Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hadrian's Wall Path, Wall to Wallsend - Day 4 30 May 2013.

Hadrian's Wall Path with Bourne Coffee Company - Day 4
Wall to Wallsend
Distance 46.7km
Thursday 30th May 2013

This was the last day and we needed to finish today. So it was a fairly early start, after packing all our kit into the car we set off and we managed a good steady pace. It was raining and quite cool as we started and the day was overcast. We walked along the road from Wall back towards the B6318. Just before the junction we turned right, east, and walked through a narrow strip wood next to the road.

We would be spending the next few miles crossing from the right hand side of the road to the left of the road, as the road followed a lot of the route of the Wall. Anyway the strip wood had a little incline that continued into the field where we passed a small section of the Wall. After the Wall we had to cross the road for the first time.

We crossed the road, following the acorn symbol and headed across another open field. It was near here we walked close by a large wooden cross and an old church. According to the guide the church commemorates a battle, that King Oswald of Northumbria, later Saint Oswald fought as an Anglo Saxon against the Celts. Although the battle took place in the 7th-century the church was not built until 1737.

Anne and David were waiting for me on the other side of the field as I had to take photos of the cross and church.

We continued east, crossing styles and gates, walking beside fields before there was a slight climb up again. The Path continues to follow the course of the Wall.  It is approx 2km from the church that the Path again crosses the road. The Path after a short distance travels through a wood and we passed trig point 268. It was along here we saw a young dead deer, what a shame, it must have been hit by a car.

After passing the trig point the Path started gently going down hill, then a little more sharper as we arrived at a major roundabout where there was a pub. This is where we thought we would have a quick stop and get a cup of tea. We should have known as you can see from the photo the sign says it was closed.

Never mind, lets carry on, we were making good time. After about another1km we came across a wide drive way and walked round a large gate way. It was only after we passed, on looking at the guide I saw we had passed a place called Halton Castle.

Halton Castle - shame about the pylon
Anyway over a few more styles, we continued on.

There was a slight climb as we passed Down Hill through some old earthworks. The guide now shows we are following the way of the vallum. After another 600m we cross the road again. Until we reach Halton Shields and cross back over again. Continue east along a grass path and we then climbed back up to the road and crossed the road again. There was a little detour along here which took us around a field before joining the road again. We continued about another km before reaching the Robin Hood. This time we were in luck and it was open so we had a quick rest and a cup of tea.

Feeling rested we set off again, east. After 1 1/2 km we reached the reservoir.

From the reservoir we looked right, south, and could see Walton Hall.

We soon climbed from the reservoir and reached Harlow Hill.

At Harlow Hill you could see for miles across the countryside to the south.

We continued down hill and came across a very happy looking gentleman on a junction.

Leaving our new friend behind we continued down the hill. After a couple of detours around fields and houses, we arrived at the site of Vindobala Roman Fort. According to the sign at the site a lot of artefacts have been found in the area and they ask walkers to take care where they walk.

Walking through fields near to the road, the Path turns sharply parallel to the A69 and climbs a little before crossing the A69. The Path then turns and returns to the original path as we enter Heddon on the Wall.

After about another km we stopped at the Three Tuns for a break. The guide showed we had covered nearly 15 miles. About half way what we had planned for the day. Looking at the menu we decided we would have a lunch, for fuel and to recharge our batteries, as we did not know when we stop for food again. We were making good time.

After our lunch we found the path that would take us down past Heddon Banks Farm. It was along here the guide suggests looking at the houses which are noticeable with their balconies and balustrades and we were not disappointed. Looking at their view they could see right across the Tyne Valley.

We followed the acorn symbol down hill past the site of the university and then turned down to the golf course and the new workings. David was picking up old golf balls he found in the dug up earth. Anyway the guide shows that we should be next to the river however the acorn took us down along the old dismantled railway. We flew along here for just under 2km before we were directed passed some cottages onto the banks of the Tyne.
Looking across the river at Ryton
It was brilliant walking along the banks of the Tyne and I took the opportunity to take this photo of a heron.

Newburn Bridge 
Walking along we pass the centre of the Tyne Riverside Country Park and then saw a plaque for the battle of Newburn Ford. All very interesting.  Anyway no time to wait, we needed to move on.

A little further on we passed the Boathouse which had carvings on the side of the wall where the water level had reached during various floods.

The Path now moves on away from the river along what appeared to be an old railway line. This took us passed Lemington and to a place called Bell Close. From here we started to climb a little again in a northerly direction.

At the top we crossed a footbridge that took us over the A1, where we could see the traffic streatching for miles. I was glad to be walking and not sitting in traffic.

The Path now heads back down hill through Denton Dene, down to Scotswood.

At the bottom we sat on a seat and had a little rest.

We continued along the old railway line down onto the main road, after a few hundred meters we again started walking along the side of the Tyne. The tide was out and it was along the initial part of this Anne spotted the Angel of the North.

It was another 2km before we got our first glimpse of the bridges. It was quite impressive walking along here towards the bridges. We had hardly seen anyone all day and now as we approached Newcastle we were walking passed other walkers, cyclists and the odd fisherman.

We stopped at a bar for a rest and a quick drink.  We discussed the distance we had walked and what distance we had left to do. After our stop we started again and passed the impressive looking Fish Market.

The bridges looked impressive as we passed.

It was interesting walking the north side of the river, I have often walked the south side, looking across to the north.  It made a change looking to the south.

After the quayside we moved away from the river for a short time before dropping back down to the Tyne at St Peter's. The Path then takes us again by the Tyne for the next 2km.

After about 2km we started moving north still parallel to the river but we had moved a little in land and followed what may have been another disused railway. The pace had slowed a lot as we moved along here.We could see feature's across the river that we recognised, not far to go now.

St Andrew's at Hebburn
Then suddenly we were there at the end at Segedunum. Unfortunately it was closed, however I could still get in to get my stamp in my book.

It was a very good day walking, we had covered approx 29.1 miles (46.7km) in approx 8.45 hrs. Excellent another walk done, all within 3.5 days, well done Anne and David, again we could not have done it without Susan driving as support. Look forward to our next walk.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to previous Day 3 Greenwood to Wall
Follow link to another walk along this route Jarrow to Newburn return via Newcastle 
(If you want to know more about the Bourne Coffee Company please visit them on their official website)

Hadrian's Wall Path, Greenhead to Wall - Day 3 29 May 2013.

Hadrian's Wall Path with Bourne Coffee Company - Day 3
Greenhead to Wall
Distance 31.7km
Wednesday 29th May 2013

As we were starting today's walk from the campsite we could start walking a little earlier than the previous day.  Once we had packed all the kit into the car off we went.  We walked out the gate at the back of the campsite and turned right and up the hill.  We were straight on The Hadrian's Wall Path and The Pennine Way.  I had already walked this way when I did the Pennine Way a few years ago.

Leaving the campsite below
When you open the gate you are now onto the grass track that moves up hill, a steep climb.  Again at the top the views were worth the walk up.
David and Anne near the top of the hill
Today they would be a lot of climbing up and down, fantastic views though, well worth the effort.

It was along here as we crossed one of the roads we passed a couple with a little dog who told us that we needed to be careful as some walker had been pushed down by a cow.  The lady was one of a group of three, but apparently she was alright.  There was another walker we saw who told us about the dangerous cows.  We soon came across the three ladies and said everything was fine.  It must have been quite a shock to be pushed over by a cow.  They did not bother us, you never know with having calves it may have been the small dog that gave them a fright.


As we moved around Aesica Roman fort we saw a strange sight, we saw a lamb running from us and looking for his mother.  As it ran from us it ran to a white pony and stopped and looked.  We were sure it must have thought the white pony was its mother. Anyway we were continuing east along the Wall still following the acorn sign.

Trig point 345

We had arranged to meet Susan at Steel Rigg carpark for 11.00am and we were just a few minutes late.  Anyway Susan came up with a quick lunch of sandwiches.  It was very cold sitting in the carpark so to keep warm Anne and I moved on while David and Susan sat in the car.  From Steel Rigg to Housesteads the views are even better.

Looking down on Sycamore Gap

We have always called Sycamore Gap, Robin Hoods tree as it appears on the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.  In fact listening to a few people I don't think we are the only ones who call it that.

At Housesteads we walked down the hill to the museum where I got another stamp in my book.  We also had a quick drink and a short rest before climbing back up the hill to the Wall to start on the Path again.  I had never been on this part of the Wall before.  We walked up the hill to Trig Point 325.

David and Anne Trig point 325

From Trig Point 325 the Path starts heading down hill.  It was very windy and cold on the route down from the top.  The path along here although very straight has only a little climb compared to the previous part of the walk.  Suddenly it started raining so we buttoned up and carried on.  Almost as suddenly as it started the rain stopped.

We had a short rest just after crossing the road before the Mithraeum Temple.  
Mithraelum Temple
The Path then takes you back to the road which you follow on the south side for a little while before crossing over again.  Following the course of the Roman Military Way we walked through some old diggings to another Trig Point.

Trig Point 250
From Trig point 250 we headed south east towards Walwick.  Just before we reached Walwick we had o walk around Walwick Hall.  I bet in the days of the Romans they did not walk around sites and farms.  I bet they would just march straight through.  Anyway after walking around Walwick Hall we reached the road and turned left, south east and walked down hill.  At the bottom we followed the road left towards Chollerford.  Susan was sitting at the entrance to a drive for a big house.  The big house was up for sale, it was just up the road from Chesters.

After a short rest David set off, followed by Anne then me.  We had agreed to go to The George at Chollerford and see about getting something to eat.  Walking past Chester's I stopped to get my stamp before walking to The George.

Apparently some part of this road Anne ran past David.  Anyway we arrived at The George and found they did not do any food.  So after a drink we moved up to The Crown at Humshaug for some food.  Susan had found we could camp on the village green at Wall for free for one night.

While having our meal we decided what we were going do.  As David and Susan had to travel home Friday it meant that we had to cover 30 miles the next day.  We had only covered approx 18 miles, so I suggested we push on a few miles while it was still light, just to make tomorrow a little easier.  However it was decided that we would walk to Wall from The George and then continue from the campsite in the morning.  So after a meal we went back to The George and set off for Wall.

From the bridge at Chollerford looking east
From the bridge at Chollerford looking west
South of the Wall England at its best - a village cricket match
Today we had covered approx 19.6 miles (31.7km) according to the guide in approx 10 hrs including stops.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to previous - Day 2 Carlisle to Greenhead
Follow link to next - Day 4 Wall to Wallsend
Follow link to when I walked this as Day 12 of my Pennine Way
Follow link to another walk on this stretch of The Wall 
(If you want to know more about the Bourne Coffee Company see their official website)