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The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot

The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot


Postby malky_c » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:39 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Bloodybush Edge, Comb Fell, Cushat Law, Hedgehope Hill, The Cheviot, Windy Gyle

Date walked: 08/04/2018

Time taken: 9.5

Distance: 38.5 km

Ascent: 1610m

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Hewitts: Hedgehope Hill, Comb Fell, The Cheviot, Windy Gyle, Bloodybush Edge, Cushat Law.
Honourary Donalds (new or otherwise): Windy Gyle.
Sub 2k Marilyns: Ros Hill.
Date: 08/04/2018.
Distance: 37.5km + 1km.
Ascent: 1540m + 70m.
Time: 9 hours, 20 minutes + 15 minutes.
Weather: Warm and calm - part sun, part overcast. Rain shower at end.

Having gone south to the Howgills yesterday, I felt it was finally time to head for the Cheviots today. When I moved down to the NE, these were the first hills on my radar, as to me they are synonymous with Northumberland. I have since discovered that the Weardale hills are closer and easier to get to, but the Cheviots had been on my mind for some time. I had looked at routes from Scotland and routes from England. I had considered getting the bus there (actually very difficult), and I'd looked at bike and train combinations. I had considered circuits of 2, 3 and 4 of the main summits and thought about camping. In the end, I realised that time was running out and I had a car available, so I thought why not just pick a route that takes all of the main summits in? This is that route (and although I didn't bother looking at any other reports, it isn't surprising to find that I'm far from the first person to think of it).


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


The weather was a little better than yesterday on leaving Sunderland, and by the time I was leaving the main road at Powburn, it seemed really promising. After parking at the road head at Linhope, I headed towards the waterfall of Linhope Spout. I wasn't expecting it to be as impressive as Cautley Spout was yesterday, but in the sunny weather and with more picturesque surroundings, it was just as nice.

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Shill Moor

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Beamish Valley at Linhope

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Linhope

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Linhope Spout

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Less shy chaffinch than usual

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Linhope Spout

Beyond the falls, I picked up a rather wet track which led me up onto Hedgehope Hill. Higher up, there was lots of sloppy snow around which probably slowed me down a little over the day, but the views were better than I could have hoped for. I had largely written the Cheviots off as miles of uninteresting bog, and while a lot of it is, they were looking much more pleasant today than I ever would have expected.

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Looking back to Dunmoor Hill

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Ascending Hedgehope Hill

On the far side of Hedgehope Hill, the snow had collected even thicker, and in places was firm enough to walk over quite easily. The thinner parts plunged me back into the bog though, and Comb Fell was definitely not a summit of excitement.

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Fence on Hedgehope Hill

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Hedgehope Hill from Comb Fell

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South across Cushat Law

There was more peat hag wallowing in the col below Cairn Hill. Eventually I got bored of it and stopped for lunch. It was actually warm at this point in the sun - possibly the first time it has felt like that this year.

The ascent to Cairn Hill became easier higher up, and before long I was on the Cheviot plateau. The main summit was still over half a mile away. Flagstones made the going easy in normal conditions, but for long sections, they were buried in soft snow that was quite tedious. Although I had only seen a couple of fellrunners so far today, the summit was fairly busy. I didn't think it was an especially appealing place to linger, so had a quick climb onto the massive plinth that the trig point sits on, then returned the same way to Cairn Hill.

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Cheviot summit

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Not what I usually expect to find on the hills

As some of the bog was still frozen up here, it was easier to walk on that than try and locate the paving slabs beneath the snow at times. A long, shallow snow slope covered up the fence in places, and I took a brief excursion into Scotland because I fancied it :lol: . Lower down, the snow diminished and the slabs gave easy walking.

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Pennine Way near the Cheviot. Lots of paving slabs

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A weakness in the border defences spotted

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Cheviot and Comb Fell

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Across to the Schil

In some conditions, I could imagine these slabs being a bit monotonous, as it is quite a way to Windy Gyle. However, it was now warm, sunny and completely calm, and absolutely lovely to be out. Way better than forecast :D . There was a large group on Windy Gyle - I initially thought it was a Donald completion party, but it just turned out to be a large group.

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Busy on Windy Gyle

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Looking back to the Cheviot

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The Bowmont Water and Scotland

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Cheviot from Windy Gyle

I had a break in the sun on Windy Gyle before contemplating the next bit of my route. I knew Bloodybush Edge and Cushat Law wouldn't have the luxury of paving slabs on them, but at least I had an easy drop down to the valley first.

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Windy Rig from Windy Gyle

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Bloodybush Edge from Windy Gyle

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Scotchman's Ford

It was a pleasant enough walk to Uswayford, now sadly leaving Scotland behind again. I can't say I was eagerly looking forward to Bloodybush Edge, as there appeared to be a lot of sloppy snow on it, however it wasn't that bad in the end and I was able to avoid most of the snow. I can't say the summit exceeded my low expectations though!

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If you're going beyond here, it has to be the real thing

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Usway Burn

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Cheviot from Bloodybush Edge

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Summit of Bloodybush Edge

The traverse to Cushat Law was more of the same - snow mostly being avoided, but a horrible mess of heather tracked by many vehicles, making for wet and muddy going. The summit wasn't overly exciting either, but at least it was on the edge of the moorland, giving long ranging views across Northumberland. It was nice to see the sea from these hills, and there was an impressive moody sky to the north - time for another break before the weather moves in.

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Hedgehope Hill and threatening skies

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Back to Bloodybush Edge

Heathery tussocks made the descent a bit tedious, but before too long I was on a decent vehicle track. I inadvertently followed it a bit too far, this section being off the eastern edge of my map, but soon realised that I wasn't headed for the car. A slightly boggy traverse soon set me back on the right line.

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Upper Beamish and the Cheviot

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Hedgehope Hill

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Beamish Valley

It was an easy walk past Alnhammoor onto the tarmac driveway to arrive back at the car just as the first raindrops fell. Some rough going in places, but overall a much better day out than I was expecting, and I didn't even get to see the most interesting bits of the Cheviot (Hen Hole and Bizzle Crags on the north side).

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Dunmoor Hill
__________________________________________

Despite the rain, I couldn't leave the area without a quick trot up Ros Hill. Although it's a Marilyn, it is barely a 15 minute walk up and down from the road to the summit, so I drove over towards it.


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


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Ros Castle

The path up is a little muddy, but sure enough, it barely takes 5 minutes to get to the trig point, which is helpfully placed next to a high wall. As a bonus, it stopped raining briefly and the general moorland in this area was very nice (although it looked like a bugger to walk over).

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Looking back towards Chillingham and the Cheviots

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Cheviots to the east

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Summit of Ros Castle

I had just been able to make out Lindisfarne from a couple of the Cheviot summits, but from here I could get a photo of it. As a bonus, there was a brief but pleasant sunset as I got back to the car.

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Holy Island and Lindisfarne from Ros Castle

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South from Ros Castle

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Sunset from Ros Castle
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5805
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Re: The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot

Postby Broggy1 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:03 am

Nice - I looked at a similar route for these when I thought I'd have to do them over one day. Luckily work in the area meant I was able to do them all over two evening walks.

Big route over tough terrain this. :clap:
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Broggy1
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Re: The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot

Postby iangpark » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:13 pm

Good lord that's a big day out and quite a time for it as well! Suppose it's not a route a Scotsman would ever notice from their side of the wall... I think we may be partaking in a very unofficial Donald race here (by chance spotted we had the same donald tops bagged the other day!) I do have a pal that frequents the Cheviots so may one day hitch a ride down, although other than Windy Gyle and the Cheviot itself, I really am not fussed :lol:
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iangpark
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Re: The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot

Postby trailmasher » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:30 am

And yet another fine and fast walk over some nice hills :clap: Scorching weather when I was over there so a bit different to your experience. Must also agree with comments on the paved stretches as they do get boring and monotonous after a while :roll: but that's not to say that they aren't a great asset to walking over the boggy ground that seems to dominate a lot of the area :?
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trailmasher
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Re: The Cheviots from Linhope - might as well do the lot

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:51 am

I must admit to being a little in awe of completing that big a walk over much difficult terrain, terrific effort :clap: :clap:
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johnkaysleftleg
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