Ellson Fell (537m)
The car was parked at the forest car park at Billhope Hass, on the road to Hermitage Castle. Mark and I started walking at 12.10 pm by walking up the road for a short distance and then taking to the open hillside. We were looking for footpath marked on the map as heading for the pass of Sunhope Hass but there was no evidence of it near the road. It was raining, and would rain on and off all day, and it was windy so conditions weren’t great. We strayed too far up the lower slopes of Tudhope Hill so had to descend, and we suddenly found the path. There were misty views of Tudhope Hill, Ellson Fell and Roan Fell, as we walked up towards Sunhope Hass. As we ascended Carewoodrig Hope there were views of Carlin Tooth in front of us, Little Tudhope Hill and Tudhope Hill to our right and Geordie’s Hill and Tamond Heights behind us. At the pass we had lunch and enjoyed views to Lightning Hill and Wether Law. For a time the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was quite pleasant for a while.
After lunch we followed the fence up the steep slopes to Carlin Tooth, which was more like a molar than a fang with its rounded summit. From Carlin Tooth there was a delightful ridge walk to Ellson Fell, with views to Ellson Fell, Wisp Hill, Pikethaw Hill, Arkleton Hill, Roan Fell and Tudhope Hill. We reached the unmarked summit at about 3 pm but we didn’t stay long as it was cold, windy and rainy. On descent we followed the broad undulating ridge to the 475m spot height and then followed a broad ridge down that took us to the lower part of Carewoodrig Hope. There was a track in the valley that we followed to the road, where we had a bit of a walk back to the car. This was reached at about 4 pm.
Blackwood Hill (449m)
Mark parked the car in a hamlet called Steele Road and we started walking at 4.50 pm along a disused railway line. There were views to Blackwood Hill, Larriston Fells and Pell Fell, on the English border. The disused railway was boggy at first but it became drier and firmer underfoot once we entered the forestry. At NY539949 we came to a forestry track, which we climbed, taking the right hand option at the junction. Near the end of the track a firebreak, marked by a black and white reflective bollard, climbed steeply up the hillside. A little way up the firebreak was another black and white bollard, a manhole cover, and a cairn made from a variety of rocks cemented together and with a memorial plaque on the side. The firebreak was covered in little red mushrooms and a bagger’s path climbed the slope. Eventually the trees came to an end and we met the full force of the wind. The views were hazy but we could see Roan Fell, Cauldcleuch Head, Greatmoor Hill, Hermitage Castle, and the 416m top of Blackwood Hill. An electric fence ran along the summit ridge and we walked by the side of this to the cairn marking the summit. We stay long, before tracing our steps down the firebreak and back along the forestry track. We followed the railway line for a while but instead of walking along the boggy part we took a forestry track that descended to the road at NY532938, where there is room to park a car or two. We walked along the road, which was preferable to the railway line, and arrived at the car at 7.40 pm.
Cauldcleuch Head and Greatmoor Hill