62. Upper Coquetdale – Windy Gyle – 14th October 2015

Another wonderfully clear, sunny day greeted us as the full complement of Footloose set off back into the upper reaches of the Coquet valley. We parked the car at the Barrow Burn tearoom, had a quick drink with mine host, and set off up the hill, following the route of the Border County Ride as it skirted Barrow Law. There was a lovely view back down the valley from the plateau above the farm steading, a wonderful reminder of our walk of some weeks before.

P1010337 P1010336We continued on a good path at more or less the same level for some time, before dropping down to a track at the corner of a wood, where we met up with a couple of army guys who were supervising another group of soldiers training for the Brecon Beacon challenge.

We headed directly across the track to a newly planted copse, emerging soon afterwards onto the gentle slope of Ward Law (483 metres) before joining the track once more as it continued upwards towards Little Ward Law (495 metres). This relatively smooth grassy area was our target lunch spot, which we achieved quickly after some discussion as to which route we might take later if the summit was not going to be attainable.

P1010343P1010355After lunch, we descended to a gully caused by one of the many streams that flowed from the ridge to join the Coquet, and while three of our party climbed steeply to Russell’s Cairn (at 619 metres) on the Cheviot ridge, the other two contoured off for a short distance to wait on a grassy bank overlooking the Trows Burn.

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The views from the top of Windy Gyle on such a lovely day were breath-taking, with the Scottish Borders Region stretched out to the north, and the Cheviot ridge disappearing off to the north east.

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From where our group reassembled, there was a well-marked grassy path following the direction of the Burn, with some glorious views westwards over the Cheviot outliers. The sun continued to shine, and it was really quite warm out of the chilly breeze in the lea of Ward Law and Barrow Law. We passed through the farm steadings of Trows and Rowhope farms, and eventually the track we were following became a metalled road, until it joined the proper road near a car park.

From here, it was but a hop and a skip back to Barrow Burn farm, and a well-earned coffee and cake. It had been another thoroughly enjoyable walk; we all felt like the kestrel that we’d seen during the afternoon, soaring joyfully through the clear air, rejoicing in God’s creation.

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About gardeningdave

Retired - living in Northumberland - walk, usually every two weeks, with a group of three or four friends in the wider Northumbria.
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