The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 22 September 2011

East to West Photos: Day 21

Sat 9 April (0800-1945) (Barnard Castle to Beyond Stanhope)
Distance: 22 miles (Tot: 372)
Weather: wall-to-wall sunshine, bit hazy

On Day 21 I discovered that there’s a castle at Barnard Castle. Who knew?!

Day 19-1

Back to the riverside we went, along a lovely path. Then we came across this boulder, which you may notice is a lot cleaner (specifically, lacking in moss) than the other boulders lying around. Having looked up at the rock face from which it had fallen, in the photo below Mick’s just investigating the witness holes where it bounced on the way down. By the fact that there were still live, green leaves, bent in half where the edge of the rock struck, in the bottom of the indentations we deduced that the rock had fallen in the last few hours. We were glad that we hadn’t passed this way a few hours earlier!

Day 19-2

Soon we were heading up a staircase. It always seems strange to be walking up a proper staircase in locations such as this.

Day 19-3

Having realised that we didn’t need to walk two sides of a triangle, via Middleton-in-Teesdale, we cut off a corner by heading north from Egglestone. Over lunch we pondered whether to go the slightly longer route to the west of White Hill or the shorter road route to the east. The final decision was to take the direct route over the top. It was a bit of a heathery yomp, and we both had to stop to empty half a kilo of heather out of our shoes as we rejoined the path the other side, but it was good fun. Incidentally, the ridiculous flaredness of the thighs of my trousers is because I had the leg vents fully open. It was a hot day!Day 19-4

Given that it was such a hot day we couldn’t believe our luck when we came across an ice-cream van.

Day 19-5

It was a busy little area, with children playing in the river and parents lounging on the banks, all taking advantage of the fantastic weather. Hard to believe that it was only early April.

Day 19-6

Having killed some time in a pub in Stanhope (where I was woefully underdressed amongst the girls out for a Saturday night on the town) so as not to be too early in finding an unlawful pitch, we then found that we couldn’t pitch where I’d hoped we could. It turned out that a building which, from the map, I had hoped would be a barn (there not being a track going to it, it seemed like a reasonable hope) was a farmhouse with a view over quite a wide area. By 7.30 (with hunger truly gnawing away), we were out of sight of the farm, but all of the flat land was too lumpy.  Happily we didn’t have to compromise – a good and flat pitch was found after a bit of scouting around.

Day 19-7

The original post for the day can be found here.


  1. They look like ye olde fashioned jodhpurs. Hilarious! Sorry.
    (word: popeade)

  2. I am enjoying this trip. Once again it's interesting to note that different people choose different routes, which promotes the possibility of doing the same walk again but by a varied route - what about another LEJOG?

  3. Louise - You are correct. On the basis of that photo alone, I may have to rethink my trouser choice.

  4. Conrad - now that's a question that possibly deserves an entire post of its own! Just a couple of weeks ago, whilst we were in Cornwall, we were talking about rewalking LEJOG.

    I would have no hesitation in walking it again, and would go as far as to say that it's highly likely that we will. My initial thoughts on route were that we would take the same route again, except that rather than going via The Lizard, we would head north up the coast path (as you did).

    Now that your question has caused me to think about it even more, I'm not sure that walking up the Pennine Way would be the best choice, as by the time we do LEJOG again we will have walked the PW twice. We rather enjoyed going through the Lakes during last year's K2CW, so perhaps the better choice would be to pick up the Dales High Way over to the Lakes.

    Of course, the walk into John O'Groats isn't the highlight of the trip, but the Cape Wrath Trail is definitely something I want to walk again. So, maybe we should do Land's End to Cape Wrath...

    Oh dear, I seem to have a route in the planning stages here!

  5. Conrad, I read your comment differently from Gayle: I assumed that you were extending an invitation.

    Was I wrong?

  6. Ooh, those ice creams look lovely -)