Walking Hadrian 24 – 31 August 2018

Update posted by Helen Kearney-Mitchell On Sep 18, 2018

When any one asks how the walk went our answer is always “It was amazing”. It’ s funny how you forget the aches and pains, the cold and wet, the heights and cows. Looking back, we only remember the good bits. The sense of achievement, the fantastic scenery, the history and the cold beer/gin at the end of a long day. The only downside that sticks in the mind is the fact that you cannot escape mankind! It is a very popular path and Helen’s idea of us being on top of a ridge with no one else for miles was never going to happen. Not only that but despite the fantastic views they were unfortunately marred by pylons, farm buildings, roads, wind turbines – the price of progress. That said, the two days across the Northumberland National Park was still one of the most amazing scenic walks we’ve ever done. Thank you for all your support and your messages of encouragement along the way. They helped us keep going and reminded us what we were putting ourselves through it all for.

We did manage to put a few thoughts together on our journey that we thought we’d share as a kind of lessons learnt review:

Hadrian’s Wall Path is an awful lot higher up and steep than Kathy imagined. She expected hills but not quite to that extent – geography was never her strong point!

Always pack extra carabiners – you never know what you may need to dangle from your belt

Balloons and cows don’t mix

Don’t forget the waist strap – it's a lot easier on your back

Don’t text and walk on the edge of a sheer drop

Give yourself more time to take in the history

Beware of walking poles – don't trip over them and don’t stab your sister in the leg

Don’t miss the famous tree

Stop to look around – half of the scenery is behind you

Don’t book your last hotel above a night club

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 30, 2018

17 miles to Tynemouth - no wall unless you count the reconstruction at the museum!

Finally made it!

Not what you'd call a scenic walk. The first bit wasn't so bad, had some good weather, nice bustling city riverside slightly reminiscent of London's Embankment. Then we left the city and hit the industrial outskirts. Things prettied up slightly around the ferry port - but not for long.

Very much on auto pilot today as Kathy's cognitive functions were struggling but the path was clear and easy to follow and we were much spurred on by many passers by. A couple who were just starting cheered us on as they passed in the other direction and more than a few people stopped and congratulated us on our achievement ( we obviously looked knackered! )

Reached Wallsend ( to end of the official trail ) at 2pm and it was just another 6 miles to the sea. After a celebratory Fish and Chips it was just a short taxi ride to our hotel. We obviously could have walked it but to be honest walking is overrated!

Currently sipping bubbly in Hotel 52 Whitley Bay. 90 miles - 6 days - the Still Sisters have done it again!


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Amazing. Really great achievement. So proud. Enjoy your rest now and see you soon. Tx

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 30

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 29, 2018

23 miles to Newcastle - some bits of wall here and there but mostly gone

Shorter entry today - Hels has been too brain dead to make notes along the way! Beautiful day although possibly a tad too hot for walking but we have benefitted from some cool shady woodland tracks. Lots to cover today so it has been pretty much heads down and keep walking. Not so many photos taken but the scenery hasn't been as amazing as the past two days.The walking has been a lot easier as the countryside is much less wild and craggy, some nice flat bits then downhill all the way to the Tyne. Our original hotel turned out to be much to far from the trail so we chose a closer one. Arrived at the Holiday Inn Newcastle Metro Centre at just as we were on our last legs but at least now it's only 15 miles or so to the sea.

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Almost there!! Well done. Is there an ice cream for who sees the sea first?

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 29

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 28, 2018

16 miles to Wall - worst day - loads of wall to start but then we lost it

Bit worse for wear today Hels is suffering considerably with her back and Kathy is suffering considerably with.....well, everything. Liberal administering of Medi tape, Ibrugel and Codine and it was onwards and upwards. Quite literally as we started by climbing , the peak we descended last night to the hostel. Seriously proud of Kathy, very challenging day for her with two incredibly steep and exposed climbs but the views from the top made it all worth and it took her mind off her aches and pains for a bit. Some truly breath-taking views today, it's so satisfying to get to the top of a ridge, turn around and see the wall snaking away behind you - you can see exactly where you have been. Downside is you can see the wall just as far ahead so you can see how much more there is to go! Last bit today was along a busy road, not overly pleasant but at least our hotel was at the end of it. Finally reached Hadrian's Hotel in Wall (near Chollerford).

Certainly flagging today not sure what tomorrow will bring as we have no pre arranged stopping point. Hotel is 26 miles away but had not envisioned getting all the way there - just as close as possible!

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Well done! Both of you. Amazing pictures. I’m sure the views will spur you on. Hoping you have good weather tomorrow and find a welcoming place to sleep.

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 28

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 27, 2018

21 miles to Once Brewed - Wall, lots and lots of wall

Totally amazing day. Awoke to toasty warm, dry boots from the Hot Box and set off after breakfast.

Weather for most of the day has been perfect for walking. Overcast and breezy - not too hot, not too cold. After several miles of trying to guess if the wall alongside was the Wall or just a wall we finally hit Hare Hill - unmistakably the Wall and we followed it through most of Northumberland National Park. Some of the most amazing scenery with views stretching for miles.

Kathy's fear of heights was challenged and conquered with some very high hills and steep climbs. Helen's dislike of cows was similarly challenged with some very grumpy mummy cows with calves.

It was touch and go as to whether we would hit base before night fall but made it to the YHA at Once Brewed just in time. Absolutely shattered but totally exhilerated.

And so we rest. Shorter day tomorrow just 12 miles or so - think we've earned a lie in.

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there are photos. will upload tomorrow. now bed calls. xx

Kathryn Gray

Update posted by Aug 27

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Brilliant. Love your descriptions. Glad to hear the wall does actually exist. X

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 27

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 26, 2018

12 miles to Walton - still no wall

Overcast and very windy. Drizzly for most of the day and in the end even Hels had to admit it was proper rain !! Kathy has realised her boots would benefit from being waterproof.

Should have been a easy day only 12 miles but no opportunity for rest stops meant that today was a non stop squlechfest through the fields. Arrived a Florrie's On The Wall Bunkhouse before 3pm wet clothes in the 'hotbox' and should be dry by morning. Now firmly ensconsed in the Common Room with hot tea and WiFi. Kathy very tired and unable to focus but lots of time to recuperate before another long day tomorrow.


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Keep it up girls. Are you sure this wall exists?

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 26

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 25, 2018

18 miles to Carlisle - no wall yet

Weather held off and was actually quite nice for most of the day. Lots of road walking but nice scenery for the most part with views over the Solway Firth to Scotland. Finished tired but happy, at The Cornerhouse Guesthouse in Carlisle. Comfy room albeit at the top of three flights of stairs.

Taking it easy tomorrow - 12 miles to Walton

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 24, 2018

Just a short day today so doesn't really count! Only a couple of miles to the first stop.

Just as well because it was cold and very wet. Now in the Hope and Anchor at Port Carlisle a very cosy, friendly hotel with a very accommodating owner. Watching videos.

Tomorrow 20 odds miles to Carlisle but no rain forecast.

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Well done! Easy does it at first. Have a hot toddie on me! Tx

Tom Still

Update posted by Aug 24

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Update posted by Kathryn Gray On Aug 23, 2018

Bags packed ready to go. Sort off.

We start very tired which isn't a good sign! We have just spent a couple of hours checking our route and hotels and realise we actually don't have a clue how long each leg is.

We have agreed a collection tin could be left at each hotel but have left it at home.

Helen has damaged her back last week and has not recovered. She is currently soaking in a hot Epsom salt bath.

All is good.

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Well done Kathy and Helen, a great achievement in a beautiful part of England xx

Pauline Thomas

Backed with £50.00 On Oct 02, 2018

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Mark Redding

Backed with £10.00 On Oct 02, 2018

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Well done!

Deborah Finnerty

Backed with £20.00 On Oct 02, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed On Sep 16, 2018 Amount Hidden

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Anonymous

Backed with £20.00 On Sep 07, 2018

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Sorry it’s a bit late x

Andrea Janes

Backed with £10.00 On Sep 07, 2018

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kes g

Backed with £1.00 On Sep 06, 2018

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Well done. Fantastic effort

Roger Still

Backed with £100.00 On Sep 03, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed On Aug 31, 2018 Amount Hidden

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Congratulations to you both! Xx

Emma Thomas

Backed with £10.00 On Aug 30, 2018

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