We started early at Slaggyford down the road before realising we where going the wrong way. Turning back we headed up the hills and onto the moors. Andy’s brother Chris had joined us. Both he and Andy knew the area well having lived here.
Scattered about the hills where signs of the areas industrial past. Mine workings, workshops and rail way cuttings. Derelict in what where now fields occupied by cattle and sheep. Decades ago one of these sheds unopened for decades had surprisingly been home to one of Stephesons steam engine, Rocket. Used in a shunting yard, it had been left locked up in th shed and forgotten about.
The first part of the walk came to an end as we crossed the A69 and walked on towards Hadrian’s Wall. The wall hugged the ridge of the Whinsill the point at which Scotland collide with England in prehistoric times.
The views form this part of the Pennine Way were stunning, but the ups and downs more than tiring. We passed a lad doing the Pennine Way in the opposite way, loaded up with a full pack and camping gear we where again thankful for our light loads and vehicle support.
At Steel Ring and 18 miles in we said goodbye to Chris and climbed along the final stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. Cutting left we returned to moor land or better described bog land and then into Forest and more bog.One can only imagine how bad it would have been in winter.
We knew today was going to be a long day. Planned as 26.5 lies, however as we trudged on and it became clear the measurement was out somewhat we should have been all but finished by the time we met the camper, but the map showed another couple of miles to go. More fields, more trees, a climb down and then up from a valley and we where done, almost 12 hrs after starting. 28.5 miles in a day had been our longest day by far.
WE were really looking forward to a pint and something to eat.