Newburn to East Wallshouses -- 8.5 miles (19,560 steps)
WHERE'S THE WALL??
Monday morning we were up early, as usual. No one else was there for breakfast, and we decided no "English breakfast" for us this morning. They are most always the same--two fried eggs, fried sausage, fried bacon, fried potatoes, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and canned baked beans. I could hear Russell's arteries slammming shut! Even with the parts we picked out. We switched to Musli and fresh fruit--and kept this up (with a few lapses) for the rest of the trip. At least the coffee isn't as strong as it is in Switzerland, France or Germany.
We both had had a great soaky hot bath, a good night's rest, and were excited to start the day. Come on, Russ, look excited!
It was cloudy and had rained during the night, but was dry this morning. We walked the short distance back through the park to rejoin the trail.
The first part of the day started out fairly flat and inland from the Tyne. It was beautiful and green. We skirted the little village of Blayney Row and after about a mile, joined back to the river and the Wylam Wagonway. William Hedley's "Puffing Billy" ran this way. It is the oldest surviving locomotive in the world and is on display in a museum in York.
Russ said, "There sure aren't many people around, are there?" Once we left the towns behind, we rarely saw anyone. I told him, "Ahha, we are not alone on the trail!" No hikers to be seen, but I nearly stepped on this little guy!
After passing by a golf course with no golfers and a cricket field with no cricketers, we turned north and started climbing to Heddon-on-the-Wall. I was surprised at how much climbing we did. Whew!
We passed through a woods and it got hot and muggy. Had to come out of our coats and stop to catch our breaths. Must not have taken any pictures. It was heavily forrested and had some pretty big trees, but we were glad to get back into the open.
In the middle of this picture you can see a small part of the Tyne River down the hill. We had climbed this far, but were still not at the top when this picture was taken.
We finally reached the southern part of the village and walked along beside some lovely homes that had beautiful landscaping and flower gardens. The views they had out their front windows must have been spectacular.
According to my "guide," I was assured there was supposed to be the first section of the remaining orginal Hadrian's wall somewhere hereabouts.
WHERE'S THE WALL??
Well, what do you know, here it is! Not overly impressive, but since I huffed and puffed for 30 minutes up that last hill to get here, I want my picture taken beside the wall . . .
Woo Hoo! Judy beside the ancient Roman fortress! They look about the same age . . . Hmm.
After spending an inordinate amount of time (5 minutes) examining that spectacular wall, we headed on out of the village and down the trail.
It seemed like every 15 minutes we went over a stile and across a fence. If I had only known what was ahead! I estimate we climbed at least 200 wooden stiles over the length of the trail. Some were two steps, some as much as 4 or 5.
I began to have a distinct preference for kissing gates--which I'll show some pictures of later on.
As you can see, the weather warmed up nicely but dark clouds were still blowing in and out, mixing with blue sky and fluffy white clouds. We were prepared for rain, but didn't have any.
The path markers were great. Every time there was a question about which way to go, there was our familiar little white acorn.
Almost every place we went was private land, and the owners are so generous with the public. Not like in the U.S. We enjoyed walking through the animals grazing in the pastures, but I still kept my eye out for bulls. I had read on one blog that an extremely unfriendly bull kept a hiker up a tree for a couple of hours . . . Oh well, better than snakes!
Oh dear, a few miles further we could see it pouring rain off to our left, and we figured we were going to get wet! It actually did rain a little bit, but hardly worth mentioning. It was windy, and our coats dried in nothing flat.
I loved walking beside this fence and big trees. It was cool and pleasant after the shower.
It was so pretty here, and the birds were singing up a storm. Russ had me turn around and look back at him. Most of the time I led the way, because otherwise he walked too fast!
Now wasn't that nice of whoever built the wall? Notice the acorn?
At Whittledene Resevoir, we stopped and ate our picnic lunch. The picnic table was still a little damp from the showers, but it was a nice place to stop. It is a bird sanctuary, and there was a little building with glass windows to observe the birds. What birds? We heard a few, and saw one rook. That's it. The birds must have been on vacation.
After the resevoir (looking back) we crossed some cultivated fields and could see rape fields in the distance. There was more farming here than pasture land.
The rest of the days walk was so pleasant. Amazing skies and cool breeze.
We arrived at the little village, and I do mean little. Four or five buildings made up the whole of East Wallshouses. It was too early to check into our B&B--we must have walked too fast! Our B&B was called "The Barn" and was converted from the same. Not too inviting in appearance from the outside and no answer to our knock on the door. http://www.smoothhound.co.uk/hotels/thebarn1.html
How convenient! Look what was right next door! A great English pub that let us come in and get out of the terrific wind that had started up. We were the only people in the restaurant, and the bartender assured us, it would be fine if we rested there till we could check in next door. We sat in a sunny window, had refreshments, and read for nearly two hours. Finally got hungry and ate dinner. Food was OK and plenty of it. I'm beginning to wonder if green peas are the national vegetable of the UK? Every meal is accompanied by peas and chips (home fries). We usually asked for new potatoes instead. This pub was also the second stamping spot for our Hadrian's Wall Passports.
After we ate, we checked in to our little B&B. You could barely turn around in the room, but it was neat as a pin and spotless. Our "private facilities" were in the hall next to the room and about the same size as the bedroom. But it had a huge bathtub, of which I used no less than 50 gallons of hot water! Ooooh how nice to soak those tired muscles.
Well, it was another great hiking day. We didn't go all that far, and hope it continues to be this nice all the way across England!
I SAW THE WALL!!
Come with Russ and me as we walk 84 miles coast-to-coast across northern England, following the remains of Emperor Hadrian's amazing fortress....Judy