Hills, hills and more hills as far as the eye can see and with hills comes wide open grassy tracks that shout canter. Even if your mount is a bit fresh, just point it up one of the hills around here and sense will soon prevail.
Today I had company for my survey, myself Lynne from Beirhope alpacas and her daughter. We had glorious weather and after parking, at Belford in the Bowmont valley, we made our way up onto the hill by a clearly signed track walking back towards Hownam. An easy clearly marked trail we made such good time we decided to follow another trail back to Belford and make it a nice circular walk.
One of the reasons for following the route we had was to join up Lynne’s soon to be built bunkhouse with the South of Scotland Countryside trails. When we got to the trail crossroads it was clear to see the route back to Beirhope so we decided to take advantage of the great weather and follow another trail back to Belford and make it a nice circular walk.
We picked up the lesser known Roman road ‘The Street’ which (technically) leads all the way to York, although on horseback you can currently get to the village of Alwinton south of the border. The Romans have left their mark in many sites in the Borders, including the nearby Pennymuir which has some of the best preserved camp remains in Scotland. The Romans weren’t the first to leave their mark in this area, the Cheviots have long been important and the remains of numerous hill forts, settlements and signal stations are dotted about these hills.
We followed this route almost to the border where you can pick up the Pennine Way bridleway but for us today we turned North back through the pretty Calroust estate but not before stopping at the top of the glen to have lunch with a view.
A great day in the hills and some wonderful company, and with spring comes new life not just new bunkhouses but even more exciting also and the first cria* (Alpaca baby) due to be born to the herd!
*UPDATE* ‘Hope’ was safely delivered at a whopping 9.3kg! She was 3 weeks late but here at last!