Our first day’s travelling was limited to getting us from London to Tynemouth via Newcastle.
As with most fields of human endeavour, there is a good deal of discussion regarding the ‘best’ and ‘correct’ way to walk Hadrian’s Wall. Some attempt to do it in three days, others argue the importance of arriving a day early in order to begin the walk first thing in the morning and others argue that the Wall should be walked from West to East on account of the prevailing winds. As this was our first walking holiday, we decided to do the Wall in seven days and we decided to walk it from East to West because walking into Newcastle’s industrial landscape might prove more depressing than triumphal. Obviously, your mileage may vary but that of the Wall does not.
The trip up to Newcastle was smooth by the standards of British railways and the hours flew by as we read, dozed and chatted to the astonishingly outgoing couple sat next to us on the train. We arrived at Newcastle and got a taxi to Tynemouth driven by an insane control-freak Geordie who drove incredibly quickly and insisted upon getting out of the cab at the lights in order to give directions to other drivers. I was too terrified to ask how he knew where the other drivers were headed.