After my second visit to the Simonside Hills on my summer trip to Northumberland I wanted to get back and explore more of the National Park, this time heading further north to the village of Wooler, a good base for exploring the area around The Cheviot.
I set out along the lane from Wooler through woodland toward Brown’s Law and then out onto the open moorland below Fredden Hill. Once beyond the hill, there were fine views to the south with The Cheviot looming in the distance. The heather was in full bloom in all directions, punctuated by the occasional sheep grazing in the sunshine. I spent a bit of time at this peaceful spot and ate my lunch whilst shooting a timelapse video of the view over the moor to The Cheviot (YouTube clip).
The track continued west towards Commonburn House, which I could see in the distance, but before reaching it I struck out to the north across access land. I had thought this might be heavy going across the lovely heather moorland, but there was an obvious quad bike track to follow which made it easy to navigate – and also easy to spot the adder that slithered across the track in front of me, which was very pleasing as it was the first time I’d seen one!
The track eventually joined up with the St Cuthbert’s Way long distance path, where I turned back toward Wooler, passing below the peak of Gains Law and heading toward Humbleton Hill, where I took a detour from the St Cuthbert’s Way and climbed up to the top to the site of a hill fort with fine views to the village below, the moors and hills to the south and across the low land to the north east in the direction of Lindisfarne.
On my descent of Humbleton Hill I got the feeling I was being watched and sure enough a group of sheep on the hillside were observing me closely, and by the time I reached the bottom of the hill I seemed to have picked up quite an audience!
From here it was just a short walk on the lane through Humbleton and back into Wooler, after a very woolly walk!
Lovely photographs, Mark.
Pleased I wasn’t with you with the dogs with that adder about!
Indeed! I had a close look, but not too close. It was quite timid and slithered off into the long grass as quickly as it could…