Bardon Mill - Vindolanda - Housesteads
Wed 15th March 2017
Our party of 21 walkers (and three dogs) plus Mark and Moira gathered at Bardon Mill on a surprisingly mild and clear day for the first Shepherds walk of the year.
Mark had forewarned everyone that the first section - following the picturesque Chainley Burn to Vindolanda - may be a little muddy. He was not wrong and by the time we reached the fort for a coffee break and a brief history of Roman life in the first century, everyone’s boots and trousers had been christened!
On the road to Housesteads wonderful views of the Whin Sill accompanied by bright sunshine were seen and everyone enjoyed a second break at the second fort of the day. Mark provided more details of the fort and its history before setting off following “the wall” on this most popular of sections to Steelrig. Yet again the paths were extremely wet and muddy. Lunch was enjoyed with fine views of Crag Lough and the surrounding countryside. The iconic Sycamore Gap (with probably the most photographed tree in the North of England) was reached soon afterwards.
The Twice Brewed Inn was ideally placed for a comfort break! Quiet country lanes were followed to take us back to Vindolanda before the final muddy return to our starting point. The tea room at Bardon Mill remained open for many of us to sample their refreshments which were most welcome.
A lovely walk with the added bonus of fine weather. My thanks to Moira for acting as back marker and helping to make the day so enjoyable for all.