Monday, 3 October 2011

Newburn to Wallsend.

Sadly, this will be my last blog...because we FINISHED THE WALL!!!

We knew it was going to be a long one, flat, but long, and it was. 12.25 miles to be precise.

We started of at Newburn, donned our rucksacks, took a deep breath and started to walk....

Not a hug lot to see for the first few miles, just a path with hedges each side.

Occasionally we popped out into the open and walked past some houses, shops, building sites, but then ended up back on the path again.

Lezley got quite excited at one point thinking she had spotted a monkey in a tree  (Hmmm, in Newcastle, in a tree on a path, close to the main road?)  It turned out to be a jumper.  Very funny moment.

We headed to Scotswood...

Then crossed the Dual Carriageway.  If you were to head off to the left of this road you end up at the Metro Centre.

It's hard to believe we have walked to the Metro Centre!!

We then wandered through Denton Dene park and came out into Scotswood Village.

Then, back to our path...

After a little while our route took us down beside the River Tyne.  We would mostly follow the river from here to the end of the walk.

Can you see The Angel Of The North in the background?

It was a prettier part of the walk, with lots of fishermen, and some interesting sculptures.

We spotted a lonely soul floating on the water, poor blow-up man had obviously been abandoned and chucked into the Tyne.

Quite worrying if you spotted him from a distance I would think ;)

Heading towards the Quayside, we would walk under 7 bridges, can you spot them all in this photo?

Then past the magnificent THE SAGE, venue.

At the Quayside was a market, I bought a load of £1.00 t-shirts for a craft project, but then of course I had to carry them the rest of the way!!

Carrying on to the Mouth Of the Ouseburn, walking past some pretty boats...

..and a not so pretty boat!  You wouldn't want a cruise it this!

We then had to deviate slightly from the side of the river, and walk through a little industrial area, where we had a totally different view.

Round the houses and heading back down to the river, we spotted this sign.  It's not good to have to make decisions at this point, which one would be less taxing?  We took the lower route.

Walking back down the river, we passed St Peters Basin, which had some quite posh boats in, and some quite posh apartments looking over the Tyne.

And on we walked...again leaving the riverside and following a path into a housing estate.

The sun was out and blazing, couldn't have asked for nicer weather to complete our walk.

Had a little play with the camera and shadows  :)

Then...... there it was!!   The viewing station for Segedunum.

And just below that, the very last chunk of wall!!!

We sat on it for a final souvenir  photo.

But...... is it the end?  Where does the wall lead?  It looks to go through the Swan Hunter shipyard and over the river.  Certainly, at the otherside of the river is a Fort, so did it cross the river with a bridge?  Interesting.

Still, for today, this is the end of the official walk.  So we headed into Segedunum visitor centre to get the final stamp in our passports.

We were also then able to pick up our official certificate and badge as we had all our stamps.  (Surcharge of £3.99  :) )

We planned to have a celebratory coffee and cake, but Dotty Dog was not allowed in, so it turned into a take-away coffee and a kit-kat.  Dotty was SO tired, but she managed a good slurp or two of Latte, then fell asleep on the path!

The very final part was walking around the Segedunum Fort  (we didn't pay to get in, just looked at it through the bars) and back to the car.

Hope you have enjoyed our little jaunt across the Roman Wall, and I hope it inspires other people to have a go.  As a couple of "curvy" girls, I think we proved that you don't have to be super-fit to give something a go....

Total walked today- approx 12.25 miles.  Time spent - approx 5 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 94.30 / Time 48.15 hours.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Vindobala to Newburn.

We haven't been able to get out for a few weeks, due to other engagements and a sore paw, but finally on Sunday, we managed to get together, chuck a sandwich in a bag and prepare for a walk.

Driving to Newburn first, where we would leave a car to end at, we drove back to Vindobala where we finished last time.  It is taking about an hour or more now to drive to our starting points, we must be getting near the end  :)

Pulling on our rucksacks we set off in search of our Acorn  (You follow the little white acorn throughout the trail, sometimes painted on walls, pavements, or mounted on signposts.

Walking across a field, we were parallel with the busy A69, the main road between Carlisle and Newcastle.

It was a very pretty section of walk this time, through little woodland areas, lovely villages, and parkland, but first we had to cross the A69, and head towards Heddon On The Wall.

We past the Three Tuns pub on entering the Village, then crossed the road.

From here we snaked our way through the back of houses and came out at a small housing estate with some fabulous street names  :)

The view from this area was stunning, you could see for miles.

Looking to the right, you could see the high-rise buildings in the City of Newcastle, and even the River Tyne.

We walked away from Newcastle at this point, on a bit of a detour, past some amazing houses.  We were picking out which ones we wanted for a retirement home, they were something special with a stunning view.

At the end of this lane we found a little cupboard with an honesty tin for payment, it was full of home-grown veg. I really wanted a cabbage and a bag of gorgeous looking potatoes, but no one wanted to carry them for me  ;)

Walking down through a steep little woodland area, we came out at a Biology Field Station on the edge of a Golf Club.

Still on a detour, we spotted this sign.......grrrrrrrr  (Those 84 miles stated at the start was a little underestimated)

Walking through the Golf Club land we were looking for our Acorn, and here is where we found it.....

Uh oh!  Now which way do we go?  The wrong way obviously.  Luckily we didn't get too far before the paper maps came out and we backtracked a little.

Passing a football game, we walked back into a wooded area where we found this sign.

The Wylan Waggonway

 It is thought that the Wylam waggonway was opened in 1748 and was therefore one of the earliest waggonways in the north of England. The waggonway linked the colliery to the staiths at Lemington from where the coal was taken down The River Tyne on flat bottomed boats called keels to be loaded on the large coal ships further down the river.

This led to a cycle way, a lovely long straight path through a sheltered tree lined area.  Really pretty.  

We sat amongst some trees to have our lunch, then carried on to the next gap in the track.  This was at a farmyard where Ian realised we had missed a turning on our path.  None of us had looked for the acorn, we had just followed the cycle track on and on.

So, turn around (again) and wander back to find a path, we found this one hiding in the trees, not sure if it was the right track, but it got us to where we needed to be.

The correct side of the Farmyard.

We were then walking along the River Tyne, and underfoot was lumps of coal trodden into the pathway.  I took a little piece home as a souvenir :)

Then began a "berry fight"!  Here is Ian selecting his ammunition...

To hit the others with.

I found a couple of acorns, thinking they would be good to throw, unfortunately my aim wasn't good and I missed my target (ie Andrew's head) every single time!)

We soon entered "Tyne Riverside Country Park", what a lovely place this was with open spaces, lovely views and playing areas for kids.

It was also where the rain started!  And it LASHED down, the River Tyne was bouncing, and we got slightly damp - we were only minutes from the car too.... if we hadn't have missed the acorn earlier on we would have been home and dry  :)

We picked up the pace, galloped past The Boathouse pub and round the back to the car  :)

Total walked today- approx 6.25 miles.  Time spent - approx 3 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 82.25 / Time 43.15 hours.