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Monkside - One Last, Long Walk Before the Lockdown...

Monkside - One Last, Long Walk Before the Lockdown...

Postby Christo1979 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:23 pm

Date walked: 21/03/2020

Time taken: 6.5

Distance: 27.2 km

Ascent: 527m

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Before lockdown ensued, and while trying to get as much walking done as possible, my friend Laura and I headed to Kielder Forest for a good leg stretch. We'd not been across this way since last October when Laura was running the 10k and I escaped to Deadwater Fell. We were blessed with glorious weather, and set-off from Falstone at the East end of the reservoir. Following forestry tracks we made good progress and didn't really notice the height gain so by the time we got to Rabbit Crag there were some good views to be had through breaks in the trees. A well-made track led up to the summit of Monskide, where we were surprised to see a flat, paved area with electric hook-ups! I guessed it could be a helipad, but I may have been mistaken. It seemed more likely to be a helipad than a caravan site :lol:

Anyway, the views from the trig were expansive, and we could see across to Donald country.

ImageMonkside Summit by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

Leaving Monkside we rejoined the forestry track and walked for what seemed like an age, gradually losing height until the beautiful bothy at Wainhope revealed itself. We notice a chap in the trees behind the bothy, collecting wood for the bothy stove, and peered in the bothy itself to look at the visitor book, and to show Laura what this bothy lark is about (she'd never visited one). She decided sleeping in a bothy had zero appeal for her, whereas I envied the young man who was looking forward to a night of the best form of self isolation. With a wave, we left to rejoin the forestry track, which eventually brought us in a grand loop down to the shores of the Kielder Water.

ImageWainhope Bothy by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

The main body of this vast reservoir was masked from view most of time by trees, so it was only small inlets that formed the views as the sun got lower in the sky. We'd hardly seen anybody all afternoon, it seemed most people had stayed with the main waterside paths, and we could have heard a pin drop on the path taking us back to the North Haul Road, and then back to the car.

And since this walk, I've not been 'out' other than to walk in my local park. Planning new walks and routes, I hope it isn't long before we are all able to get out on the hills again.

ImageSoney Gap by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageKielder Water by Christopher Watson, on Flickr
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