Posted in Kielder on June 12th, 2013 by David Murphy

Day One
Peel Fell 9th May 2013

Me and Paul met in the only pub in the village around 17:00 I had been here an hour before his arrival, we had a few pints and headed off around 19:00 darkness was around 9 ish so there wasn’t much time to reach Peel fell before the sun goes down.
We parked just over the borders in Scotland to avoid rangers parking restrictions.
It took around 3 and a half hours to reach what was a relatively small hill but we trekked through some of the toughest terrain we had encountered to date.
kielder terrain
kielder terrain
We both found this a challenge tramping through ditches, pieces of broken and felled trees, long clumps of grass with hidden swamps.
On reaching the summit it was dark, we stood at the edge wondering if we should head for the trig point or camp on the edge, which turned out to be the best view as my walk over to the trig proved difficult with hidden water and massive ditches and crevices and as I approached the trig the best views where lost and needed Paul to guide me back to the tents using his headtorch. We pitched on the edge in rain and I felt I had to get my food on straight away as it was after 11:30pm by this time. I kept the food simple as usual a bit of a mixed grill, just half a kilo of Serloin matured Steak some sausage and bacon and a tin of tomatoes. I was exhausted after cooking I didn’t even drink any of my 4 cans before falling asleep. I can’t remember us having any breakfast we just wanted to pack away our wet tents and get back to the cars.
We decided to head to somewhere first to stock up on some food for:-

Some amazing photos of Peel Fell Summit
peel fell1
peel fell
peel fell2

Day Two
Kielder Campsite 10th May 2013

We headed into Hawick and on the way back I seen some animal on the road in the distance as I approached I realised this animal was a badger I swerved around it and pumped my brake pedal fast several times to warn Killy to check it out. He stops to take some video footage, on checking my mirrors I seen his plans and thought to myself he’s not getting a badger on film and not me, so I threw it into reverse and hogged it back down the road half a mile got out of the car sliding my mobile from my pocket and snapped the already running away badger and to my amazement Killy hadn’t even got his camera working correctly.
This badger scene proved to made Kilburnicus jealous for the rest of the trip haha.

The Badger what all the fuss was about

kielder badger
We reached the campsite put up our tents as the rain started, I had my Gelert Horizon 6 and Paul his new un-tried tent.
Looking up at the sky we thought to ourselves we aint gonna see a starry night tonight in the darkest place in the United Kingdom.
After cleaning up lager from a pierced can in my pack from the cans I didn’t drink last night I decided on a shower which proved to be the best shower I have had on any campsite, very hot, free and not having to keep pressing a button in every 20 seconds, I must have spent 30 mins in there at least.

Kielder Campsite

kielder campsite

kielder barby

As I was preparing the barbacue I noticed the sky had cleared the sun was just heading down and I thought we may have that starry night after all.
After a great barbacue wonderful crack a good drink and an incredible starry night it was time to head back to the tent as it was just starting to rain early hours in the morning, timed perfectly to hear the patter of the rain on the tent whilst dosing off.

Day Three
Roughside Bothy 11th May 2013

We sent off for Roughside Bothy this would be my second bothy after Warnscale Head and Kilburnicus first.
It took a bit of time finding our planned parking spot which is advised on the Bothy Association website.
No sooner we set off my pack felt my heaviest yet with lager and barbacue coals and a feast of food. We met a little dog which we thought strange knowone in sight I though maybe its lost so fed it a biscuit thinking this will keep it alive a while longer on its quest to find its owner.

The little bastard didn’t only follow us the mile or so upto the bothy stopping in front of us often as so it new where we were heading.
I felt sorry for this little dog the whole time , it didn’t have a collar on and I thought if it stays with us the whole time back to the cars tomorrow I will take it to a farm house what we seen near to where the cars were parked.
Walking up to the bothy there was this deep anticipation and feelings of anxiety and excitement all the time am thinking I hope no one is there so we can have the place to ourselves, as long as we were there first anyone turning up later, we were boss I was thinking.

Roughside Bothy

roughside bothy

roughside bothy

Opening the door half expecting it been occupied much to my amazement it was empty, first thing after checking out the rooms were to put on a brew of tea.
After a tea we decided we would have the fire in one of the two upstair bedrooms, we went out to cut some wood.
After been outside some time a guy came up to us asking our names and addresses, I thought who the fuck are you lol.
He said I have already taken down your car registrations.
It turns out he was to do with the Mountain Bothy Association, on putting the fear of god into us about a family of steroid freaks, saying they were massive absolute trouble he was saying (done for GBH , harassing a farmer and often smash up the bothy on weekends sawing wood from the beams to put on the fire.)

roughside bothy

who often take refuge in Roughside every Saturday. It just so happens it was Saturday. But of slight consolation he said they are normally here for 2pm but it was now 4pm.
I mentioned to him before he left about the dog that it had followed us up here and does he no the owners I mentioned did it not belong to the farm down the road he said they have a different dog to that one.
Off he went leaving us to our wood cutting with now a different feeling inside one of he’s spoiled my night here.
A few cans later we were back upstairs with our bundle of wood pondering over our now different options.
roughside bothy

It was do we cook the food now and do a runner and find somewhere else to sleep, or stick it out and have no sleep thinking of a gang of no good thugs turning up.
We lits some candles made a few lanterns with empty lager cans and it looked great, it wasn’t properly dark by this time so was thinking this will look very cosy later.
The fire lit up well and plenty of wood on we decided on cooking the food I wedged some mesh into the fireplace for my pan to sit on and started cooking our casserole.

As the food was cooking we discussed our options and at this point I still wanted to stick things out but Paul had already made up his mind and was trying to make me see sense.
He was saying how steroids changes a person and makes them into arseholes and wanting to fight, noticing two fist holes in the wall he was saying these are gonna turn up wanting trouble pumped up with roids they are not gonna let us go. We said imagine them turning up us going down the stairs to the only door and them saying ” where the fuck are you’s going” and we talked about been tied to a chair and our knee caps drilled and fingers cut off. Food cooked and eaten I said come on let’s go, as we frantically started push stuff in our packs which now seemed like a urgency, we herd the front door open and voices and someone making his way up the stairs, imagine the fear we were feeling.
I couldnt help but think in my mind how unlucky we were the timing of this, knowing we could have been away if we’d cooked our food a bit earlier.
I had my pack full and was hurrying to sling it onto my back to make a quick exit, Paul was still fumbling with his camera gear, dropping stuff on the floor I was saying quick get that out of sight they will have it off you if they see anything of value. I was making my way to the door looked over to the bedroom opposite and seen a guy and straight away it was relief he was tall and thin with a white T-shirt I knew it wasn’t the steroid freaks.
On leaving the building more piled in about 15 at least.
We were just pleased we got out with our lives intact lol.
So it was now planned B camp in the woods.
We found a nice spot not to far from the cars where we seen a dead Larma which had been decaying quite some time.
Tents up I had a few of Paul’s cans as I had left mine in haste.
Leaving the gang at the bothy with a roaring fire, candles lit everywhere and four cans of lager.
We were still discussing what could still happen up the bothy if the family of no gooders turn up and see a load of teenagers in there space they might be bloodshed haha what imagination that kilburnicus has he could be a famous actor in one of my block buster movies.
We called it a night god knows what time, we awoke to a nice sunny morning, bacon sausage and eggs for breakfast cooked by Paul.


We packed up heading towards the cars when a quad rode towards us, a guy was asking were we’d been we explained what had happened up the bothy and he said he had known about the lads that had turned up due to loads of cars that had parked on a road past his farm not in the designated bothy parking area.
He asked about the dog as he had been told by the guy we had seen earlier, we said it had followed up to the bothy and when we had left it stayed with the others, so we weren’t to no its fate, telling him I hope its ok he headed up to the bothy I think the gang had gone by this time as I can’t remember seeing the cars there.
So me and Paul headed to our cars and no sooner we had took off our packs the quad was coming back towards us and I remember saying to Paul I hope to god he has his dog.
The quad pulls up and sure enough the little dog jumps off excited to see us.
He said it was his wife’s dog and it doesn’t get out much, I told am pleased its ok and mentioned the larma and he said a farmer up the road owned larmas so might have been one of his.

God what a story, just re-living it writing this blog.

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