United Kingdom
Crook Burn

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    • Day 3

      Day 3 - HADRIANS WALL

      August 4 in England ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      The one with the axe murderer, law breaking walkers and a funny coffee guy!

      📌 Location: Chollerford to Twice Brewed.
      🥾 Distance: 13 miles
      ☀️ Weather: Perfect! Mainly overcast with a sprinkling of rain, but then the sun came out. There was no rain and it was just perfect.
      ⛑️ Health: All good. A few aches and pains but nothing a hot bath and a rest won’t fix.
      🏨 Hotel: I was a bit worried about the hotel as we kept hearing from other hikers how terrible the food was and how awful the hotel was, but The George didn’t disappoint. I slept like a log, it was clean and the food was excellent.

      Today was amazeballs! I always love day three on this trail and today didn’t let me down. PUDS (pointless ups and downs), stunning views (we saw Scotland), Housesteads, loads of opportunities to take photos of The Wall, the famous Sycamore Gap, The Sill and a brilliant hotel to top it off. I was so proud of my group who overcame some fears with heights. What a great day. (Oh… and the sun was shining!)


      🧢 We all met up for breakfast and heard tales of the evening before. Ann & Sue had gone for dinner with relatives. Rachael made me howl with laughter as she told the story of trying to find Andreas room last night. She was wandering up and down the corridor saying “Andrea, are you here?” Then she spotted a navy blue baseball cap hanging on the outside of one room. Oh, er! Thought Rachael, someone is in for a good time tonight! Then the door opened and Andrea popped her head out! 😂 She swore she didn’t know whose cap it was!

      🥪 8.30am - We met in the lobby for a quick briefing then headed over the road to the Riverside Kitchen to collect a packed lunch for the day. Wow! You should have seen the sizes of the sarnies.

      🥾 9am - And we are off!

      ⭕️ 915 am - Just a short walk down the main road and it’s “stamp time”. at a Roman fort called Chester House.

      🤩 930 am - A group of young kids are hiking Hadrian‘s Wall and approaching us from the opposite direction. Our group make an arch of walking poles and the kids dance through the arch. The grown up was filming it and said thanks to us as he also ducked under the arch. The last kid looked at me and said “I needed that!” 😂.

      🇦🇺 9:54 As the walk continues down a narrow lane we catch up with a lady from Australia who is also walking the trail. Her name is Debbie and she tells us how she had a panic attack yesterday when she was surrounded by cows in a field. Everyone automatically mothered her and within minutes she was welcomed into our group and became one of the team.

      🥾 10:22 am - Debbie had not seen a stile or a kissing gate before. It’s strange the things we take for granted.

      👁️ 10:32 am - So, if you have seen the Robson Green programme on Hadrians Wall then you may remember him finding lots of penis shaped etchings in the wall. Apparently the romans did this to show their manhood. Anyway, we’ve been looking for these penis carvings for the last two days and today we found one… well, sort of. We are not 100% sure but it was definitely penis shaped! 😂

      🤩 11am - We work our way up to a trig point (This viewpoint marks the northernmost point of the Roman Empire) and the views are spectacular. As we admire the peaks in the distance (Scotland, apparently) the 122AD bus trundles by behind us.

      ☕️ 1126 am - As we reached the next fort (Brocolitia) we decided to have a coffee from Jeff. He has a coffee machine in the back of his little van. It was a good break and perfect timing. Andrea was munching on an apple and asked Jeff “can I put this in your bin please?”. He has a weird sense of humour and responded with “no” then held his hand out and said “but give it here”. Confused by his answer she passed the apple core to him and then he lobbed it into the field for the sheep!

      🪓 1257 pm - It’s now raining and ponchos and rain jackets are deployed. The trail takes a turn off the exposed ridge and into a little wooded area. It weaves past an old derelict farmhouse and then we see an axe stuck in a tree. “Where is the axe murderer?” Says Lynne. With the dark grey skies, rain, crumbling old barns and dark woods, it did feel like something out of a horror film!

      🏔️ 1320 This is it! The PUDS are very visible now. A PUD is a Pointless Up and Down. I love this section of the trail. For me, the PUDS is what makes it such an interesting walk. We pass many mile castles and turrets followed by lots of sections of Hadrians Wall. You can really visualise the soldiers protecting the land and demanding taxes from days gone by.

      🐑 2.15pm - Ann, Sue & Pam had already left Housesteads Roman Fort as Lynne & I arrived. Everyone else was still behind us. Lynne grabs her stamp whilst I get my little chair and camping cooker out. I make a hot coffee and enjoy my sarnie as Lynne joins me and then sits in sheep poo. 😂

      😞 15 minutes later Lynne receives a phone call from Viv. Lynne stands up and can see our little group of five wondering around the fort ruins looking a bit lost. “How on earth did they get in there?” I asked Lynne? She shrugs her shoulders. We then see four National Trust officials coming out of the shop and pointing up to the ruins. One of them starts walking up the hill shaking his head. “Oh no” I say to Lynne, “I hope he is not going to tell our guys off for being in the fort without paying”. As he approached the fort they were trying to climb over another wall. Andrea wearing a bright fluorescent t-shirt probably didn’t help their cause! 😂. The official guide reached them and asked them how they got in. “We were looking for the stamp” says Viv. “We have National Trust cards” says Lou. He points them in the right direction of how to get out of the ruins and they were not arrested! 😂

      🌳 3.50 pm - There it is! The famous tree and for me, the highlight of the whole trip… Sycamore Gap. The sun is shining, there is no wind and the tree is absolutely beautiful. It’s framed by sections of Hadrians Wall and is stunning. Lynne and Viv take off their t-shirts and quickly deploy their “Stars Charity” t-shirts. Photos taken and hi-fives given. It was a magical moment.

      🥾 4:10 pm, At sycamore gap we have an option. Take the low road to the hotel, or continue on Hadrians Wall along the high road which has a few more PUDS and then a very steep descent. A few were wavering but after a bit of encouragement we all decided to continue on the trail.

      ⛰️ 4.40 - The PUDS were not that bad and then we reached the final descent which is very steep. Andrea passes me her poles and we begin to make our way down this section very slowly. But even though some were afraid of heights, they all did it! We reached the bottom and gave high fives all around. I then asked them to turn around and look at where they had just come from. What an achievement.

      🏨 5.11 - Twice Brewed Inn! We
      Made it. The sun is still shining and the rooms here are super comfortable. We all sit down for dinner after a hot bath and a change of clothes. It’s become a tradition to do a round robin with todays “Roses and Thorns”. I love this tradition as people share their stories of the day. We did laugh as we learned that Pam nearly killed Sue with her walking poles!

      Another day done and everyone is still in good spirits.

      See you tomorrow and thanks for listening to my rambles.
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      Traveler  That's such a good section and the lovely twice brewed Inn, sounds amazing 👏


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