Saturday, 7 November 2015

Hadrian's Wall, Day 2 - Heddon-on-the-Wall to Wall, 20 km

Day Two dawned bright and cool. After a hearty breakfast (we got good at helping ourselves to aspects of both breakfasts - either porridge or eggs for me, porridge for Jane on most occasions - and the Continental side of yogurt, fruit, etc., which fit neatly into our daypacks and were used as snacks or lunch supplements) we were off into the early morning air. We aimed for 8/8:30 departures, which was achieved most days.

Our luggage was on its own journey, being picked up and dropped off at each destination to await our arrival each evening. There were then generally stairs to carry it up...and down...and although some might say this isn't the 'real' way to hike the Wall, I say stuff it. I've reached the age where I like to sleep lying down (in a bed), indoor plumbing, warm breakfasts, and the opportunity to walk feeling less encumbered. It's YOUR wall walk, to be done how you like. We still walked it, still had aching feet and legs, met the same wind, rain and mud. Love the experience, however you experienced it. 

I would do it exactly the same way again! :)

Without further ado, Day Two...

Ironsign B&B, with the magical approach past a field of Highland cattle and sheep, through a tunnel of trees and our first overnight on the trail.

The neighbours - Two Hoots! It was a BEAUTIFUL home. Loads of money 
in these little villages.

Through gates and many fields...

...along fieldstone paths...

...beside roads (keep the B6318 in sight though this part of the walks - then you know you're on the right path!)...

...and into pretty villages. I think this one was called Harlow Hill. The path took us on a journey through almost every landscape I could imagine. The least pretty part was our day coming into Carlisle, following the lovely-named River Eden. Flat and, well, uninspiring really, but that's 5 days away yet!

Harlow Hill was our first hill - one of those sneaky ones where it's not particularly steep, but goes up and up and up over a long stretch. I'm pretty sure I was using the photo op as a cover for an excuse to catch my breath.

Industrious bees were everywhere, gathering the last drops of nectar for their winter stores.

And snails (and spirals) all over the place. I particularly liked the colour of this shell. I have a habit of rescuing them from dangerous-for-snails places. Where I took this photo were actually more than half a dozen around the wall of a stile. I trod on a big one on the first step of a stile as it was right behind the wall as you come over the top. I felt wretched, so vowed to save 9 or 10 more. I managed about 2 because they seemed to disappear after this day! Hardly saw them again.

Our second stamp at Halton Chesters Fort, which was on the verge of opening when we arrived. We didn't have time to stop, however, and kept our focus on the miles we had yet to cover before our evening's stop.

Fields were the majority of Things We Walked Through, quite often filled 
with sheep or cows.

Stone stiles - we quite enjoyed these.

There's Jane, waaaay out in front again. I was trying to show that her jacket actually almost exactly matched the colour of the lupins in the verge to the left.

The sun was out for a good portion of the day, making it a beautiful walk.

A Google search shows this little beauty as a Tortoiseshell.

The Errington Arms, where lunch was welcome, if mediocre, and the clouds started to move in, bringing the temperature down and the threat of rain up.

This was a bit of a surprise when we rounded a corner. We'd (sorry, *I*) had marched off in the wrong direction after lunch and we had to clamber over some fences to get back en route. Jane spotted a fellow off to our left crossing a field, so we improvised a way to get back on the path without hurting either ourselves or the farmer's fencing. Fortunately, he build strong fences and we managed to make it safely from the road back to the proper path.

Tramping through woodland could get a bit messy, but it was lovely and quiet.

Look! Only 39 miles to go. Our next stop was close to Chollerford, so we're getting there.

You can see how the weather has turned. At least in the part of the world, you can literally see the weather as it changes and we did learn quickly to anticipate what was coming, so we could change accordingly.

The trees en route were amazing. Not sure if someone trained these two like this, but I think it more likely they grew naturally but that the wall in between was more substantial when they started. It in quite a state of disrepair as you can see.

This was an oak tree! The oaks and beeches were amazing. It was actually three or four beech trees at Avebury that partly inspired J R R Tolkein to write Lord of the Rings. There are several on a rise that are fantastic.

Cows, the Wall, and miles to see. See what I mean about the scenery getting better and better?

The little village of Wall, our destination for the evening. We made it in good time, arriving before 5:00 if I remember correctly.

The pub was called Hadrian's Hotel (Jane has some photos on her blog) and Jane was directed by a couple of very attractive fellows at the garage you see just at the top of the photo. It was at the bottom of the village (of course). We were quite tired by the time we reached Wall and all we really wanted was a cup of tea and a bit of a rest.

We were delighted to find ourselves with a bath and we both had a good soak. Dinner was delicious - I had the biggest beef and ale pie I've ever eaten PLUS a little bowl of potatoes PLUS a side of veggies. Oh my! I couldn't manage to eat all the potatoes unfortunately, but made short work of the rest of it.

Wall doesn't have a shop of any type, so we arranged for a packed lunch for our hike the next day. A rest, sorting of laundry/luggage, Pointless (my fave quiz show), and our evening was complete. 


Dannie said...

Wow, it trully does look beautiful and so tranquil. What a wonderful and peaceful trip. THe countryside is spectacular. Am amazed by all your walking too!

The Asian Pear said...

So amazing. I love countrysides like this. The rolling green hills and meadows.