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Pennine Way
Kings Seat to Brown Rigg
Friday 22nd August.
Day:2 - Distance:20 miles

A bright and early start after good nights sleep at Kings Seat. We breakfasted and broke camp before climbing up from our camp site back to the Pennine Way. The weather was cool and overcast but dry. We made quick progress over the first 2 miles to Windy Gyle where we took a break for a couple of minutes to enjoy the view. The way follows the Scottish/English border across much of the Cheviots and the border fence is comparatively easy to follow if visibility is bad. From Windy Gile the route rolls on across the hills westward via Mozie Law, Beefstand Hill, Lamb Hill before dropping down to a mountain refuge hut. We were using the standard guide book to the Pennine Way by Tony Hopkins. We made a definate decision to use the guide and not to carry all the relevant OS maps. The total number required for the walk is ten with a combined weight of 3.5Kg.



This is glorious walking country if the weather is good and the visibility high. However if the clouds roll in and weather gets bad then you will need a compass to navigate and the distance you can cover each hour will drop dramatically. The Pennine Way carries on west and then turns south west across open country where the route is not obvious. We are heading for Black Halls where we can climb a style over the border fence before turning south to the Roman Fort at Chew Green. Taking a break for a mid morning snack of digestive biscuits and granola bars; the sun breaks through the cloud and the temperature starts to rise. A mid morning break with snack and 10 minute rest is part of our daily strategy. Refreshed we continue walking high on the north bank of River Coquet. The Pennine Way originally followed the course of the river which is very boggy but is now diverted above the northern bank. After half a mile the route turns South crossing the river and climbing with the wood on the right to Ravens Knowe which is the start of the decent into Byrness. We made good time covering the ground quickly. The last half mile down through the wood is a steep drop and difficult under foot. We crossed the road and settled down for lunch at the ford on the river.



Stiring oursleves after lunch we head on. The Pennine Way follows the river Rede westward first on the south bank then crossing to the north bank and through woodland and then finally crossing to the south side at the Blakehopeburnhaugh visitors center. This is the entry to the Keilder Forest and route continues on forestry tracks through towering pine trees according to the map. Wrong. The trees have all been cleared. The track is easy to walk on but the surrounding land is just a mass of tree stumps. Very depressing making for a long afternoon of treking.
After another 3 hours of walking we were close to our stopping point for the evening. The lack of waymarking and landmarks on this section of the Pennine Way makes navigation difficult at the junction of the various forest tracks. Late in the afternoon we made a mistake by taking a turning where we should have gone straight on. We quickly realised that we were going the wrong way and after a close look at the map found our way back to the correct route and our stoping point at Brown Rigg. Once again the trees we had planned to camp in were planted extremly closely together and it was not possible to pitch our tent under the trees. After a couple of minutes of searching we found a fire break in the trees and a suitable grassy patch to pitch out tent. With the tent setup and the packs emptied we cooked up our evening meal and chilled out as the sun went down.


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