Walk Day 46 – Housesteads to Bellingham

Day 46 – May 24 Housesteads to Bellingham
 Weather: Sun and Cloud  B&B: Lyndale Guest House (£35)
 Departed: 10:55 Arrived: 15:30  Walked: 4h 22m Rested: 0 hr 45m
 Distance Today: 13.3 mi / 21.40 km  Total Distance: 713.91 mi / 1148.93 km
 % Complete: ~ 62.13%  Pint of the Day: John Smith’s Extra Smooth
 GPS Track for: Day 46

A lazy start to day 46 brought about by the fact that my bus to Housesteads didn’t leave until 10:30am. The sun was out as I waited at the bus stop although there was quite a bit of cloud around and the temperatures were much cooler than yesterday.

The bus driver dropped me off on the B-road about a mile before Housesteads thereby eliminating the need to back-track over some of the ground I covered yesterday. The footpath joining the B-road to the Pennine Way was just under half a mile and involved climbing up and over the clearly defined Roman vallum that ran adjacent to the wall (the “vallum” was a rampart made from earth). Once over the wall I descended onto the moorland that I had observed on my previous four visits. I remember wondering what was beyond the trees in the distance … now I was about to find out.

It took a little over half an hour to cross the moorland and reach the southern edge of the Kielder Forest. Compared to the last couple of weeks the scenery today was a bit mediocre however this was my first time walking through a plantation forest and I enjoyed the new experience. There were times that the walk reminded me of home. Occasionally I was on logging roads but quite often I followed footpaths through the bush. I was surprised how boggy the ground was in places considering the recent weather.

The Pennine Way alternated between forest and moor before finally emerging onto rolling pasture several miles later. I then followed a combination of footpaths and roads up and down through several valleys, towards a tall repeater tower that sat atop a hill. Throughout the entire day I saw only a single farmer and one pair of walkers until I reached my destination.

Once past the tower it was downhill all the way to Bellingham, an old market town of 1300 people. I’d walked non-stop all day so I was ready for a break by the time I checked into my b&b … and ready for the home-made lasagna I enjoyed at the Rose & Crown a couple of hours later. There was a very light mist falling as I made my walk back from the pub but the forecast is for dry weather tomorrow as I make my way to Bryness.

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