June 15

Day 30 Gilsland to Huntercrook

Last night we got into something of a stew.Every few days we plan more or less where we will go. Having decided our route we check for accommodation and any other bits and bobs which we need. Back to last night, over supper we couldn’t remember what day it was and had no simple means of checking. Why might this be important? It was important because I had booked two nights in Bellingham for the 16th and 17th. Having had our moment of confusion I couldn’t remember for sure if I had indeed booked the nights of 16th and 17th. Our B&B at Gilsland, Brooklands, was delightful in every way, comfortable bed, lovely friendly landlady, massive breakfast with fantastic black pudding, fast wifi but no mobile signal so I couldn’t check. We decided to wait until we found a mobile signal in order to ring the B&B in Bellingham and ask the owner if I had indeed booked so that we could book the bed for after Bellingham. No need to have panicked as our landlady at Brooklands suggested that we use the landline. All is now ready for 16th 17th and indeed the 18th because the bunkhouse at the next stop has two beds free.

We left Brooklands and headed towards the Hadrian’s Wall path
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Climbing over a wall by means of a stout ladder.
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Then over a railway pedestrian crossing. I understand that there is a move to reopen Gilsland railway station to help with moving the volume of walkers and cyclists visiting the area.
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The path passes near to Thirlwell Castle. The castle has nothing to do with the Romans except that it was built with stones pilfered from the wall, as indeed were most of the other stone buildings here. We thought that the path led past the castle, but it didn’t. We had to retrace our steps and repair our mistake. We were followed up to the castle by another couple who, we later learned, were from Flanders. They were not as lucky as we and didn’t spot tha the path had nothing to do with the castle. They blundered on over walls for quite a time until the were able to rejoin the path. Be careful if you visit Thirlwell Castle.
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At last we regained the wall proper
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Yesterday and today have been truly wonderful. The terrain is a bit rugged and goes up and down a lot but if you can manage it the walk is well worth the effort.
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The hostel at Once Brewed is now closed and is being turned into a visitor centre for Vindolanda. If you need a bed then Once Brewed is no more.
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I depend on my trusty camera as an aide memoire to write this epic prose. This morning I attempted to take a few photos but found out that the disc was missing.I have taken a few snaps woth the mobile phone but its battery went flat. This lack of photographic evidence has hampered my efforts to describe the day so loads of interesting stuff is missed out. As I can’t recall this interesting stuff perhaps it wasn’t so interesting after all

Arriving at our luxurious lodgings we were delighted to be offered an evening meal. For most of today we were reconciling ourselves to a supper of cheese and nuts washed down with tepid water. Our supper was so enornous that even Janet was floored. As we ate our host told us that Prince Harry likes tomato ketchup on his haddock.

Tomorrow Vindolanda and then to Bellingham. Tomorrow will be a long day so now for a bath and bed.

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Posted June 15, 2016 by admin in category "Week 5 Newtown Farm to Melrose

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