23 June 2022. The last day of the walk. It was a windy night camping on the tops and too cold to hang around for breakfast, so Paul and I were packed up and off at 0640.
At 0815 we had reached the junction for the Cheviot (815) 4km side trip ascent. We dropped the packs and made it up and down in 50mins. Nothing to see on top due to low cloud. Then back to a slower pace with packs. The route was similar to yesterday over knolls and saddles. Even with a generally descending day, there was over 600m of climb.
Next stop was the second moutain hut on point 498. It was another Spine Race aid station manned by the volunteers. Sheltered from the wind it made a nice 45 minute stop for a late breakfast and chat with the volunteers. About 6 Spine runners had passed us earlier while we slept, but none passed us walking today. The volunteers said they weren’t travelling much faster than us in the final stage of the race.
Past the mountain hut the last major peak on the trail was crossed; The Schil (601m). After that it was an up and down descent into Kirk Yetholm (1345), and the Border Hotel, where we claimed a half pint of beer courtesy of Hadrian’s Border Brewery for completing the Pennine Way. No documentary proof was required, but I guess we looked like we had walked it. We had timed it close enough to just get a pub lunch. We hadn’t paid for the Spine Race finish line reception, but everyone was welcoming. 23km today. The weather has been fine with a good cooling breeze. Amazingly I have had only one wet afternoon on the whole trip. 410km+ in 17 days.
There was no available accommodation in Yetholm. Even the Kirkfield Caravan Park wouldn’t take walk in walkers! After farewells to Paul, he caught the bus into Kelso. Fortunately I had booked into the Plough Hotel months earlier, so have a nice bed for the night and met up with Ann and Nick for dinner as they were on holiday in the area.
Tomorrow it is a 0920 departure on buses via Kelso to Berwick-on-Tweed for a train back to London. Here endeth the trip blog.