Cushat Law & Bloodybush Edge
Date: 19th June 2010
Distance: 16.3 miles
Ascent: 3361 feet
Time: 7 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NT920063
A long but hugely enjoyable walk from Alwinton visiting the heights above Kidland Forest including Cushat Law, Bloodybush Edge and Yarnspath Law.
Route Summary: Alwinton - Clennell Street - River Alwin - Allerhope Burn - Wether Cairn - Cushat Law - Bloodybush Edge - Yarnspath Law - Clennell Street - Nettlehope Hill - Saughy Hill - Clennell Street - Castle Hill - Clennell Street - Alwinton
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: My second walk of a weekend based in Alwinton this was an even more ambitious affair than my hugely enjoyable trek along the Border Ridge the day before. This was also my longest walk since completing the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge in 2005.
The day started off very cloudy but any early worries about the weather were soon erased from my mind when a squeaking noise alerted me to the fact that I was stood less than three feet away from a stoat. As it reared up on its hind legs I took a step back which gave it the opportunity to pick up a second (presumably young) stoat in its mouth before rushing off. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera out they were out of range but it was still a memorable experience.
This walk was basically a high level circuit of the hills above the plantations of Kidland Forest. My first objective was Wether Cairn which I gained by following an old forest road and then a thinner trod alongside Allerhope Burn. It was a very windy day and as it was coming in from the north it was also a very cold wind. Unfortunately the trig point on Wether Cairn offered scanty shelter from the wind and so it was not long before I set off along a thin path heading for Cushat Law.
So far I had not seen anyone so imagine my surprise when I arrived on the summit of Cushat Law to the sight of a man relieving himself (a risky procedure in strong winds on an exposed summit). There were actually a number of people arriving at the summit and upon making enquiries I found out that it was the annual Cheviots 2000 fell race. After sitting in the shelter of the large cairn and chatting to a couple of friendly stewards I headed next for Bloodybush Edge to bag my final Cheviots 2000 footer.
The final climb up Bloodybush Edge was a bit of a slog, upon reaching the top there were a couple more stewards along with one of the participants of the fell race who had twisted his ankle. Minutes later the sound of bells heralded the appearance of two Mountain Rescue dogs shortly before the appearance of a human member of the mountain rescue team. These were the last people I saw on the walk.
The most memorable thing of the next summit, Yarnspath Law, was the large quantity of cotton grass, a plant that has been prominent on both walks. The rest of the walk basically followed Clennell Street, an historical trading route. I made a few detours on to some of the lower fells; there was nothing of interest on Nettlehope Hill and Saughy Hill. The unnamed top opposite Lord’s Seat had an excellent view of Hosedon Burn and was much more worth the detour.
As the day had gone by the early cloud broke up quite beautifully and I finished the walk bathed in sunshine. It was a long day but was completely worth it and really enhanced my knowledge and appreciation of the area.