The Final Push

We did it! At 13.50pm we staggered into Segedunum and straight to the cafe got a much needed scone. A total of 105 miles later and we had walked the wall. As the national trail meandered endlessly along the Tyne, I thought we’d never make it.

It was really brilliant to walk into the city of Newcastle though. We even saw the Millennium Bridge go up. It is a very vibrant water front and I was a little sad that we couldn’t linger longer.

So Segedunum was reached and we all have our imperial purple badge, certificate and the T-Shirt. We also have a great sense of achievement. However I am really sad it is all over….we saw the very last bit of wall (still in existence) so there is nothing left to plan/walk.

What an amazing journey. Beautiful landscapes, fantastic archaeology and wonderful company. We celebrated with fizz & great food in another lovely spot, Tynemouth Village. I was holding it together until the bar owners mam insisted on buying us a round – equilibrium lost. We even stayed up late.

We all go our separate ways this morning. Bye, bye Teamhadrian2015. I will miss it all even the cows.

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Corbridge to Newburn

Well! If only we had known?! Our taxi driver told us that Corbridge was the epitome of NE chic and The Angel (where we ate) was the haunt of the uber rich and lovely…..it was quite chi-chi. That is about all I will say for it (45 minutes for our main course to arrive) i’ll bet Lord MacAlpine and Alan Davis (locals) don’t have to wait that long!! Apparently, I was sitting in Alan’s seat in the taxi this morning, a thought which put much needed pep in my step.

We all made it to Newburn in cracking time and tonight’s accommodation is a micro-brewery, so can’t wait to get clean and sample the local brew. It was a lovely walk out of a Corbridge and down into the Tyne valley. The weather was perfect and we had tea shops along the way.
We said goodbye to the countryside and the wall at Heddon on the Wall, although we did go around in circles in Heddon, so it felt like we might never leave. The signage is getting hokier. Although, at least we weren’t like the poor chap that we met near Chesters, who had muddled his National Trails and ended up following Hadrian’s Wall, not The Pennine Way.

Dropping down on to the Tyne was a heavy reminder that our adventure is nearly over…..that being said, lots of people seem surprised that we are pushing on through the city! Perhaps our adventures are simply about to begin. I hear the natives can be a bit frisky!!
Wish us luck!

Penultimate Day

Yesterday was short but sweet. A great morning at Chesters (with cake) and a long ascent from Chollerford to St Oswalds Hill (and another tea shop). St Oswalds Chapel & cross lie on the site of a battle and the original wooden cross was erected by Oz and is now associated with miracles. I am happy to report another, as I made a plea for a cool breeze (the day was killing hot and humid – not good walking weather). As we left the Heavenfield, a gentle breeze blew up providing a bit of relief.

We then headed off over the hill, enjoying our last view of the crags and Winshield, now very distant. It was a poignant moment. We have all come a long way and we are less than 48 hrs from Wallsend. It is such an achievement but I will be sad that our wanderings are over. I feel really privileged to have been able to walk across this fantastic countryside, wall or no wall.

We have a grand B&B in Corbridge, a beautiful little town which I will return to with a car and a credit card. Moy & I squeezed out a final archaeology fix by visiting Corbridge Roman town. So glad we made the effort as we paraded down the high street and wondered down once covered pavements. The museum was very good too.

Looking forward to our 14 miler today and the micro-brewery at the end of it.

Day 4 – midway

The classic crag day and the rain descended. Fortunately we didn’t quite get fog but we did need wind screen wipers.

Day 4 in short:
Walk: challenging but superb
Archaeology: enhanced by the astounding position in the landscape
Weather: terrible
Boots: no longer waterproof…..feeling like burying them on the wall as an offering.
Cakes = 0
Roman Army Museum: in my bad books for not allowing walkers into their cafe without charging them for the museum. Had intended to buy a ticket but got really bloody and left altogether.
Fitness: nae bad at all.

I am so impressed by us all as there have been challenges but the determination is inspiring.

Looking forward to Housesteads tomorrow and another passport stamp!

Really enjoying M C Bishop’s guide to the archaeology.

Classic!

What a fabulous day. Felt really good day (especially after the Victoria Sponge at The Reading Rooms at Walton) and the archaeology just kept getting better. First real encounter with the stone wall was at Hare Hill but what blew me away were the earthworks on the way to Birdoswald. They are spectacular in their scale and I can only imagine what it must have looked like from the North.

What has really come home to me about walking the wall is that I have a better sence of the epic nature of the project. Lots of interesting thoughts swirling around about the nature of the wall too.

I am also enjoying the physical challenge. Today has been a real break through day. The landscape is beautiful and it was genuinely thrilling to get our first glimpse of Winshield Crags.

Really looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge.
Onwards and upwards!

Day 2 Short and Sweet

A short day morphed into 12 miles after a trip to the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. This is a brilliant little museum and a must to set the picture for the wall. Highly recommended.

Elsewhere on the walk:

Jamie v cows – advantage cows
Tea and Buns – 0
Thwaite’s Wainwright Golden Ale – a perfect 10

The earth works at Bleatarn set us up for seeing much more exciting archaeology on day 3