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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Berwick - day 4

Wednesday 13th April - Rothbury to Kirkwhelpington

A bright day but still the perishing cold wind especially on the tops, so jacket on all day..

There is something special about the wild Northumberland hills. My route followed St Cuthbert's Way all day right over the Sinonstone hills. I only touched Tarmac briefly at the start and finish. There are not many places where you can walk ten miles or so in such glorious surroundings. Panoramic views seem to be on a special level in this county. From seeing a dog walker just after leaving Rothbury to getting right down off the hills the only people I saw were a group striking camp at Spy Law where there appears to be a bothy. It's surprising not to meet anybody on the track on what is a well established and respected English long distance path.

I had pre- booked B and B with Michael Storey at Brandy Bsnk Guest House, West Woodburn. This is well off my route but Michael came to pick me up at Kirkwhelpington and will drive me back there tomorrow and pick me up again from tomorrow's destination and drop me off again. If anybody out there is in this part of the world I highly recommend this B and B which I do not do very often. Michael is an enthusiastic walker and understands the needs of weary randonneurs, and Brandy House is superbly appointed and so comfortable. Michael has told me about the meal for tonight but more about that later, because I must come to today's blogger's gift.

I arrived at Kirkwhelpington and made camp on a low, ancient drystone wall surrounding the church and phoned Michael for my pick up. I was just easing myself into a more comfortable position when a four foot section of the wall collapsed beneath me and I toppled backwards ending up in a position making extraction difficult. I was not hurt and managed to emerge when a guy in the house opposite came out to investigate. Whilst I was talking to him, wondering what to do Michael turned up. Without hesitation he set about rebuilding the wall lifting the heavy capping stones with ease. Meanwhile the guy accross disappeared. We left the wall looking pretty much ok - there's nothing like a bit of resourcefulness.

1. Coquet Cairn in the middle of the march over the Simonstone hills.

2.Isolated old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.

3. Zoom shot of fox a couple of hundred yards up the track.

4. Michael rebuilding the church wall. He was so quick he'd nearly finished before I could get the camera out.


Gayle said...

We've walked through Kirkwhelpington twice on our Big Walks. It's odd what details stick in my memory; I can tell you that on the first visit we sat on a bench outside of the church eating some peanut M&Ms, whereas on our second time there we killed an hour or so on a bench behind the village hall (which has good, but well hidden, toilet facilities).

Anonymous said...

Still laughing about your wall disaster.
I think you are following St. Oswald's Way - not St. Cuthbert's.

Phreerunner said...

Too many pies?
I'm back at home and have caught up with your progress.
Well done on managing 20 miles despite the pie breaks...

John J said...

Pies? Did someone mention pies?
St Cuthbert's / St Oswald's Way look to me to be good Challenge warm-ups, my maps are out!
As always I'm enjoying following your adventures Conrad.

Ruth Livingstone said...

Oh Lordy! Glad you were unhurt. New nickname for you: Conrad the Destroyer !
This walk sounds lovely.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle's - I should have searched a bit further for those benches, but I needed to be in a prominent road position for my pick-up, ah well...


BC - you are of course correct.. I will be on it again today ( I am writing this pre- breakfast, Friday)


Phreerunner - not sure what you mean about pies, there's been nowhere to stop and indulge for the last couple of days. Needless to say, if I get the opportunity...


JJ - this St. Oswald's way is pretty good. I think BC would endorse that..


Ruth - I looked up the meaning of my name a long time ago and it said "wise in counsel." I'm not sure about that.

Phreerunner said...

Haha - I was just making incorrect assumptions regarding the reason for the collapsing wall!
Have a good day.