Day 40 – Cheviot Hills (Beefsand Hill – Chew Green) – Byrness – Kielder Forrest – Whitley Pike

19.5 miles – Mostly overcast, breezy

There is a limit to the number of pictures one can take of moorland, but I do want to be able to share the atmosphere.

I awoke at 4:30, got up at 5:30, and left before 7:00. Condensation had soaked my sleeping bag: I was cold and damp. The landscape was yet more moorland.

After three-quarters of an hour I found a lovely, level, grassy pitch sheltered from the wind: oh that I had pushed on to find it yesterday – but you can’t know these things in advance.

I take too many photos of sheep.
Fewer of goats. A herd was released into the Cheviot Hills almost 200 years ago – these are their descendents.

My first ever experience of hiking was 42 years ago, when I was 18, on this part of the Pennine Way. I remember in what awe I held the most northerly section, and with what longing I had wanted to walk it. But my friend and I decided we weren’t sufficiently prepared, and so instead we turned east and crossed the military firing range with the red flag flying and gun shots echoing all around, I wonder whether we made the right decision!

Danger area!

I followed the Pennine Way south, through the great Kielder Forest, and onto another swathe of flat, boggy moorland. I pitched my tent on a solid, grassy glade, with heather and bog all around.

Forestry – the Kielder Forest from the north
Logging in the Kielder Forest
The beast is asleep!

Comments (2):

  1. Peter

    8 July 2022 at 20:17

    I remember it well! You are particularly in my thoughts during this section of the journey for obvious reasons!

    • Toby

      10 July 2022 at 11:26

      Oddly, there is very little of the walk we did itself which was recalled seeing it all 42 years on, but I did enjoy the Twice Brewed. Apparently, a ‘brew’ is a kind of a cut in the ridge of the hill and or a valley which runs down from it. There are two of them nearby. Hence the name. But the landlord had no idea about ‘Once Brewed, the hostel where we stayed next door’.


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