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Hadrian's Wall (May 2012)  
Posted by Richard on Thursday 24th May 2012 at 01:38 PM

Having seen The Wall this time last year, it was now time to Walk the Wall!

Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail is an unbroken 84-mile route stretching coast-to-coast, from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. With our great friends Peter & Rachel, we walked from west to east - with the wind behind us - in six days, covering closer to 100 miles in all. Hard enough work for unfit forty-somethings!

Some carry all of their kit with them, camp rough, and walk faster. We were on holiday! We found some great B&Bs along the way and let the excellent Hadrian's Haul take care of our bags.

The weather was cool for May with occasional showers, but given the recent non-stop rain, it could have been a whole lot worse. Writing this a week later, with the temperature at 28°C, I realise that the conditions we had weren't actually too bad for a full day's walk.

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Bring on the Wall: Bowness-on-Solway to Port Carlisle   
Posted by Richard on Thursday 24th May 2012 at 01:40 PM

Laura and I had driven up to Lincolnshire the previous evening, so that the four of us could make an early start for Newcastle. The car was garaged at the Hilton for the week, and we took the train to Carlisle, and then a taxi on to Port Carlisle. Click here to view this Page

Day 1: Port Carlisle to Carlisle   
Posted by Richard on Thursday 24th May 2012 at 01:41 PM

Day 1: 15.1 miles. Our first full day took us from Port Carlisle to the city of Carlisle. A gentle start, through the salt marshes and mudflats of the Solway Firth, and then alongside the River Eden into Carlisle. Not much sign of the wall here, unless you look closely at the stonework of the local churches! Click here to view this Page

Day 2: Carlisle to Lanercost   
Posted by Richard on Thursday 24th May 2012 at 01:42 PM

Day 2: 15.5 miles. The previous day had left Laura with a blister the size of Wales on one of her heels. For the rest of the walk, despite the pain, she was stoic – after all, the whole trip was her idea! No more shall be said on the subject. Click here to view this Page

Day 3: Lanercost to Once Brewed   
Updated by Richard on Thursday 14th June 2012 at 04:06 PM

Day 3: 16.8 miles. As well as being one of the longest day's walks, consensus was that this was the best. At last, our first encounters with the wall, its turrets, milecastles and forts. The terrain was more challenging too, as we followed the crags of the Great Whin Sill. The scenery was spectacular, and we reached the highest point on the path at Winshields Crag at the end of the day. Click here to view this Page

Day 4: Once Brewed to Walwick   
Updated by Richard on Thursday 14th June 2012 at 04:01 PM

Day 4: 13.2 miles. A close second for the 'best day' award. The weather in the morning was the best we had, and the first few miles were truly memorable: Milecastle 39 (near Steel Rigg), Sycamore Gap, and the views over Crag Lough. Click here to view this Page

Day 5: Walwick to Heddon-on-the-Wall   
Updated by Richard on Thursday 14th June 2012 at 03:50 PM

Day 5: 17.1 miles. Another long day, and it brought the worst of the weather – coats on and hoods up for most of the day. Apart from dropping down to and then climbing out of the North Tyne valley at Chollerford, the going was pretty easy and pretty unremarkable. Click here to view this Page

Day 6: Heddon-on-the-Wall to Wallsend   
Updated by Richard on Thursday 14th June 2012 at 03:47 PM

Day 6: 15.5 miles. Our last day: out of Heddon down to the Tyne, and follow the river through Newcastle to Wallsend. With the exception of the fort, all traces of the wall have gone from this stretch, but a nice day's walk to finish. Click here to view this Page

Heading for Home   
Posted by Richard on Thursday 24th May 2012 at 01:47 PM

In fact, before heading for home, we set off on a little tour of the North East: a brief stop at the mouth of the Tyne at South Shields, down the coast to Sunderland and on to Durham. Some of our stops were rather short on account of the extremely wild weather! Click here to view this Page

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