Although the weather forecast was not promising, three Footloosers headed off towards Coquetdale in good spirits, despite the light but steady rain falling. The roads did not show evidence of much rain the previous day, puddles being few and far between, and we arrived at Alwinton in good time, narrowly avoiding a small convoy of army trucks, which continued up the valley road.
The rain was still falling as we donned waterproofs and boots in the bus shelter in the village, but, undaunted, we set off over the bridge above the Hosedon Burn to follow the metalled track northwards towards Clennellstreet Farm. The path was good underfoot, though quite wet due to the continuing steady rain. Visibility was not good due to the weather conditions, so we did not notice the ancient sites (dykes, settlements, forts and so on) that seemed to abound in the area. We were following Clennell Street itself though, the ancient drove road that climbs steadily from the village, over the Cheviot ridge towards Kelso.
We swung around Lords Seat, said goodbye to the Alwinton Burn, and continued to climb, north westerly now, towards Wholehope Knowe. We espied a corrugated iron sheep hut as we approached the edge of Kidland Forest, and decided that it would provide some shelter from the rain (and wind) for our lunch stop. A little rough and ready, but we were able to eat our sandwiches in comparative dryness. It did appear, when we poked our heads outside occasionally, that the rain was becoming a little less persistent, so it was not too long before we set off again.
We turned due east off the track in a short while, heading towards Kidlandlee Farm, following a well defined path, until heading off up a less distinct route alongside the edge of the forest. This was the highest point of the walk, some 1420 feet above sea level, and the wind was very strong from the west. It was good to be in the shelter of the trees. At the entrance to the farm road, we zig-zagged down the forect road until we joined the main forest road just south of the confluence of the White, the Yoke and the Allerhope Burns as they joined forces to make up the River Alwin itself. The rain drenched us in one final (as it turned out) downpour as we headed south, crossing the first of several bridges over the river, just to the west of The Dodd.
The road wound its way alongside the river, with Clennell Hill and Silverton Hill to the east. We avoided a large articulated lorry, laden with timber, coming down from the forest, as we approached the hamlet of Clennell. The weather was improving all the time now, the rain having ceased some time before, and the sun even put in an appearance ! The track became a metalled road as we walked past Clennell Hall, and we soon made the road junction, turning right to enter Alwinton village and the charming village green.
Unfortunately, there was no coffee shop, and the Rose and Thistle pub was closed until the evening, so we had to forgo our end-of-walk coffee. We took off our wet things, piled into the car and headed home. Despite the rain earlier in the day, the walk had been enjoyable, with super views of the Alwin valley, and the sunshine at the end of the day lifted our spirits still further.