2020

Day 37 – Into Wild and Remote Northumberland

Once Brewed to Bellingham

It’s not what it used to be, the night life along Hadrian’s Wall. I ate sausages and mash at the Twice Brewed pub last night. It has its own brewery and has brewed beer for over 500 years (twice) but doesn’t have Sky Sports so I went back to the B&B for an early night.

I used to work with a chap who wrote paperback novels about the saucy goings on among the centurions on Hadrian’s Wall. He could write 3 or 4 books a year and would pay Tesco a small contribution to stock his books at the No 2 Bestseller position. He could make £5000 per book. Think about it!

There was a nice couple from London at the B&B who are walking the Hadrian’s Wall path. I walked with them for a short distance this morning. But then the dreaded signpost pointed me north into the hostile and empty lands beyond the wall that I must navigate until I reach the end of the Pennine Way on Friday. Will I meet any of those wild and fierce tribes so feared by the Romans? [spoiler] No.

It’s a desolate, empty landscape. Bits of forest and sheep. The occasional horse or two. The going was good to soft, heavy in places.

Bellingham is a nice place, practically the last village before Scotland. There’s an old church from the 12th century dedicated to St Cuthbert (who is buried on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne) and a good range of shops including a bookshop, a bakery and a little CoOp. Also several pubs including The Cheviot where I’m currently having dinner.

As I thought, the Danish father and son, Trolls and Bent, who I met in Middleton are now in my B&B. They have rounded up a few friends from Oxford, their home town so I think we may walk together tomorrow. Fortunately we will be a group of six which is the maximum allowed under the UK Government’s latest virus rules. That virus must be laughing it’s head off.

My B&B has a well in the garden which St Cuthbert himself dug and the water flows throughout the year, whatever the weather. A miracle.

More of Hadrian’s Wall this morning
I turn and head north into the unknown
Northumberland gates across the Pennine Way
Willowbog Bonsai
Typical gates in Northumberland
An isolated farmhouse
River in a wood
Bellingham book shop
Pharmacy
Tomorrow’s packed lunch
The Cheviot
Inside The Cheviot

10 comments on “Day 37 – Into Wild and Remote Northumberland

  1. Tassie Kaz

    I’m a bit worried about the ‘bits of….sheep’. Which bits did you see? Hopefully nicely cooked bits with a bit of mint sauce! 😄
    You’re doing well Tim…not long to go now. Enjoy walking with company tomorrow.

  2. Linda s

    Been enjoying your posts Tim – setting off with my travel buddy tomorrow from Melrose – we reckon we ve found you the place for your post walk finale dinner !

    • Hello Linda, that’s good news. You should have some good walking tomorrow. Enjoy 😉

  3. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, Thanks for the gate photos – I’m not feeling so deprived now! Fancy seeing a sign for bonsais – did it make you feel some nostalgia for Shikoku – it did for me. Maybe this time next year I’ll be back there. Those are cute shops in Bellingham so unlike what we have in NZ. Kia kaha, Vicky

    • Yes, Vicky. Anything Japanese makes me nostalgic for Shikoku although I’m not a big fan of bonsai. I do hope you can return to Shikoku soon and complete your blog.

  4. I see the usual sheep followed you all the way to the bookshop. Is there a baarber’s in town, you probably both need a hair cut by now.

  5. Well you’re leaving England’s mountains green, pleasant pastures, clouded hills (oh and dark Satanic mills!) for a wee bit hill and glen. Well done so far.

  6. I think I must be a bit of a hermit deep inside, because I would love to live in that isolated farmhouse. I too wondered about the ‘bits of sheep’. The mind did boggle!

  7. Rebecca Wilkinson

    It has been such a pleasure meeting up with you each morning to read this blog and admire your photographs. Over the past month I have also been reading a book about the literature of the Appalachian Trail written by an English literature professor. He is a lifetime hiker of the AT and weaves his analysis of the literature into the narrative of his joys and travails hiking to significant landmarks from northern Georgia to Katadyn in Maine. It was with reluctance that I finished the book and had to say goodbye to Ian Marshall. I felt a pang at your mention of you reaching the end of your journey…

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