CHALLENGE 20

Walking 35km/21 miles of Hadrian's Wall, 19.04.19 - 21.04.19

This is my first retrospective challenge announcement! There’s just not enough time in the day sometimes!

Challenge 20 saw my Mum, Dad and I drive over to a lovely cottage just outside of Carlisle on Good Friday, which would become our base over the next three days.

The plan was to break the mileage up over three days so we could take our time to enjoy the scenery. However, I’m so glad we did as we all underestimated just how hard this walk was going to be. I should have known, after the horrendous second day of the Coast to Coast bike ride (challenge #4) last August. Those relentless hills…near sign posts for Hadrian’s Wall should have given me an idea of the terrain to come!!

Friday – 9.3kms/5.8 miles from Lanercost to Gilsland

Mum and I set off just before 3pm on Friday afternoon and this would be the shortest distance walked over a day. There were a couple of inclines on this walk, but it was mainly narrow lanes, road walking and farm land. It definitely gave us a false sense of security! The stop at Birdoswald Roman Fort was much needed where we hydrated and regrouped.

Saturday – 14.96kms/ 9.3 miles from Gilsland to Once Brewed

This was the longest day and furthest distance. It was so hot from the start and we did struggle in the heat, especially as there was just no shelter from the sun. As a result, we got a little burnt, which wasn’t great.

As soon as we started, it wasn’t long before we had left Cumbria and entered Northumberland. The deceptive farmland and sheep quickly turned into a lot of hills! It was tough but seeing the ruins of Thirwall Castle gave us a bit of respite from all the climbing!

Dad met us for lunch before he took over the last 2.7 miles. The hills did not stop coming but it really was something to see just how much of the wall has survived over the years. At points, the wall was so high, taller than me (I’m 5ft 4”, I think!)

Sunday – 13.68km/8.5 miles from Once Brewed to Temple of Mithras, Carrawburgh

We only had to walk 11.3kms/7 miles on Sunday but we wanted to check out the Temple of Mithras so Dad and I decided to walk an extra mile and a half.

If I thought Saturday was hard, then Sunday was even worse! The hills were relentless as was the heat. Why didn’t I pack shorts?! Some of the hills were so steep and quite precarious and we found ourselves scrambling up them. This definitely took me back to challenge #6 when I climbed Snowden. Albeit, then I was dealing with rain, hail and -7 degrees. At least, the weather was better this time around!

Total mileage – 37.94 kms / 23.57 miles J Thank you so much to my Mum and Dad for doing this with me!

We all enjoyed the walk this weekend and I definitely learnt so much about the wall and the Romans. I don’t know how people remember facts from history lessons from their school days! If this is up your street, then I would definitely recommend this walk. You will be spoilt by miles of fantastic scenery and you’ll learn a lot, not only history based but also what your fitness levels are like!

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