Windy Gyle - 2019
After the heavy rain of recent days, it was with some relief that as we gathered at Weders Leap it was a bright clear day, albeit rather breezy and the forecast for the day was good.
Mark welcomed everyone, introduced Martin our Shepherds Walks volunteer and outlined the route. He advised that Windy Gyle would almost certainly live up to its name and that it would likely be rather wet underfoot. Fortunately we were all prepared for this eventuality.
Before we started the long and steady climb to the border ridge via the old drovers road The Street, Mark talked briefly about these ancient tracks which crossed the Cheviots and also the existence of many illicit whisky stills in the area and in particular the wonderfully named Slyme Foot Inn. Visibility was excellent and wonderful views of the surrounding hills were enjoyed as we approached the border and joined the Pennine way. Sadly there was no sign of the wild goats today.
The wind was now much stronger and threatening grey clouds were gathering as we made our way to Russell’s Cairn and the summit. Fortunately the visibility remained good and the panoramic views of the hills were almost at their best despite a few spots of rain. With the wind behind us we made our way to join Clenell Street where we stopped for a late lunch and Mark outlined the history of the Border Reivers and the events which transpired here in 1585 when Sir John Russell was murdered.
We followed the well defined path to Murder Cleugh, the scene of another dastardly deed in 1610. Mark told the story of Robert Lumsdon and Isabella Sudden and the punishment eventually given to Lumsdon for his actions.
Just before we dropped down to Barrowburn and our starting point, Mark thanked everyone and wished a safe journey home. Everyone commented on what a wonderful walk and day it had been which only confirmed my own view that this is probably my favourite Cheviot walk.
Mark 22 Aug 2019
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