A Dog Walk With A View: Windy Gyle
by OpenC » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:54 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Windy Gyle
Date walked: 20/10/2013
Time taken: 2.5
Distance: 9 km
Ascent: 400m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Lola, the new cocker, has been getting increasingly frantic around the house and appears to be suffering from a surfeit of energy. It was clearly time for her first proper day in the hills. So, I packed all three of them into the car and headed for my favourite dog walk: Windy Gyle in the Cheviots, one of the best viewpoints in England (although it's not: the summit is in Scotland).
It's a remote hill, one of the most out-of-the-way of the Cheviots, and there are lots of ways to get there and lots of ways to get off. Today, I went the short "just a dog walk" way, and I record it here for posterity and on the off-chance that it might inspire anybody in this area who fancies heading for the heights but doesn't have the time/energy/enthusiasm to do a big five or six hour loop.
The first fifteen minutes are spent walking along the private road to the old (abandoned?) farmhouse at Trows. This part of the walk is alongside a sparkling burn and hemmed in by a shallow but steep-sided valley; it's not very photogenic, though, and so it goes unrecorded here.
After passing the farmhouse and getting onto the hillside, things start to improve.
The start of the track
The path up the hill is never overwhelmingly steep, and I would imagine that even non-walkers would find it easy enough (with appropriate rests for the purpose of puffing and blowing, of course). This is also a surprisingly dry part of the Cheviots, with none of the bottomless pools of bubbling peat which bedevil the two higher hills to the East. Even after a couple of days of heavy rain, the ground is reasonably solid under your feet.
Windy Gyle from just above the start of the track
The path heads up across open access land which is used for sheep and cattle. My dogs have now been bellowed at enough times, and chased by enough tups and bulls, to steer clear of them. The views over the rest of the Cheviots get more and more impressive (if bare rolling hills are your thing) as height is gained.
Path, including the final ascent
Finally, after an easy hour of walking, you reach the fence that marks the border between England and Scotland, and see the gigantic cairn that tops the hill. I guess at this point they'll have to build a passport control, depending on the vote next year.
Welcome to Scotland
Windy Gyle Summit Cairn
The best thing about this route, as opposed to other ways up Windy Gyle, is that the majestic view into Scotland from the top is hidden until the very, very end. You get an idea of the landscape you're about to see, but until you arrive at the summit cairn, the best is hidden.
Cheviot Hills (Cheviot on the right, looking better from here than it does from the South)
Detail of the Schil
Unfortunately, after five minutes on the top the Ordnance Survey went to the Meteorological Deed Poll office and officially changed the name of the hill to Windy And Rainy Gyle, and no more pictures were taken...
..except for this one, to commemorate Lola's first summit
The quick descent is by the same route, and rounds off a lovely little dog walk. I'm biased, because it's just half an hour from my house - but on the right sort of day, I find it impossible to think that anybody would be disappointed by a look up to this unassuming little hill, and given the options to extend the route, anybody near the North East of England who hasn't yet tried it really should give it a go.
by johnkaysleftleg » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:52 pm
by OpenC » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:06 pm
Save it for a day with clear skies and you won't regret it (and I'd almost guarantee that you'll see three or four other people maximum the whole day). It's a wonderful place; best part of the Cheviots in my humble opinion.
by Border Reiver » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:37 pm
by OpenC » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:41 pm
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