27th May 2018
Weather: Blue skies, a continuous breeze keeping the heat off.
A short stretch East along Hadrian’s wall before turning North across moorland, tracks and forest trails. The fresh air cleared the headache quickly and I enjoyed the easy walking. The vast emptiness of Northumberland!! The beauty is a bleak, almost threatening, one. Bare of obvious flowering plants. Once back in grassy farmland, many small white butterflies.
The only difficulty was a few ups & downs crossing shallow valleys and … some (short) muddy patches in the forests. Very warm when sheltered from the wind in the forest.
I expected to camp in Bellingham, but there was space in the bunkhouse: 3 of us in an airy 10-bed dorm. Glad I did: sociable, electricity, a kitchen & Wi-fi.
Once again I forgot to ask these chaps their names (I first met them at Top Withins). Here at Milecastle 39. They steamed steadily ahead of me until out of sight.
Looking SW from the wall
Now North of the wall at Cragend, looking NE towards Queens crags
Deep in forest track
then suddenly out of forest onto moors (Haughton Common)
Warks Burn, a big dip before Horneystead (the farm offers help-yourself refreshments. If I had known beforehand, I would have carried less water at the start. 2l is quite a burden at the start of the day, but necessary anticipation of a hot one)
On Esp Hill looking N to Shitlington crags
another dip to Houxty Burn before climbing up to the crags
Back to civilisation as Bellingham appears