Thursday, 10 December 2015

Housedon Hill - The 100th English Marilyn

Walk summary
Housedon Hill from the south taken from B6351 on way to walk start
To date my British Marilyn count is 182 with 98 of them being in England so today's planned walks will take the English Marilyn count to 100 out of a total of 175. A long way from the 1556 total but nonetheless a milestone worth noting. 
After ten days Marilyn bagging in the Scottish Borders today was the first day of three full days staying in Northumberland with Gina and it was the only one with a decent weather. So with Gina being a fine weather walker, or at least setting off in fine weather, it was today or nothing if we were to get any walking in during our stay.
A thoroughly enjoyable day despite the cold wind and extra special for me to be able to share the occasion of my 100th  English Marilyn with Gina. Maybe I will be able to persuade her to come on more Marilyn bagging trips in the future.

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (254E - 443E&W)
Hewitts (179E - 316E&W)
Marilyns (175E - 1550E,W&S)
Ros Castle [Ros Hill] (99E - 183E,W&S)
Housedon Hill (100E - 184E,W&S)
HuMPs (444E - 2975EW&S)
Ros Castle [Ros Hill] (99E - 183E,W&S)
Housedon Hill (100E - 184E,W&S)
Deweys (181E - 422E&W)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
E: England 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
25th Whitfell & Black Combe
26th Whitbarrow, Gummer's Howe & Top o'Selside
28th Dodd (Lorton)
29th Birkside & Hunt Laws
01st The Wiss
02nd Hods Law & surrounding Donald Deweys
03rd Law Kneis & Ward Law
06th Croft Head & Scaw'd Law
08th Four Marilyns between Moffatt and Berwick
10th The 100th English Marilyn

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 10 December 2015
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith

 -  The White Swan Alnwick
Start Point - Various. See maps below

Finish Point Various. See maps below
Total Duration - 2hrs 25mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.31mph
Total Distance Walked - 3.16 miles
Total Height Ascended - 349.38 metres

Ros Castle [Ros Hill]
Hepburn Bastle
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
1.66 miles, 156.64m ascent. Start Time 10:55am, Finish Time 12:13pm, 1 hours 18 minutes, 1.28 mph
Parked in Hepburn Forestry Commission car park (NU 07167 24806) and walked up road before turning right alongside wall then follow obvious path up fairly steep but short ascent to summit. 
As you leave the car park look out for Hepburn Bastle opposite the car park entrance. Essentially a fortified farmhouses which testifies to the turbulent times and history of the border region. In the absence of fiefdoms and associated castles, communities along the border built these structures to protect themselves against attacks from across the border.
It was a lovely clear day on the summit and we spent a fair bit of time enjoying the views including The Chillingham Cattle to the north, Banburgh Castle &The Farne Isles beyond to the east and The two summits of The Cheviot & Hedgehope Hill to the west. Although The Cheviot is the highest point in The Cheviots and Northumberland it appeared to be lower by the closer Hedgehope Hill. Another example of false summits we have all experience on a closer scale when ascending what we think is the final ridge , only to see another higher up.
Housedon Hill
Gina braving the cold stiff breeze on Housedon Hill summit
Click on photograph to view slide-show
GPX can be downloaded from
1.50 miles, 192.74m ascent. Start Time 13:08pm, Finish Time 14:15pm, 1 hours 07 minutes, 1.34 mph
With Gina. 100th English Marilyn made extra special to me by her presence.
Parked at end of public road at Reedsford NT 89452 32401. Through gate along footpath and on to access land, then east up steep bank to summit. Very windy on summit but lovely and clear all round. No sign of small cairn at NT 90218 32709, possible alternative summit near fence at NT 90211 32906. 
The wind is one of the elements Gina does not like however I think she got a taste of how invigorating it can be when you brace yourself against it ignoring its impact. It was not strong enough to blow you over or even make it difficult to stand up or walk but could push you off balance if you were not prepared. Oh how I wish we could share more of these moments together. Maybe with the lower Marilyns we may do.