Recently by Glanton Bob
Leaving Powburn travelling north on the Wooler road (A697) a sharp left, turning West into Ingram takes my inertia onwards towards, the Breamish Valley. This is a best kept secret, secret, it is known as a picnic spot, however if you venture into the hills you will be lucky to bump into anyone, or unlucky as the case may be.
The road has been ravaged by recent movement of the Breamish which being a glacial floor of stones, gravel, grit and sand in full flow can produce a ferocious winding and boring action that can alter roads and bridges at the drop of a hat. This has happened in the summer making my route into the valley a longer journey as the footbridge and the ford at Brandon is now out of commission.
Passing through the farm steadings the road levels after a few huffs and puffs, into an open space with East hill on one side and further along West hill. West hill has deep running terracing in the sides which goes back into pre-historic times when a hard struggle for existence depended on growing crops and grain assisted by the cultivated terracing.
Ingram and its shaded vista now lie behind and the choice lies to continue west and upwards towards The first hill fort at Brough Law or take a left in a southerly direction and take a slow climb up Ingram hill. I chose this latter course as the path slowly rises towards Turf Knowe and this is hilly, sharp grass, hill and sheep country
This provides an opportunity to look around and sweep the eyes in all directions to drink in the panoramic view. I ventured up a very steep climb to find the dissipated rocks and stones of the collapsed hillfort at Turf Knowe. Out comes the flask and cheese sandwiches to provide the necessary respite that is needed for what is in essence a rough hill walk with a bike; at least the bike comes into its own on the downhill tracks which are strangely broad and flat and perfect for cycling.
On the top it not very high but enough to look west up to Brough Law and beyond towards the extremities of the valley to the north and in essence, the external peaks of the cheviots. The debatable lands, called this because of the flexible border in the demilitarised zone between the two nations, rough murder and conflagration were the painful realities, if the low life expectancy did'nt get you.
To Wether hill at last past the middle dean the remains of cultivated terracing of a British/Romano steading, up the hill to the hillfort, a remnant of the ancient days of pre-history. This is only halfway round, so some more tea and off on the rigorous ciruit to take further up the hills and beyond.....a quick burst of Blake's ...'and did those feet in ancient times, walk upon Englands mountains green'........