Day 55 Thursday 27 August Twice Brewed Inn to Bellingham

Miles walked: today 15.8 cumulative 837.9

Today started dry and the sun even made a feeble attempt to break through the mist. I returned to Hadrian’s wall and my first task was to climb Steel Rigg. There were good views along the wall. There was no Wall at this site, but the field wall had stones looking suspiciously like those in the remnants of Hadrian’ wall.

I dropped to a depression between two outcrops of dolerite and there was THAT tree

Sycamore Gap

I have never seen “Robin Prince of Thieves” so I do not know what happens at the tree. It is a long way from Nottingham, but it was a large budget movie so they were able to use locations all over the country and apparently the long shots of Nottingham castle are actually the walls of Carcassonne in Southern France.

I met an Australian walking Hadrians wall east to west. He was wearing a Melbourne City shirt (one of the Manchester City Group teams). Only one other pair of Pennine Wayfarers passed me today. There was another couple at breakfast but I left before them and did not see them along the path. I am no longer the slowest walker on the Way.

After the next outcrop the Pennine Way said farewell to the Wall and turned North. Looking back at the outcrops of rock and the Wall I thought that if I has been a rebel and seen the barrier ahead, bristling with Roman soldiers, I would have turned round and gone home.

There is little else to say about today. Other than a view over Greenlee Lough (Northumberland spelling) the next phase of the walk was memorable only for the bog. The worst bit was going through a forest on Haughton Common where it felt like I was walking on a sponge. My walking poles were used as probes to assess where I could put my feet without sinking up to my knees. The other problem with today was that much of it was through Wark forest (part of the Kielder plantation) meaning there were no views. Red squirrel are meant to live in the forests up here but they were hiding today. Eventually I came to open country and had views over the rolling countryside. It remained wet underfoot but I made my way over the unfortunately named Shitlington Crags.

From the communications mast, there were good views towards Bellingham and back along the walk. There was an easy descent to Bellington. I am afraid that I agree with other bloggers that, after leaving Hadrians wall, today isn’t the most exiting day of the Pennine Way. My legs are tired but at least I am 16 miles closer to John O’Groats.

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