After yesterday’s lack of food stops we ordered a packed lunch from our B&B in Carlisle, ate a hearty English breakfast and finally left at 9:30am!
This national trail has a foldout paper passport and 6 stamping stations along the way (similar to the camino). We picked up the passport at the starting point in Wallsend at Segedunum Fort museum and have been diligently stamping it daily. Our first point of call this morning was to collect the 5th and second last stamp inside the sports centre in Carlisle.
Getting stamps along the way
After this, the trail followed the winding river Eden and was a delightful path past wildflowers and through quaint little villages. There was however no sign of the wall, forts or turrets, other than the couple of churches made from the stones of the wall. (Actually there is no sign of the wall (be it buried or not found) for the last 42km… almost the entire last third of the route!)
Don’t think this is mud…
St Mary’s Church, Beaumont
St Michael’s church, Burgh by Sands
The last 7km were along a Tarmac road in the middle of a marsh with grazing cows and sheep, views to the north over the river to Scotland, views to the south of the Lake District and a world heritage site for bird life in the marshes. It was also very unprotected by the elements and we struggled through a fierce headwind to the end of the walk in Bowness-on-Solway.
The end or beginning, depending which direction you choose to walk, was an archway tucked behind some houses with a seat and stamp box and a sign declaring the end/beginning of Hadrian’s Wall. We got our final stamp, took some pictures then headed to the pub to sign the Hadrian’s Wall guest book and most importantly, meet Howard’s uncle Will who had very kindly offered to pick us up and take us back to their place in north east England where we had left the car.
We made it to the end of the wall in Bowness-on-Solway
The walk took 5 days and the car journey back took 1hr 45 minutes!
Would I do this walk again? Yes, but not in this direction. I would do it from west to east to have the wind with you, rather than against!