This is the third of our Looking Back posts. This time we are looking back at a walk that had ponies and a prize winning photo, Ford Village and Ford Moss.
When we first checked out this walk, we couldn’t find Routin Lynn, the waterfall close to Ford Moss. We weren’t far from it though, as we found when we did the walk this time.
The start – Ford village
The start was actually the car park just outside the village but pretty close. From here we took a pleasant little stroll through the adjoining woods, which opened onto a footpath into a field. The cattle were at the bottom of the field, so weren’t going to bother us.
It was a warm day and the sun was out. Lovely walking weather. We crossed the field and passed through a gate and across a burn.
On the other side of the burn there was an arable field. Unlike many fields with rights of way through them, the farmer had kept a beautiful path clear through the crop. This was very considerate and also meant that it was much less likely that walkers would create multiple paths across the field. The farmer had also left a field margin for insects.
At the other end of the field, we emerged onto a road. We took a short break here, while admiring the view of the Cheviots in the distance.
The next bit was the track up to Ford Moss Nature Reserve. A little way along the road we turned right and headed up the track.
The nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Long ago the Moss was a lake but growth of vegetation eventually turned it into a peat bog. Later, this area was mined for coal and the remains of many of the mining buildings still exist, the engine house chimney being the most prominent.
It’s a very picturesque and peaceful area and we would be back here later in the walk. Chris had been promised ponies and we needed to deliver.
Leaving Ford Moss, we climbed up to Broom Ridge and admired the view. Cue the group photo. One of our favourites.
Routin Lynn or Roughting Linn
The path crossed Broom Ridge and then went under Goats Crag and on down to the road next to Routin Lynn waterfall.
This waterfall is marked on the OS map as Routin Lynn (NT 982368). There is another waterfall called Roughting Linn about 8 miles away near Chatton (NU 083283). Whilst OS maps are clear about the difference, there is a great deal of confusion. Not us though. We found it but the route was a bit of a scramble and ducking under a fallen tree. No problem to our adrenaline junkie nordic walkers.
Once down we found the waterfall and posed for photos. Little Chris took this photo and used it to enter a competition. She won of course.
We had lunch here, as it was cool and there were no insects. Then we decided to climb up opposite side of the waterfall, as there appeared to be a path. There was a path of sorts, but there wasn’t a gate or stile. So, we had to climb over a fence.
We headed a short distance back up the track, avoiding the cows that had decided to park themselves in the middle of the track, to a gate. We took a right turn to walk round the East side of Goatscrag Hill. This is open access land, so we found our own path to the one round Ford Moss.
Some, were disappointed that there had been no sight of ponies yet. Little Chris and Claire were particularly disappointed. However, when assured that they were at the other side of the Moss, the excited cries of “ponies” were there again.
Ford Moss reprise
Wandering round to the North side of Ford Moss, we reached the place where the ponies had been on the recce. Oh dear! No ponies. What to do? Maybe they’d be further on. Or maybe not. Maybe they didn’t want to come out today. Then Paul shouted that they were over there. Over where? In the distance we could see pony heads. We walked further and could see them a little distance away.
I think that they sensed that we wanted them to come closer. Either that or they thought we had food (they aren’t supposed to be fed of course but people do). Regardless they came right up to us and everyone was happy. No one more than Little Chris.
After a while the ponies left and so did we. We walked almost back to where we first saw the Moss and then turned off towards Ford Common. Through some fields and then up to a small wood. It was a bit overgrown here, with bracken. A little too overgrown for some.
Crossing the road led to another road, which turned into a track. The track led down the hill on the North side of Ford. This gave us a new vista to admire, The Borders. The weather was still good and we were very much enjoying the walk.
At the bottom of hill, we left the fields and had no choice but to use the road. The road doesn’t really go anywhere and is just access to some properties, so it was quiet.
As we approached Hay Farm, we saw some heavy horses and foals in a field. When we came past here on the recce we didn’t see any horses. As we approached the Heavy Horse Centre, we could see a big horse in the field closest to the farm. As we got closer we could see it was a huge stallion. This was probably Merlin, a Clydesdale draft horse. He was beautiful and very impressive but very passive. He even allowed us to stroke him.
After Hay Farm it was only a short walk to Ford. This lovely village dates back to the 13th Century but it was remodelled in the late 19th Century by Lady Waterford who created the estate village as it is now.
Having arrived back at the cars, we decided to go to Heatherslaw Mill for refreshments. We were a little late and it was about to close, so fare was limited. Never mind, it is still a lovely place to enjoy a cup of tea, even if it was out of a paper cup.
We hope you enjoyed looking back on Ford Village and Ford Moss, why not take a look at the previous one, “Looking back on Warkworth to Amble” or “Looking back on Coldingham and St Abbs“. Stay safe and look out for the next one.
Julie and Martin x
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