Walking Hadrian’s Wall – Day Three: Harlow Hill to Chollerford

Steps: 30,000

Distance: 18 km

Breakfast brought more culinary disappointments from The Keelman’s.  My eggs were unseasoned and came with only minimal toast.  Also, most B+Bs tend to give people a pot of coffee for the table. However, The Keelman’s serve you by the cup and so if, like me, you enjoy your coffee in the morning, you may find yourself having to pester the waitress a few times for more coffee. Given that we arrived at The Keelman’s completely knackered and starving hungry, my memories of the place may well have been etched by the twin (and not entirely disconnected) acids of bile and low blood sugar but, after two disappointing meals and a night spent on a bed that felt like a sack of flour, I was more than happy to leave Newburn behind and head out into the countryside.

Continue reading →

Walking Hadrian’s Wall – Day Two: Tynemouth to Harlow Hill

Steps: 50,000

Distance: 30 km

The day began with the sort of breakfast you might expect from a faded seaside hotel.  People sat at tables with white linen tablecloths looking out of a huge picture window at storm-ravaged British coastline.  Alongside the apple and orange juice sat a pitcher of tomato juice, some Tobasco sauce and a few sticks of celery.  Penance, no doubt, for a night on the Courvoisier. Breakfast was decent but no more.  Neither quantity nor quality was anything other than fine.

Bags packed, boots laced, stomachs filled, we headed off on our first day’s proper walking.  Gary had suggested the possibility of walking from Tynemouth to Wallsend in Newcastle but this prospect seemed to appall us both.  We were there to walk the Wall.  Tyneside’s cheap, clean and efficient Metro took us into town and deposited us at Wallsend, near Segedunum and the old Swan Hunter shipyards.

Continue reading →