Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Have you had a nice rest from me?
We have had a lovely week that didn't quite turn out as planned, nothing bad though.
Here's a quick summary:

We had a night in Edinburgh,very busy with the festival
and then flew to Kirkwall on Orkney.
While certainly not a culinary highlight the archaeology is fantastic.
We were advised to get out and see these standing stones while the weather was clear.
Good advice.
I don't want to bore you with endless photos of stones and mist and rugged coastline.
It is beautiful.
The archaeological sites spanned Neolithic to Pict to Viking. So much history.
And then there's Scarpa Flow and all the naval history....

This is a tidal causeway to the Brough of Birsay, with fog rolling in.
After 3 days on Orkney we were flying to Shetland but not to be.
With either Kirkwall fogged in or Sumburgh fogged in we didn't look like getting there before we had to leave and ended up on the boat to Aberdeen. Not in my comfort zone.
But we boarded a 11pm and had an inside cabin to ourselves: I was asleep before we left harbour and had maybe the best nights sleep of the trip. It was so dark!
Aberdeen, the unplanned destination, was great. We took a walking tour and a bus tour and this morning it's back to our lovely hotel in Edinburgh and the sun is shining!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Scotland we have arrived! Kirk Yetholm 26.3 kilometres.

So. As we had an overnight rest stop we had to retrace our steps for 4 kilometres

and vertical 330 metres so we could continue on the Pennine Way. Phew.

And now reviewing my photos it seems I mostly took photos of the "finger posts" .

I wonder why?



It is always nice to know you are headed in the right direction.


But now we are here!

So if you have been following along give yourself a bit pat on the back


we have walked 465 kilometres (at least)

come rain, wind or shine

on slab paths and knee deep sucking mud

up and down over 13,000 metres.

Well done!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sunshine all day

Byrness to...... 27.1 kilometres.

We started the day with a horrendous slog up a very steep muddy slippery hillside.....

so I hope you appreciate the view.


It has been a gorgeous day.

We are taking 2 days for the final leg of our walk, some do it in one day but that is way beyond my abilities.


We spent nearly all day walking completely alone, so sign of habitation, no roads and sign of civilisation

(except paths and fences).


I think this might be my favourite shot for the whole walk!


I do like a lovely slab path, that turns a neat corner.

Or is this my favourite shot?

The penultimate day.

PS, we are in Scotland.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A purple pleasant land

Bellingham to Byrness, 24 kilometres!

Today we had a lovely walk over the moors and through the heather.

And through the biggest forest in Britain.


Look at the colour of those toadstools.


And I had a laugh. Look how neat this washing line is.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

What a day!

Why am I so tired?

Once Brewed to Bellingham, 26 kilometres (of mud!)

Today we walked a bit more of Hadrian's Wall...


This is the reamains of a mile castle located every Roman mile (1618 yards) housing about 50 men along the Wall. And....

apparently the most photographed tree in the UK: the sycamore

(otherwise the sycamore gap)


and it appears to have an understudy.


Then miles of forest. Looks lovely doesn't it?

Ankle deep mud! On and on.

The mud is the talk of the walkers as they compare notes at the end of the day.

More tomorrow I believe.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Hadrian's Wall

Greenhead to Once Brewed ( I know, it's a real place) only 14 kilometres,

but up down up down up down up down......

It has continued to rain but you'll be pleased to know the sunscreen is lasting.

And we got to walk beside Hadrian's Wall today:

"Fasten your Caligae (Roman legionary sandals) firmly, shoulder your sarcina (legionary marching pack) and thank the gods that you're not carrying the 50kgs of equipment regularly packed onto the back of a Roman soldier.





Not impressed? This dates from AD122. Just imagine the proposal from the civil engineer...

The Wall ran for approximately 80 miles (73 Roman miles or 117 km) and had turrets or milecastles every (Roman) mile and larger forts at intervals along its length. The forts would have had a garrison of 500 cavalry or 1000 foot soldiers, and milecastles were manned by 50 men. The wall would have been made of stone and turf and would have been 5 metres high and with a defensive ditch.....

And the view when we reached the "Trig" point? A bit like it has been all along.... But all these views will lend themselves to my new watercolour skills.

Lovely bed tonight and the central heating is on!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

More moors

Slaggyford to Greenhead, 19 kilometres ( 12 miles)

When I was young I used to write little stories about a heroine called Marion who used to wander the moors in a blue hooded cape....

How wrong can you get?

Today we waded through moors and fields ankle deep in mud and water.

We didn't have to walk that far today but it was arduous.

My favourite kind of catwalk easing our approach to the stile over the fence.

The guidebook describes " the quagmire that is Blenkinsopp Common: this is without doubt the wettest and bogie st section of the whole Way; even after a 12-week drought you're still going to get wet across here.....

You should look for a stream to wash the mud of your boots, calves, thighs..."

No more complaining. The heather is out and it is beautiful, I have never been up amongst it before.

Coming up next are my favourite photos of the day...







We had a lovely sunny break at lunchtime and it was nice to get the boots off for a while.

I am loving my good high-cut leather boots and wool contoured socks.

They are labelled L and R and I wonder what would happen if I get it wrong?

Lovely big room tonight!