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.