Distance 9km Climb 210m
Monday 10 September 2018
An unexpected opportunity came along to visit Hadrian's Wall. I have done this part of The Hadrian's Wall Path a few times, so with my guide book in hand off we went.
Today I was walking with my friends Kev and Les, we were introducing Mac and Pax, from the USA, to some areas of Hadrian's Wall.
On our way to Greenhead I gave them a little bit of information I had on Hadrian's Wall. Leaving the car at Greenhead and after sorting through some food we set off. What had started as a promising day, weather wise, soon turned wet, unfortunately as you will see this affected some of my photos.
We left Greenhead walking northwards following The Pennine Way, crossing the footbridge to walk up by Tipal Burn, northerly towards Holmhead. I have stayed at the Holmhead camping barn before and I have pitched my tent in the garden. I would recommend it, I have always found it a nice place to stay.
We stopped for a photo next to Holmhead, you can see part of Thirlwell Castle rising above the trees.
We walked round Holmhead, where we joined The Hadrian Wall Path. For the next few km The Pennine Way and The Hadrian Wall Path are joined together. Turning right, east onto a track we follow the track as it starts to twist a little and starts the climb uphill. Through a gate and we continued walking up a grass path that followed a wide ridge uphill.
At the top the views are usually stunning. If the weather had been better we would have been able to see part of The Hadrian Wall Path stretching west and parts of The Pennine Way stretching south.
Crossing the style we continued west.
Dropping down to cross a road and enter the area of Cawfield and the disused quarry. I was here a few months ago on The Haltwhistle Rings.
We continued along the gentle climb up to Cawfield Craggs, also known as Walltown. I think The Wall is quite impressive along here. Especially if you consider it is nearly 2000 years old.
You can see The Wall moving eastwards, as it rises and falls along the natural boundary of the whin sill. This is a very popular walk and despite the weather there were a few walkers about.
A cold wet wind was blowing blustery rain from the west onto our backs.
As I used to tell my children, and other people I have brought along here metal detectorists are not allowed in the area. However moles could bring up pieces of treasure that may be found in the mole hills. Everyone laughs but many try, Les confessed later that he had kicked over a few mole hills on our walk.
After a few kilometres we decided to stop for a short meal, and found a nice sheltered place on the leeward side of the hill to stop and chat.
After our meal we headed back towards our transport. I had a couple of little diversions on the way in the form of Geocaches.
On reaching Walltown, just after Cawfield Craggs, we turned right off The Wall Path onto another footpath that took us almost under the Craggs to find my first Geocache of the day. Returning to The Wall Path we continued west, crossing the road and over the style. Near the bottom of the hill, Kev helped find the second Geocache of the day, thanks to Kev.
Through the gate and walking to the north of Holmhead we reached Thirlwall Castle for Mac to help me find the third Geocache of the day.
Les was examining the area of the castle where the prison had been. What was left shows the ceiling would have been just passed Les's waist. Showing the prison would have been a very small cramped dark place.
We soon returned to Greenhead and the visit would not have been complete without a stop at the café.
In the car we drove back up the B6318 and took the turning left to stop at Steel Rigg carpark. The weather had become a lot worse. What had been blustery showers was now full on rain. Leaving the carpark heading east we followed the path as it turns across the field by The Wall, to the viewpoint. Mist and rain obscured most of the view across Steel Rigg towards Peel Crags and Crag Lough.
Another outstanding part of The Wall, in fact I think all of it is impressive. Following the path downhill we turned to climb the edge of Peel Crags. At the top we followed beside The Wall, on a clear day we would have been able to see it head off into the distance.
A little bit of up and down, just over the next hill Kev, before we reached the Milecastle overlooking Sycamore Gap. As shown in the Kevin Costner's version of Robin Hood "Prince of Thieves". I remember years ago bringing my children here and calling it Robin Hood's Tree and getting strange looks from people passing by, but now everyone calls it Robin Hoods Tree. I have just thought what will History make of that in the future?
Another Geocache called and so after an easy find it was time for a few photos and head back. Rain covered the lens.
Back up and down over to Peel Crags then the climb down the side of the ridge. Les and Kev with Mac and a few rain drops photobombing.
Do you think Kev looks a little pensive about the last few steps?
It was not long before we were back up along the footpath and at the carpark, in the shelter of the car.
Although wet it had been a great day. Checking my map I calculated we had covered approx. 9km with approx. 210m climb. I had had a great time sharing some information on what I believe is a spectacular area. Mac and Pax from the USA seamed to enjoy the day as well as Kev and Les. I would have loved taking them on another walk. Thanks for the Day.
Just by chance I was passing along the B6318 a few days later when the weather was a lot better, it was warm and sunny and I could see there must have been a couple of hundred walkers scattered all along The Wall.
More to follow
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to another walk along here Cawfield to Housesteads with better weather.
Follow link to when I walked here on The Pennine Way.
Follow link to when I walked her on The Hadrian Wall Path.