Windy Gyle - 2021
As the walkers for today gathered at Weders Leap carpark, the starting point for the walk, dark clouds filled the Coquet valley and steady rain descended upon us. Fortunately this, the first of several heavy showers, did not last long and everyone was suitably dressed for whatever the elements had in store.
Mark introduced himself to those walkers new to Shepherds Walks and outlined the day’s route. By the time we reached “The Street” – the old drovers track and the supposed site of an illicit whisky still in the 1700’s known as Slymefoot Inn - and began the steady climb up to the border, the rain had stopped and we were able to have brilliant views of the hills and valleys. Just before joining the Pennine Way we had a coffee break and Mark talked about the various Medieval tracks over the Cheviots and also about the wild goats. No sooner had he mentioned these feral animals than we saw a small number (or were they black sheep?)
The wet weather of recent weeks was evident on the paths and it was hard going as we began the ascent of Windy Gyle, and to make things even harder another heavy shower arrived. However, by the time we reached the summit – our lunch spot – the shower had passed and spectacular views into Scotland including the Eildon Hills were enjoyed. It was hard to believe it was the middle of May as we continued on our route towards Clennell Street with pockets of snow visible on The Cheviot. Another heavy shower hit us, this time with flecks of hail and snow and the temperature dropped – again this shower did not last long and the remainder of the walk was in fine and much warmer weather.
Before turning south on Clennell Street, Mark recounted the tale of Lord Francis Russell’s murder here in 1585 and when we arrived at Murder Cleugh told the story of Robert Lumsden’s dastardly assault on Isabella Sugden in 1610.
The track back to our starting point, whilst wet under foot, was well defined and offered a wonderful view of the Coquet Valley. Just before dropping down to the valley floor Mark thanked everyone for their company and wished a safe journey home. Everyone agreed that despite the showers, it had been a brilliant and most enjoyable day.
View all the guided walks we have coming up in Northumberland.