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March 19, 2011

Hadrian's Wall Path rocks

I've just got back from 7 days walking Hadrian's Wall path: six walking days (including the journeys from and to Landrick) plus Thursday which was spent visiting forts, museums and being driven by Keir from the eastern end at Wallsend back to the western extreme at Bowness-on-Solway. The goal was to collect and improve material for our forthcoming book on Hadrian's Wall Path.

This was a great trip: I had barely any doubts about navigation, mainly because of the great job coauthor Gordon Simm had already done on the route description on which I was doing the final check. The logistics were made simple by a bit of support driving: I went to Carlisle by train last Saturday, walked east for the next five days staying on route in B&Bs, and was met by Keir at Wallsend on Thursday. I'd even already had a quick look around Segedunum (which closes at 3pm in March) after my 15-mile hike from Heddon-on-the-Wall. Keir had driven down via Cragside, the extraordinary estate of William Armstrong, whose Tyneside territory I'd just been walking through, and picked up a brilliant biography of him by Henrietta Heald. And yesterday he dropped me at Bowness-on-Solway, collected me from Carlisle after I'd completed the missing 15 miles, and drove me home.

Best of all, on the day I walked from Cawfields to Limestone Corner I had brilliant weather and made the most of it. Although Gordon is a far better photographer than I'll ever be, the result is that I'll get a few of my own photos into the book, which will make it feel a more equal collaboration. Here I'm looking back over my ascent from Cawfield Quarry at 8 am on a cold March morning:


I was excited enough by the scenery at the summit of the route, that I had to text Gordon "Hadrian's Wall Path rocks". Here is the view west toward Crag Lough from Winshield Crags (345m) at about 10 am:


The Milecastles are fascinating: the Romans built one every Roman mile, with two turrets in between, but few are as photogenic as this one (Milecastle 39 or "Castle Nick")"


And finally, west over Crag Lough from Hotbank Crags, approaching noon. All of these images are exactly as they came out of the camera (a Lumix G1), not even cropped let alone tweaked. What amazing luck to be in such countryside in such weather!


About March 2011

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