2020

Day 38 – Five or so on the Moor

Bellingham to Byrness

Goodness, what a remote part of the world. It’s an endless land of moors and a few forest plantations. The fine weather prevailed and today there were superb views across the endless moors right to the horizon. You wouldn’t normally see another soul.

However today I walked, with Troles and his father Bent who are walking the Pennine Way to raise money for their charity. And his friend Richard joined for the last 3 days of the Pennine Way and Richard brought his daughter, Georgie who has just graduated and is now starting an architecture degree. And another friend joined just for today. Shortly after we started we met Pete who I met back in Hebden Bridge, a 65 yr old man who is walking from the SW Coastal Path. Pete is now walking with another couple. Finally there was Fritz who was in the B&B last night.

What a fun little group of walkers. More people than I’ve met in the past five weeks combined. But are we legal? New COVID-19 regulations limit us to groups of six but how many groups of six can you have and how close can two groups get? And what’s the situation in Scotland, just 6Km away?

I can’t begin to say how much happier I am walking with nice people and getting deep in conversation with them. The day flew by. It was a relief not to worry about navigation as we set off over the moors. Troles said the same. The others didn’t have a map anyway. Eventually I realised nobody was navigating and we had drifted off the path.

The moor was nowhere near as boggy as expected but sometimes it was helpful to step aside and in a gentlemanly manner say “Ladies first” when the ground looked suspiciously boggy.

We stopped for a jolly fine picnic lunch and Georgie had a tin of ginger beer which was a staple of the Famous Five books.

This afternoon as we turned a corner I saw the Cheviot Hills for the first time. The Cheviots are the final set of hills on the Pennine Way and form the border with Scotland. All my life I’ve seen “The Cheviots” written across the top of maps of England. I’m very excited that tomorrow I will finally walk along the Cheviots and perhaps absorb some of the English folk music from these parts. Never mind the Romans, our little army of Vikings and Brits will hack our way through to Scotland.

I’m in a very remote B&B for two nights and will be ferried back by taxi tomorrow. There’s hardly any 3G signal here so few if any photos today or tomorrow.

A boggy bit
In the middle of nowhere
At my B&B

11 comments on “Day 38 – Five or so on the Moor

  1. How nice that you finally have some fellow pilgrims to trek with! I’m sure it makes for lighter days. Are any of them going to your final destination?

  2. PETER MASTENKO

    Yes nice to hear you have had people to converse with today. Luckily I’m not Priti Patel, as she would most likely report you for having a group of more than 6 in a photo….
    In Scotland, the groups of 6 must only be from 2 households both indoors and out, i believe. Who invents these rules?

  3. Philippa

    Hmmm, no more than 6 in a group? Perhaps (since you’re off to a great start with George & Tim covered) your group could be the Famous Five and the others could be camera crew (must be time for a remake of Five go to Mystery Moor)? Do the “households” have to be permanent? With few B&Bs to stay at you should be fine! Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing more of northern England / Scotland – boggy or otherwise :).

  4. Linda s

    Looks like a great day ! We did two twos today to comply by the Scottish rules ! Mrs G. now 15 miles nearer to you !

  5. David Jury

    Hi Tim – You ask the question – But are we legal? – quite simply no you are not

  6. Rebecca Wilkinson

    I hope you all aren’t met by the police when you reach the end of the PW. Posting these photos may have been your downfall..

  7. Celia and David

    You look really happy in those last photos, Tim. Glad you have found some mates to walk with.

  8. I am glad you have meet some fellow walkers Tim. I am jealous. Your walk looks great (did lots of bog hopping across Dartmoor in my youth so it wouldn’t worry me). I am finding all these laws very strange. There you are, outside on the open moorland, expected to adhere to the rule of six and yet here I am, in a smallish classroom surrounded by a class full of 6 year olds, sneezing their little noses off, straight in my face bless them.
    Does the rule of 6 apply to sheep too because then you really would be in trouble.
    Enjoy the last few days of your walk. I hope the weather stays kind to you.

  9. I expect the time is passing so much quicker when you have such great company. Enjoy and make the most of every single day. You are doing great!!

    • Thanks. It’s odd how time moves at such different speeds on such a trip. Some days seem to last forever and sometimes you feel it’s never going to end. Then suddenly it all speeds up horribly

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