20 June 2022. This was a long day. It ended up being 36km (22 miles) in 11.5 hours. No big climbs, but lots of up and down (over 550m of accent). I got away at 0650. It was a cold damp night so my tent was soaked with condensation, adding to the pack weight. As usual, I have one of the heavier packs. Paul soon caught me up.
The first 14km was walking the route of Hadrian’s Wall. The base of the wall up to 2m stood in most places. I remember walking the whole of the wall the from Newcastle to Carlisle in a week’s school camp about 50 years ago!
We had a 15 minute break at Sycamore Gap at 1030 and left the wall after Hot Bank Crags at 1130, heading north. The route took us through the south eastern tip of Kielder Forest where we had a 55 min break at 1230. Nice to get the weight off our feet. Then it was over farmland and some moorland for the rest of the afternoon. The pit stop refreshments at Horneystead Farm was very welcome and provided another break of 30 mins (1515).
There last couple of km into Bellingham were on roads and we arrived at Demesne Farm campsite at 1820. Drying out damp tents and showering meant we just got to the Cheviot pub before last food orders at 2000.
It would be worth taking a couple of days to do this section and absorb more of the local history. Thankfully the last three days are going to be shorter. Tomorrow to Byrness.