The Cheviot – 2018
As we drove into the Harthope Valley cloud shrouded the summit of The Cheviot – our goal for the day – but otherwise it was a glorious morning warm and bright. Shortly after 9.30 Mark introduced himself and Sue to those walkers new to Shepherds Walks, outlined the day’s walk and began the ascent of our first hill, Cold Law.
It was a very warm and tiring climb and three of our group were not feeling too good and opted to return to the car park and walk in the valley. Mark suggested if they recovered sufficiently they could meet the main group on Scald Hill and continue with the walk. Hearts suitable pumping, we reached the trig point on Cold Law and enjoyed the fabulous panoramic views of much of Northumberland and noticed that the cloud over the Cheviot had lifted. Our route took us over the shoulder of Broadhope Hill and up to Scald Hill where to our delight (and surprise) our three colleagues rejoined us and were able to complete the walk without any difficulty.
After a coffee and snack break on Scald Hill we began the steep climb up to the Cheviot plateau. Despite the rain of yesterday the hills were bone dry which did make walking easier but nevertheless everyone was extremely pleased when the path flattened and we continued to the summit on the flag stones. Whilst there was a dirth of wildlife and birds in particular the views of the hill were exceptional and the heather on the Cheviot a vibrant purple. Just as we reached the Cheviot’s summit the cloud and mist returned and the temperature plummeted!
Our next snack break was at the head of the Harthope burn in a sheltered spot in the heather. The path which followed the burn back to the cars necessitated much traversing of the stream but the views ahead down the valley and with the slopes of Hedgehope to the right were stunning. At the sheep pens before the path turned into a hard track Mark thanked everyone for their company and wished them a safe journey home. The walk took exactly 7 hours but the view of everyone was that it had been a super day and well worth the exertions of climbing this iconic hill.
Mark 1 July 2018
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