Author Archives: MART IN THE HILLS


Hillwalker with dodgy knees and dodgier sense of humour. Lover of the outdoors, Lakes, Highlands, Cheviots, nature, good food, real ale and leaf tea.

Ben Alder and the Bike-Hammer-Brake Adventure

Probably the greatest influence on our early Highland trips was Irvin Butterfield’s book, ‘The High Mountains Of Britain And Ireland: A Guide For Mountain Walkers’. Full of superb mountain photos that would inspire many an adventure for years to come. Ben … Continue reading

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The Wall Years – Two Men’s Competitive Obsession on the High Section of Hadrian’s Wall

Everyone loves the high section of Hadrian’s Wall, all that spectacular scenery, a great place for a stroll, maybe visit Sycamore Gap, have a picnic, see what the Romans did for us. That’s what normal people do isn’t it? For … Continue reading

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Probably the best route up the Cheviot from Langleeford – via Lambden Valley, College Valley and the Hen Hole – (13 miles)

For many of us the Cheviot often seems a big boring lump of soggy Northumberland peat. But at 2,674ft this is England’s highest point outside the Lakes & Pennines. It’s few interesting features are hidden away on the remote north western edges (best accessed … Continue reading

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How to access the Coquet Valley and Cheviot Hills by car through Otterburn Military Ranges, via Dere Street

Until recently I’d assumed there was only one permissible way to reach Barrowburn and Coquet Valley by car. Along the twisty single track road from the east through Alwinton, there’s even a T sign outside the village! Then I heard of a twisty … Continue reading

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Adder Encounter in the Cheviots, Northumberland

Thirty-five years I’ve been slogging up hills in the Lakes, Highlands and Cheviots; yet I’ve NEVER seen one of these. Always been very high on my tick list, yep I’m weird that way:-) Last weekend driving back through the Cheviot … Continue reading

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The Cheviots in winter – a walk in the snow

A quick return to the Cheviots after last weekends return to hillwalking. I’d hardly seen any snow this winter, but now the hills were glistening brightly. Whilst others were enjoying epic days in the Lakes and Highlands, this might be my … Continue reading

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A return to hillwalking, featuring the Cheviots, new gloves and 50 men trained to kill

Ten weeks ago whilst driving back from the Cheviot hills my trusty old Mondeo lost power up the steep road out of Rothbury. Repair would be expensive especially with an impending MOT, so the hills were out of bounds until a replacement was found. … Continue reading

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An Afternoon on Ben Wyvis – the Social Mountain

Expect little and you may be surprised, that was our experience on Ben Wyvis. Intended as a diversion on a drive to Ullapool, it became a surprisingly satisfying afternoon. And we weren’t alone, many others were tackling the hill in … Continue reading

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An extended Winter Hill and Rivington Pike walk from Lower House – 10 miles

Having done this excellent walk a few times I can’t find a way to improve it. But how do you make a short feature-filled route longer? One option is simply to walk round it twice. And that’s what I’ve been doing … Continue reading

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A Blog From The Blue Tit Box 2015 – Basic Instinct

Anyone following last years success inside the blue tit box would understandably be looking forward to springtime 2015. However the downside of a nestbox camera linked to your telly is having a ringside seat when things go wrong. This year … Continue reading

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