but the summit itself is a lovely grassy spot... and finally, nine years after the first (and the most obvious), I could tenuously claim to have 'climbed' a second Scottish hill (albeit treading no more than a few footsteps that side of the border)!
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Bloodybush Edge, from Clennell Street

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Joining the Pennine Way

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Windy Gyle along the border ridge

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Scottish Cheviots from border tumulus

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South to Yarnspath & Shillhope Laws

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The Cheviot & Hedgehope Hill

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North from Russell's Cairn

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Windy Gyle summit

The return to Barrowburn, skirting Ward and Barrow Laws, is much like the first part of the walk, gentle ups and downs and clear green walking, the best parts of this area and very welcome after 15 or more miles of effort.
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Ward Law

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Shillhope Law & Coquet Valley

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Barrowburn

Following a hill list sends you to a lot of places you'd never think of otherwise, and while it isn't all great - my two ascents in a day of Bloodybush Edge are pretty certain to be my last - there's always some pleasure in treading new ground and the green hills around the head of the Coquet are well worth a return. Hoping fondly for similar highlights to come in the wilder North Pennines...
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poppiesrara
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Posts: 1162
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Re: Windy Gyle & Cushat Law

Postby Broggy1 » Tue May 28, 2019 12:29 pm

Nice report as always. :clap:

Not many to go now (albeit not the best bunch) and I'll be intrigued to see what you leave till last - Murton Fell combined with a visit to High Cup maybe?
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Broggy1
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Posts: 714
Munros:82   Corbetts:15
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Re: Windy Gyle & Cushat Law

Postby poppiesrara » Tue May 28, 2019 7:42 pm

Cheers Broggy.

You're right that High Cup (probably with Knock Fell) is the best Hewitt walk I've got left in the N Penns, but (as those remaining 20 ticks show...) I'm not really for saving the good ones up! The last will almost certainly be Little Fell - I've very little enthusiasm for the 'guided' slow walk approach (even after your positive report), but when there's only one to go I guess I'll be less resistant. Hopefully they might even 'demilitarise' it before then...
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poppiesrara
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Posts: 1162
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Re: Windy Gyle & Cushat Law

Postby Broggy1 » Thu May 30, 2019 10:34 am

TBH - Re:Little Fell.

I'm not 100% certain that if I had to do it again that I wouldn't just go there on a non-firing day (all advertised on their site or any Sunday after 1pm). Strictly speaking you shouldn't but most folk I've spoken to seem quite happy taking this option.

I've been back on the range a couple of times since on non firing days to do Roman Fell and the two tops on Tinside Rigg and while both are a little closer to the PROW than Little Fell, I never encountered anything close to a problem.

Your other option is to do it on the day you do Mickle Fell as it's relatively close (if boggy) - the only downside of that is you miss out on Swindale and Scordale which are well worth the visit alone (even if you don't actually go to the tops).

I guess it's up to each person and 1) how they feel about a slight rule break, 2) how they feel about a slow, guided walk and 3) how they feel about potentially being blown up (only joking as I'm certain the chances are a million to one :crazy: )
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Broggy1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 714
Munros:82   Corbetts:15
Grahams:2   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:272
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Jul 22, 2013

Re: Windy Gyle & Cushat Law

Postby trailmasher » Thu May 30, 2019 7:09 pm

Nice report and pics poppy :clap: and exactly the route that I did a couple of years ago and must agree its a bit of a ball ache having to do a there and back over Bloodybush Edge but they are fine hills to walk.
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trailmasher
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Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

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