Tucked away in a northern corner of Northumberland lies the atmospheric Roughting Linn. The name has Gaelic roots, meaning thundering pool, and it has an undoubtedly mystical atmosphere. The path tumbles down almost unseen, from a farm track, through a cluster of beech trees. Their roots form a spiral stair down the earth banks into the sheltered shadowy dell, and their bark is carved with centuries of lovers wishes.
Dappled pools of green light drift in shifting patterns across the path, confusing the eye, and the air is filled with bird song. Sensuous delights spill from every branch and root, loosening the grip of reality, softening us into this otherworldly space. We descend with bated breath.
A rock guardian watches closely as we stumble past his wooden antlers. He is wreathed in summer green, which softens his hard edges, and we pass unscathed.
The stillness of the air slows down our hearts, and we begin to feel the leisurely pulse of the earth. Ahead a grove of oaks creep and prance along the path, forming living arches through which we must pass. Their limbs seem to stretch down towards us and the landscape closes in all around. A swarm of flies rises up and swirls buzzing around our heads, challenging us to dare to pass. An unseen curse to keep away the unworthy.
Our hearts quicken as we pass out from the final oak guard, who bows gracefully, as we turn the corner into the glittering shade of the pool and its waterfall.
Here in the cool shadows, watched by the wrinkled rocks, we can offer up our prayer. All the senses are distorted, heightened and dulled, lulled away by the fairy linn and its thundering water.
Magical – I love these old forests and secret pools – and your photos are stunning. I have a couple of websites you may be interested in – the megalithix one is authored by a very good friend of mine Paul Bennett who lives in Scotland and has been a professional ‘Guerilla Antiquarian’ for 40+ years. He is also an author and lectures too. A lot of the sites are in England, but many in Sotland. https://megalithix.wordpress.com/ The second may have more entries in but isn’t as coomprehensive – you can also select different countries. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/leaflet_megalith_map.php?country=1 I used them both quite a lot when researching my walks – hope you enjoy them 🙂
Thanks for all the useful tips….I do know and use the megalithic site, but haven’t come across Paul Bennet before…I have a good rummage when I have some free time😊It’s always great to find some more fellow enthusiasts!
I use them a lot for ideas when I am out walking – but of course there are others too! Paul is a personal friend of mine so I am a bit biased…
You’re allowed to be😆
Lovely post as usual Seonaid 😀
Very kind, thank you 🙂
beautiful photos and thoughts as ever 🙂
i’ve nominated you for an award 🙂
Thank you, very kind to nominate me, and I appreciate that I don’t need to do anything 🙂 my favourite kind of awards 🙂
Ooh, it’s beautiful! Northumberland is such a diverse and wonderful place 🙂
tell me you got in that water…of course you did, right right right?
Well my toes and fingers did, but not a full immersion 🙂
Pure magic, and I…was swept away …or lulled. I could almost hear your voice in that lush green…Beautiful.
Very kind Anna Christine, I’m so happy you let yourself be lulled away. I was really transported in that beautiful dancing green light, and I’m delighted by the feedback for my writing.
So, the rock guardian recognised your ancient, benign, and gentle soul.
🙂 I would like to think that was the case 🙂
Such lovely writing…even without the photos I would be able to see this magical spot perfectly.
Thank you, warm praise indeed 🙂 isn’t language amazing, they way we can paint pictures with words……
a wonderful waterfall, Seonaid, = now I’m “lulled away by the fairy linn and its thundering water…”
Well I hope we can lull you back into the world….it wouldn’t be the same without you 🙂
I especially love the finale – not so much a thunder as a tinkling bell
Very true, I like this as an alternative name…..tinkling bell falls 🙂
Perhaps after rain it’s a little more dramatic?
Wonderful tour with beautiful pictures. last one is amazing.
Thank you, there are more to follow 🙂
Beautiful place – makes me feel even more excited to be going back to the north east tomorrow 🙂
Oh lucky you, we are just back in Edinburgh after a wonderful week exploring Northumberland’s wonders. Such a beautiful place 🙂
Hoping the weather is a little kind!
Such a long time since we have been there, this makes me want to go back very soon. Beautifully captured in both words and pictures.
Thank you, I was really captivated by this waterfall and its beautiful woods, and of course there is the wildly carved rock up at the top which I will share in a later post. A very special place.
We have just spent a wonderful week in your beautiful Northumberland 🙂
Wow – what a magical place. Those trees are magnificent and the falls at the end of the journey are dream like. It really does look like a fairy place.
It really has an otherworldly feel, with the dim light and the gnarled and twisted rocks and trees. I could see faces everywhere!
Seonaid, Waterfall sister, take a look at this twin post: http://beautyalongtheroad.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/forbidden-falls-how-not-to-play-it-safe/
We were both adventuring this weekend, it looks like, and exploring magical terrains…
We seem to write mirror posts quite often Annette, nature working in her strange ways 🙂 loved reading about your adventures to the falls.
So beautiful and those colours … 🙂
Thanks Dory, the colours and the light were wonderful. It was a very hot sunny day so the cool green shade was very welcome.
Your lyrical words reminded me of just such an outing, mine in the hinterland of northern Ontario, along a wooded path to a trout stream – it was beautiful.
Oh I love trout streams, we get salmon usually in the same rivers up here, and you have reminded me of a wonderful walk which I haven’t done in ages, thank you 🙂
There is something so magical about fresh flowing water…..
Oh yes, the gurgle and bounce and light and constant movement and patterns. I do love the water.
What a wonderful, lyrically telling. I felt as if I were there with you. The trees bent like dancers, indeed. Love this!
Thank you so much, it was a very inspiring and atmospheric place, filled with whispers, and faces in every rock and tree 🙂
It seems like you live in a fairie realm. I absolutely feel transported when I read your posts and see your photos. You are magic!
What a lovely comment Charlotte, thank you 🙂
The world around me seems infused with the magic of nature, and it seeps into my mind, my dreams and my imagination…..spilling out into my blog. I’m so glad you enjoy it.
A truly lovely post. Thank you.Here beside the Atlantic Ocean, miles from nowhere Nature also has a profound immediacy. The weather is fine, so rather than roar we have gentle lapping. Still, the presence of the sacred is strong.
And what a truly lovely comment. The Atlantic Ocean carries her own mysteries and magic which wash up on distant shores with echoes of their beginnings 🙂
I love the word immediacy for nature and her insistence. This waterfall was not roaring or thundering very loudly at all on the day I visited, since we too have had little rain. In the last three days nature has corrected this with wild and over generous thunderstorms, so I suspect that a visit now would be rewarded with a different experience 🙂
A Druid’s Paradise? Looks like one to me. Thanks for taking us along with you. D
David, it certainly had that feel, natures magic pulsing through the rocks and trees and water. I have more shots of the wishing pool, and high above it, through more trees and ancient earthworks is a carved rock, the largest in England, covered with swirling patterns…..more shots to follow 🙂
Beautiful! I can imagine all sorts of faerie folk living there 🙂
That’s exactly what our bookfayries said when they saw the photos! 🙂 Lovely post, the place comes on my list, Seonaid. Good night to you from Norway
Dina, Siri & Selma
What a lovely comment, and I’m glad your bookfayries spotted all the little faces in the trees and rocks 🙂
Thank you Sarah, and I’m certain I saw a few of them in the trees and rocks. They are all flowing and twisting in such strange and unusual shapes that it fires the imagination 🙂