OR – Reasons to NOT subcontract the building work.
It had been rather pleasant all week, so I was rather looking forward to my stroll.
I woke with Great Expectation.
IT WAS RAINING!
At one point I contemplated whether I would go back, but with some good fortune.
I had overslept by about 45 min, so was a bit late.
By 10 it was looking like it would clear over, so I packed all my stuff in the car, (which I left at the Bunkhouse), got my stuff together and after a chat with the owners, headed off along the path to see how far I could get.
I did not really have a plan, just an A4 map printout, and a tiny compass.
My intention was to walk as far as I could get along the wall until about midday, and then drop South and round and back.
Which is about what I did, other than the timings.
|This is an elongated copy of the route. It does meander about a bit,
I got sidetracked by things off the path,
and was off taking rather more photo’s than will appear here.
The first bit was a bit of road out of Walton, and then the little loop up through the fields and back down to cross the road again.
In all honesty, this end of the trail is not that exciting.
In fact it is quite apparent, that there is NO WALL really.
They probably subcontracted this bit out.
The other end, is quite impressive, most of this end, the wall is in most part Absent.
Just outside there is a small plaque, by the bridge on this side of the river, that shows a lump of grass, where the wall had been.
|The first indication of the Wall just outside Walton|
It was still rather overcast, as I headed round the loop and then back down to the road.
The hills are not really Lakeland here, more rolling like the Eden valley.
After crossing back onto the road, I picked up the sign for Hadrian’s Wall.
Not a lot of wall though.
|There was in all honesty, not a lot of sign of a major trail either.
Nor any sign of people
|But the views were very pleasant, and it was slowly brightening up|
Here the walk starts to undulate a bit more, passing up over a couple of small grassy hills.
This carries until Hayton Gate,where there is still not a lot of Wall, but a tea room and shop.
It was too early for tea, and it did not look that open, so I carried on over, and down to
Hare Hill. Just before you get back onto the road, there is the first proper sign of the Wall.
|See what I mean about sub contracting.|
Not only was it getting brighter, but it was also getting warmer.
My coat had long since disappeared back into the rucksack, and now I just had the T Shirt (and trousers obviously).
Turning left at the end and then right to head up towards Turret and Bankshead.
There is a small bit of road here, but for the most part, the trail runs parallel to the road the other side of a wall. Not ‘THE WALL’ though.
The next bit along the road towards Denton, has a lot more of the same.
I guess the problem with Roman roads and equivalent, is that for the most part they tend to be straight. This one is straight. It also runs completely parallel to the road.
By the time I got to Wallbowers, I was getting bored with road, and in all honesty, the terrain to the South was looking far more inviting, so after a drink and a penguin snack, I dropped off down into the valley, following whichever footpath took my fancy, and gradually meandered South, and then back West.
This was much nicer walking, much prettier, and more fun.
I skirted the river round and back towards Applecross.
|The river just before Applecross|
|Same view in B&W|
There is no really path on this bit, although there are clear signs pointing in a general direction.
After Applecross, I added in a bit of a loop, down to the road and then back.
I was not in a hurry, it was pleasant weather, and NOT FLAT.
Back by the river, it was obvious just how low the water level was at the moment when you looked at the bank.
|The water level appeared to be very low.
Although some of the ground underfoot was very soggy.
I moved away from the river here and followed the just about visible semblance of a track back to the road.
It was a bit of a road trudge now round past Holmehead.
Now that was a funny place. Fences, cameras everywhere and signs saying keep out, restricted area, no entry unless permission given by Base Commander, and a larger shed with nasty spiky things all over it, that looked like it would probably have in it some sort of armoured vehicles.
However, it looks like is a Heritage listed building (see link above).
I did not go on, and nobody appeared to be about.
So I carried on the road to Lanercost, and went to have a look at the Priory.
This is also a heritage site.
This must have been a rather splendid building in its day.
|View from the road|
It was taking this that I managed to find a small clump of new nettles with the same venom content as a box jellyfish. My hand was stinging for the next 48 hours
|Priory from behind|
|Remains of the original gate arch|
It was time to leave after a good nose around, and head off back up to the main Hadrian’s Wall path and then eventually back into Walton.
The sun was out now, and I turned back right off the road and then round below Abbey Gill Woods.
I was having a good time as I approached the corner by the stream
WHEN IT ALL BEGAN TO GO TERRIBLY WRONG
Something happened here that could well have ruined the day.
Indeed, it was touch and go at this point whether I would be able to make it back at all, because it was at this point that I discovered to my horror that I had run out of ………..
Would I survive the last 4 km?
I was already getting cold jelly deprivation,
and other withdrawal symptoms.
I searched the bag, and the rucksack pocket on the off chance of an escapee, but alas no.
Determined I carried on.
It was time too face the hardship.
It was time to be counted.
Sometimes you just have to do it.
Where was Prone when you needed him?
So I carried on up the hill by the side of the little beck.
|Looking up towards hadrian’s wall path|
Well of course I made it or how would you be reading this, assuming anyone is going to read this.
|View up to Walton Church|
I headed back to the car and was greeted by the 2 dogs.
The older one who only had 3 legs, having lost the front right when she was very young
|The Courtyard at Sandysike.
The bunkhouse is behind me
And if you enjoyed that