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Tue 13th May 2014

Wall to Housesteads (To link St Oswalds Way to Isaacs Tea Trail)

Wall to Housesteads (To link St Oswalds Way to Isaacs Tea Trail)

The group assembled at the car park at Housteads to be not only by Mike but also a light drizzle which stopped as the bus arrived and we all piled on.

Had Sundance and his old soft shoe shuffle done enough to give us a dry day? The omens were not looking good with very dark clouds massing to the west.

However on getting out of the bus at Wall the cloud had lightened making Mike feel a little bit better.  From Wall you walk next to the road heading upstream to cross the River North Tyne at Chollerford before walking back downstream past Chesters still next to the road. 

After a short uphill section we left the road behind at Wallwick and after a short detour round some houses you actually started to walk along the Wall.  A gradually ascent eventually brought us to Mile Castle 29 and a coffee break in the lee of a wood and views up the North Tyne Valley and way in the distance the Cheviots. 

We continued uphill until we reached a height of 250m and the Trig point near Mile Castle 30.  From here we had extensive views in all directions as long as they were not hidden by rain squalls.  We only now had to walk a roman mile to reach our lunch stop overlooking the Roman fort of Brocolitia with its temple to Mithraeum.  As we ate lunch with the wind on our backs the storm clouds where building up to the North West of us ie up wind.

No sooner had we finished lunch and started to walk it started to rain.  So we all put our water proofs on.  After a few hundred paces the rain and hail started in earnest for the next four Mile Castles and here heads down we plodded along pretending we were enjoying ourselves.  On reaching Sewingsheilds Crags the rain stopped and hoods came down. 

We continued along the wall for a further 1 mile (English) before reaching Housestead Roman Fort.  From here a short walk down hill brought us back to the car park and our waiting cars.

Mon 12th May 2014

Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd

Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd

A plethora of cyclists greeted us as 200 of them were undertaking a gruelling race up/down Kirkstone Pass and along Ullswater. For us a less tortuous task, having a great day on the Fells and ‘conquering’  two Wainwrights, Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd.

Edwina, Janine and Kate had travelled across from Belsay and Newcastle for our walk plus three charming companions, namely Rose, Gala and Scout – one Poodle and two Border Terriers!

Off we went from the Kirkstone Pass Inn (no, we didn’t have a drink!) and our first stop was to see the monument to the tenants of the Inn dating back to 1914. The grave was high on the fell tops and was the dying wish of father and son to be placed where they’d able to be see their beloved pub from on high.

Rain/wind/showers/blue sky and sunshine were the flavours of the day and the views were still stunning. We duly arrived at the top of Caudale Moor and then onwards to Hartsop Dodd.

There had been a significant amount of waterfall in the previous week so it was quite a tricky task coming off Hartsop Dodd. Janine cleverly improvised by walking backwards to ensure her two Terriers got down safely and Edwina carried Poodle Rose within her jacket. It’s a dog’s life!

A nice lunch spot was spotted by Kate in Hartsop village and then it was a lovely walk along the valley floor back to Patterdale were our taxi awaited us.

All in all a grand day out, the second Shepherds Walk Lake District venture. Roll on the Blencathra Challenge!

Wed 7th May 2014

Northumberland Coastal Challenge 2014

Northumberland Coastal Challenge 2014

Well done to everybody who completed this years 26.2 mile Northumberland Coastal Challenge walk on Monday.

We had just under 250 people take part in the stunning challenge walk.

After checking in at Alnmouth all the walkers (and a few runners) got bussed to Budle Bay, north of Bamburgh to start there journey along the Northumberland Coast back to Alnmouth.

Please enjoy the YouTube film and you can view all the official pictures taken on the day underneath it.