Saturday, 19 May 2018

Pennine Way

Alston → Greenhead

alston-lambs.jpg Distance: 17.08 miles
Ascent: 633 metres
Duration: 6 hours 26 minutes

The last of the Pennines
« Not walked | Not walked »

One of the guide books that we're using warned that today could be 'your least favourite day' on the Pennine Way. This morning beneath blue, cloudless skies and a shining sun, we were ready to prove the author wrong.

knarsdale.jpgStarting out over pleasant farmland, we soon passed the earthworks of Whitley Castle, a Roman fort. A drystone wall now runs through the middle of this impressive structure, but it's still possible to see the multiple ridges of its fortified banks. If we'd had more time (and weren't so close to the start of the walk) it would have been worth taking more time to explore, but other Roman ruins were calling us onwards.

the-hill.jpgUnlike some of the previous sections of the walk, there was a lot of careful route-finding today, which contributed to a feeling that we were putting a lot of energy into not making much progress. The path took a series of twists and turns as it took us under a pair of viaducts, back alongside the River South Tyne, and up and down over more pasture, before finally meeting moorland again at Lambley Common. Here, the landscape changed, becoming the open, rushy ground that we've grown used to, although considerably drier and less boggy than we expected. At times the path wasn't visible on the ground at all, and we just had to aim in a rough general direction

dappled-mare.jpgStanding on Blenkinsopp Common, with the wind blowing through the parched grasses and the 8-bit piping of the lapwings overhead, we could just about see the line of what will define tomorrow's walk: Hadrian's Wall. It felt as though we'd left the Pennines behind and finally moved into border country.

(Side note: another benefit of being well away from urban development was hearing a cuckoo, as we approached Haltwhistle Golf Club. It made us aware of just how long it's been since we heard one around Maidenhead.)

Posted by pab at 18:41 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!