Day 1 – at first light, around 9am, the expedition to walk Hadrian’s Wall path got underway after a light meal the locals call a ‘full English breakfast’. The sun was shining and the views across the Solway Firth were magnificent.
The walk started at Solway-on-Bowness, a fascinating town with some rather amusing history. The locals have a history of fighting with the Scots across the firth and in 1626 border raiders stole the bells from the local church. As the thieves were escaping across the firth they accidentally dropped the bells into the water. The bells have never been recovered. Subsequently some locals went across to Scotland and stole two new bells from Scotland and here they remain.
The thought of walking 84 miles was a little daunting but the small company (of two) set off in good humour. At the end of the first mile we meet an interesting character Roger Brough, who has set up a signpost which enables him to add any place in the world. Naturally we asked for Brisbane. And naturally there was a photo. And a donation box.
We watched the sea birds, followed narrow paths and crossed through timber gates. All the way the views were wonderful, sometimes the water, sometimes patchwork fields.
We saw apple trees weighted down with fruit and the ever-present bramble bushes. Apparently you can call them blackberries if the fruit is bigger.
We saw some other walkers, although most think it is too cold. More fool them it is wonderful here. We see many locals, some of whom have four legs. Signs warn us that we must share the road at times.
We arrive at our accommodation – Hillside Farm – and the view is very rural. The colours are so nice.
The end of the first day is at Burgh-on-Sands where King Edward 1 met his untimely end. In fact there is so much history here that it is difficult to take it all in.
On the second day we are heading for Carlisle. There are many hazards along the way – steep riverbanks, the threat of violence
The road was a little more difficult that the flat marshland from yesterday although, again, it was a beautiful day. We started by walking through fields lined with hawthorn and ash
and finished by following the river Eden. We had a break on the riverbank and watched a man fly fishing.
And finished the day in Carlisle
So 24km and all without the aid of a Medivac helicopter or even a blister pad – that’s a result!!