Day 58 Sunday August 30 Windy Gyle to Kirk Yetholm

Miles walked: today 12.7 cumulative 878.3

The wind dropped during the night but the temperature dropped to just above freezing and I had to wear a base layer and socks in my sleeping bag. It was misty (and cold) when I woke up but this soon lifted and it became a nice day with sunny intervals. There were excellent views across the hills.

The importance of wild camping is to leave no trace behind.

I only had half a bottle of water left so breakfast was cereal bars and an apple. I then set off along the ridge. The Cheviots look beautiful; green, rounded hills but they are one enormous bog. There are only a few short sections of paving stones. Simon Armitage wrote in his book that most of these come from old mills and the grooves on the stones are where machinery was attached. I read on a notice by the path that peat is an important carbon store and erosion by walkers leads to increased carbon emissions. The causey stones therefore help mitigate the effects of walkers on climate change. Bodies such as the National Trust and National Park Authorities are also trying to re-seed denuded peat to help prevent further erosion.

As the day went on the cloud dispersed and there were fine views over the moors. I passed the second mountain refuge on the ridge, very similar to the first. Finally the last peak of the Pennine Way came into view: The Schill

The Schill. The border fence is still on the left

Stunning views from the top. I could see the Solway Firth to the West and the North Sea to the East. Behind me the ridge I had been following was spread out in a semi-circle. In front was the lowland between the border and the Southern Uplands. I was so taken by the panorama I forgot to record a video.

I descended from the top and crossed the border fence for the last time to enter Scotland. The Pennine Way splits into two and I selected the lower route, I had had enough bog trotting for one day. I soon was walking through farmland. I knew I was in Scotland when I saw:

A trailer full of Tunnock’s wafers. Heaven!

I was soon in Kirk Yetholm and the end of the Pennine Way. I have walked across England. Just 450 miles of Scotland to go.

That evening four of us sat in the bar reflecting of the high and low points of the Pennine Way. We agreed High Cup Nick and the Yorkshire Dales were the best bits and the waterlogged moor above Greenhead the low point. The others were going home but I had one more day planned.

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