Monday 21 August 2023

Hadrian's Wall

Only a few days after we returned from London, we were on the move again, this time we went just a little way over the border into Northumberland. 

For the last couple of years I have been promising Lily we would visit Hadrian's Wall but for various reasons it just didn't happen. I think mainly I had been waiting for  spell of decent weather, so that we could go camping. With this seeming more and more unlikely, I booked us into a Youth Hostel instead, still hoping the weather gods would be kind to us, so that we could at least enjoy a nice walk. 

The Youth Hostel is attached to a visitor centre and it's really lovely. Modern and spotlessly clean, it contained everything we needed and more.

After a short stop on the way, to meet up with a friend, we arrived late in the afternoon, but still an hour earlier than our checking in time. This worked out well, as we left the car at the visitor centre and walked up to Winshield Craggs, which is the highest point on the wall and on a completely clear day you can see for miles. Our view was still pleasant, however, and the many flying ants at the summit thought so too! Thankfully they didn't bother us, but we made a hasty retreat back to the hostel and ordered our evening meal. Fish and chips for Lily, vegetable lasagne and a glass of wine for me :)

After a good night's sleep - I got the bottom bunk - and a rather tasty cooked breakfast, we checked out of the hostel, and headed east, in the opposite direction to the previous day. Again the path took us alongside the wall, but this time passing Milecastle 39 and then on towards Sycamore Gap.

The heather was looking beautiful and the landscape really appears to be welcoming the late summer now.

We walked out as far as Crag Lough, then retraced our steps back to the visitor centre. Here we spent a while enjoying the interactive exhibits and walked on the living roof, before heading for home. We took the scenic route over Hartside summit, stopping off at The Village Bakery in Melmerby for some delicious cake. Well, it was my birthday after all. 

J. X