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]

Saturday, 24 September 2011

East to West Photos: Day 23

Mon 11 April (0950-1845) (Hexham to S of Harwood Forest)
Distance: 21 miles (Tot: 411)
Ascent: 4500'
Weather: sunny intervals, a few very brief light showers, windy

Having left our B&B in Hexham (which was excellent value for money and would be recommended if I could remember what it was called), off we headed, up the road, across some fields and into some woodland:


Then we joined Hadrian’s Wall Path, although that wasn’t an easy thing to do; we had approached it perpendicularly, from a side road, from which direction there wasn’t a path. A bit of careful clambering over some fences got us where we wanted to be, and there was clear evidence as to where we were. Even though there wasn’t any wall on this section, the ditch (vallum?) was evident.


Then it started raining! It wasn’t enough to get us wet, but enough (when combined with the sunshine) to give a nice rainbow.


I’m sure at least one of us must have been singing ‘Little White Bull’ as we passed this field. Thoughtful of the livestock to pose so nicely for us!

Day 21-1

This church was right at the end of the day. I’d just asked a chap in the garden if he could oblige us with filling our water bottles, but it turned out that he was the gardener and didn’t have access to a tap. He pointed us in the direction of the village toilets where we did manage to get water. In between the asking for water and actually filling our bladders, a break was had (with more Peanut M&Ms than it is reasonable to eat in one sitting) outside of this church. I like churches as buildings anyway, but they do look particularly fine with the daffs in flower, don’t you think?

Day 21-2

There was nearly a disagreement as the day wore on. Mick found a place to camp that I didn’t much like, and I was in favour of clearing the farmland and getting onto the open land that started a few yards further on. Mick had a good argument that his pitch was sheltered (it was Very Windy), but I wasn’t happy being next to a farm track. Mick also had a good argument that the land we could see ahead was a tussock-fest, whereas his chosen spot was flat. I assured him that there would be somewhere flat, sheltered and discreet half a kilometre ahead, by a patch of woodland. Of course, I had no idea whether that was really going to be the case, but fortunately it did turn out to be so (even if the shelter only lasted until the wind shifted). We spent a very blustery (but comfortable) night there. As you can see there was a lot of nothing in front of us:

Day 21-3

And a lot of nothing behind us too (looking at that photo, I see that Mick took it before we had even unzipped the inner tent to start arranging the sleeping quarters (no idea what I was doing there; looks something like the robot dance)):

Day 21-4

The original blog post can be found here.


  1. Churches are good for sheltering from rain and regrouping in adverse conditions.

  2. Conrad - They are indeed. If it hadn't been for the church porch in Balquhidder, into which we retreated during a particularly wet day on our LEJOG, then I think it almost certain that I would have given up on that day by 11am. Thanks to the church porch giving us shelter to brew up a cup of tea and eat some fruit cake I dried out and warmed up enough to continue.

    Likewise, on a nice day churches often have benches outside of them, where you can sit in tranquil surroundings over your elevenses.

    And that's not to mention how handy they are from a navigational point of view!