Quite by chance we have managed to walk in the Simnonside hills on pretty much the same weekend for three years in a row. This year the weather was distinctly more wintry with deep blown snow on the plateaux. Rather than the walk up Simonside itself we embarked on the extra 1.5km to Tosson Hill to the south-west of our normal top.
The blown snow made for hard walking but we were mere visitors to this frozen land. The footprints and holes in the crust over the heather showed where the red grouse had ventured. There were few other signs of life in the monochrome landscape. The green valley of the Coquet below gave way in the distance to the snow topped Cheviot while the view south was of unbroken whiteness down towards Otterburn.
The start and end of the walk was at the small hamlet of Tosson with its ruinous tower. This is a ruined pele tower which probably dates from the 15th century. Like so many other such local tower houses it dates from times of border unrest and it may have been the fortified part of a large dwelling or a simple stand alone tower house.