2020

Day 40 – The End of the Pennine Way

Windy Gyle to Kirk Yetholm

More glorious sunshine, more cloudless skies, more autumn colours on the moors, more English folk music in the air. And more of the Cheviots. Once again we were blessed with fine weather as we crossed the final range of hills on the Pennine Way. There was nothing left. I’ve walked up England and into Scotland. It really deserves to be a formidable range of mountains on the border but it’s only The Cheviot Hills. Nonetheless The Cheviots are a formidable border between England and Scotland. It’s a land of sheep and cattle and army exercises and little else.

I think I’m now in Scotland. It’s difficult to tell.

We suffered a late start this morning because all the taxis are deployed on the school run. I arrived at the isolated Trows farm at 10.00 and the Danes arrived a few minutes later for the final day of the Pennine Way. We had a long day of 28Km ahead including the spur up The Cheviot itself. It would be a long day.

We were experiencing the Cheviots at their best. We walked. We stopped for lunch, we climbed the Cheviot and returned and we continued. What a day. We walked on. The sun set. The bats came out to nip our necks. It grew dark and finally we saw the twinkling lights of Kirk Yetholm below us, the end of the Pennine Way.

It’s not quite the end of my pilgrimage because I have a few more days to reach Holy Island but the warm welcome we received at The Border Hotel made it feel like the end. Wainwright left some money behind the bar to buy anyone who completed the Pennine Way a beer. It’s now provided by the local brewery together with a certificate.

We had a warm welcoming party to meet us under the moonlight. Troels and Bent completed their epic journey raising thousands of pounds for their charity. And Mandy, Martin and Sue who have been walking the St Cuthbert’s Way were there ready to walk with me for the remaining three days to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. So it was quite a party.

I was so lucky to meet up with Troels and Bent because I think I would have possibly degenerated into a poor state if I’d tried to cross the Cheviots alone. We had a lot of fun although I’m not going to tell you about it because the truth is we walked alone in separate households keeping several kilometres apart and ignored each other and didn’t take any photographs which might have shown us hugging at the gates and stiles, nor under the signposts or sitting down on the heather having a picnic. No, we kept to the new Government laws to combat COVID-19. And at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm, there was no party, no alcohol was consumed and everything stayed within the law.

That border fence again
Sheep in the Cheviots

17 comments on “Day 40 – The End of the Pennine Way

  1. What a beautiful sunset picture

  2. Philippa

    All the photos are lovely, especially the quizzical sheep! Congratulations Tim, on reaching Scotland!

  3. Tassie Kaz

    We’ll all raise a socially-&-geographically-distant glass to you & your achievement Tim. 🍻

    For us citizens of island nations, it’s always totally amazing you can walk to a different country!

    Well done. 👍 😊

    • It’s similar here so it’s quite a big deal to walk into Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (while they let us)

  4. Peter Mastenko

    Looks lovely. Congratulations on reaching the end of the Pennine Way.

  5. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, Congratulations and I hope that you will toast your success with the liquid gold of Scotland (I recommend a single malt) and a ‘Slainte’!
    I used to teach at a private school in Auckland, St Cuthbert’s College, so I have a slight knowledge of where you are going. Lang may yer lum reek on this final leg, Kia kaha, Vicky

  6. Mary Kirk

    Congratulations, Tim. So happy you found good company…BUT how come the phases of the moon are different up north? You would not have had moonlight last night – or am I missing poetic licence?

    • You are right. I was too busy dodging the bats 🦇 but I corrected it when I wrote it up again

  7. Well done Tim. I am so glad you had good company the last few days and … miles.
    Congratulations to Troels and Bent also for raising all that money for such a good cause. Am looking forward to hearing about the rest of your journey. Good luck to Mandy, Sue and Martin for that stretch too.

  8. Next door

    Congratulations on completing the Pennine Way in style and amazing weather.

  9. Huguette

    Hi Tim
    Bravo👏👏 you’re the walks’ champion, you ‘re the best. With your comments and nice pictures
    I travel tanks.
    It’ s a good schedule walking with Mandy and Sue. Kiss them for me without Covid 😉.
    Didier wonders how do you dry your shoes with the rain, of perhaps you take several shoes ? Good luck to the Holy Island.

    • Too kind! I use a hair dryer for a few minutes because I don’t need it on my head. Then some newspapers stuffed inside and I always remove the insoles. Mandy sends you all kisses!

  10. Rachel

    I have really enjoyed reading your blogs Tim and how lucky to have had such lovely weather (for the most part?)…..the photos are brilliant. Another great walk by the looks of it!

    I notice Hawes was on your itinerary and John are actually staying there next weekend at the Stone House Hotel, what a pity it didn’t coincide with your stop there!

    I know Mandy was looking forward to walking the last bit with you so hope you both enjoy Lindisfarne!

  11. Hi Rachel, you’ll enjoy Hawes. I hope the weather is nice. Tim

  12. Ah, so all those pictures were of “other, unknown” pilgrims, then, right? Amazing how some of them looked so uncannily like you! You must have a doppelganger. 🙂 The Cheviots are beautiful. Almost to the end now. Does it feel poignant? Ready to be done or not?

    • Hi DJ, I would like to continue, I don’t feel like stopping just yet. Sometimes you just have to know when to stop and I fear the whole virus situation is about to get much worse

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