Bloody Brown Cows and problems
Dornier 217 US+DL on Madam Law
(Distance covered =
20.7 mile/Ascent =+1554 m)
I'd been to look for the crashsite on Madam Law a few times without luck, the last time being in 2015 when I was sure I'd find it as a marker Post had been placed at the spot back in 2012. I still didn't find it.
If I'd acquired a permit for the College Valley and parked the car below Trowupburn it would have been a short walk of about four miles to Madam Law and back again; not much of a challenge!. I could have increased the distance a bit and illiminated the need of a permit by parking at the end of the public road at Hethpool, instead I parked at Langleeford in the Harthope Valley. From Langleeford I could do a large circular route increasing the distance of my walk from four miles to twenty.
A very familiar parking spot.
There wasn't actually a competition on this Sunday, the day before it had been the North of England Championships, a local competition for us as it's held in Walker in the east end of Newcastle. I didn't use that opportunty to go off for a walk as the weather forecast was a bit naff, so I did a deal with the Wife and she allowed me out on the following day, as the forecast was a bit more promising.
Off up the Hawsen Burn with Broadhope Hill in the distance.
No Dolphins today*.
Looking back down the Hawsen Burn from the saddle between Broadhope Hill and Scald Hill.
The weather forecast for the
Sunday was for cloud with a bit of sunshine
early on, then some sunshine across midday, followed by rain in the
afternoon. At about 4pm it was supposed to clear up and be nice
and sunny for the rest of the day.
As I wouldn't be hitting the high ground until later in the day this weather forecast was looking ideal, and by the time I was over the saddle between Broadhope Hill and Scald Hill and into the Lambden Valley on the other side it was also proving to be correct.
Above and below:- Goldscleugh Farm at the head of the Lambden Valley, wouldn't mind living there like!
Passing below Dunsdale Crag.
From Goldscleugh Farm it was about a 3 mile slog along the road through the Lambden Valley to where it intersected the road running along the College Valley. At this intersection is the Cuddystone Hall and the Memorial to all the Allied Aircrew lost in this area.
Above and below:-The road along the Lambden Valley.
Above and below:-The Memorial in the College Valley, the missing panels were in danger of falling off and breaking so they were removed to prevent that happening until repairs could be carried out.
My wife and eldest son at the Memorial not long after it was built.
I had to do a bit of maintenance on the ball of my left foot at the Memorial as it was feeling a bit sore after walking on the tarmac for so long, and this was only at the quarter way point of my walk. Things wern't looking good for the next 15 mile but luckily a change of socks cured the problem and I only had to follow the College Valley road for 50 metres before heading off onto the grass and up the hill towards Trowupburn.
Short leg on the College Valley Road before heading up the grassy path seen on the left.
Above and below:- Walking up the path between Loft Hill and Sinkside Hill.
View to the south east and The Cheviot.
Madam Law dead ahead, it looks like a nice level path over to Madam Law but there is a valley hidden from view just past the small tree on the left.
At the small tree and about to drop into the Trowup Burn Valley.
Trowupburn Farm. Notice the brown cows, I steered well clear of those as brown cows seem to like causing me problems.
It was quite a steep slog down into the Trowup burn valley and back up the
other side again so I had a bait stop in a stell before heading onto Madam
Law to look for the memorial post.
I was confident I would find it straight away this time and even though there was bracken growing in the area I figured I would still spot the post sticking up above it. There was two visible quad tracks heading up onto Madam Law, one of them went diagonally across the side of the hill and right through the area where the post should be so I followed that one.
The area on Madam Law where the marker post should be. There was no sign of it!
An hour later after searching both sides of Madam Law I could still find
no sign of the markerl Post. I was pretty convinced that I could not have
missed it, even in the bracken, so I figured it must be further to the
north east so headed over there.
After I'd searched about half a mile in that direction I bumped into the farmer out checking on his sheep so I asked him if he knew where the post was.
Not only did Graham the shepherd tell me where to look for the marker post he took me back over on his quad bike and helped me search for it in amongst the bracken, it was actually lying right next to the quad track that I had used to walk onto Madam Law over an hour earlier but I had failed to spot it because it had been knocked over by the Cows(Those Brown one's I avoided earlier) and it was lying facing down the slope, I had probably looked at it as I passed but thought it was just a boulder.
On the right is the quad track I walked up onto Madam Law, on the left is the marker post lying face down in the bracken.
Graham with his sheepdogs Bette and Nell, two of the most lovely friendly dogs I have ever come across. Although Bette was not happy when she got chucked of the quad bike to make room for me!
Above and below:- This marker was in very poor condition after doing battle with the elements and the cows for 5 years.
Heading off back to Elsdonburn Farm for their sunday lunch.
So far the weather forecast had been spot on, trouble is that mean't if it continued being 'spot on' I should expect some rain soon and as I reached Wideopen Head between Madam Law and White Law it duly arrived, accompanied by some ferocious gusts of wind.
View up the border ridge towards The Curr from Madam Law.
Walking along the Scottish side of the Border fence at Steer Rig. Going off the old fenceposts it would appear England has knicked about 10 feet of Scotland.
I had planned on making a small diversion from my route to have another look at the Mosquito crashsite on the Curr, but by the time I reached the bealach between The Hag and The Curr it was blowing an absolute hooley which contained big fat stinging rain. To walk over to the Curr would of mean't walking straight into it, so I abandoned that idea and continued along the Peninne Way towards The Schil.
Before reaching the Schill, at the stile where the Pennine Way crossed a wall back into England, I was given an opportunity to cut my walk short by taking a more direct route back to the car along the valleys. The weather wasn't bothering me but I was a little concerned about having enough time to carry on, as I didn't fancy a repeat of my experience on Black Fell in the northern Pennines**.
The Curr, taken from The Schil. A Hurricane and a Mosquito crashed on the Curr.
View of Henhole from Birnie Brae. The Pennine Way can be seen going up it's right flank.
Up to the point when I crossed over The Schill the weather forecast had proven to be very accurate but it was now after 4-00pm and the promised clear blue skies and sunshine had not yet made an appearance. The stretch of Pennine Way from The Schil across to the base of Auchope Cairn actually ended up being the worst part of the walk weatherwise with fat rain hitting me from the west driven by very strong gale force winds.
Passing Red Cribs, as far up the head of The College Valley as you can possibly get.
After spending an age at the stile deciding whether to carry on or not I now had the same dilema when I reached the Auchope Refuge Hut. I went inside to have a rest and a bite to eat but it was so lovely and warm I was tempted to phone home and tell them I was going to spend the night there.
Auchope Refuge Hut, it had wifi!
After dragging myself out of the comparatively cozy Hut back into the elements, as well as the worst weather of the day I also had to contend with the steepest gradient of the day up the side of Henhole onto Auchope Cairn. Once onto Auchope Cairn however it was relatively flat and Pennine Way pavement right over to the other side of Cheviot summit, followed by the 3 mile descent back down to Langleeford.
Halfway up to Auchope Cairn still contemplating whether I should of stopped in the hut!
Above and below:-Henhole, supposedly home to murderous Northumbrian Fairies, there was some strange noises eminating from down there! If I'd had more time I would have walked up the bottom of Henhole instead of up the side.
Above and below:-Piece of Aircraft wreckage on Auchope Cairn, this will most probably be from the Warwick crashsite on Cairn Hill, blown here by the wind or more probably carried by some numpty and dropped here.
On the Pennine Way pavement between Cairn Hill and Cheviot summit.
Cheviot summit, the weather wasn't actually too bad now I was just in a cloud!
Following a line of shooting butts down from Scald Hill.
I often mention this being a welcome sight but after more than 20 mile it definately was!
More problems with Brown cows. As well as having to creep along behind them for over a mile the two at the back decided to have a fight at the side of the road and managed to knock the wing mirror off my car as I tried to pass them.