Hadrian's Wall 2016

So the reasons for going on four training walks, finishing on a sixteen-miler? I've just walked the middle section of Hadrian's wall, from Brampton to Corbridge, with Eric, a friend.
  I made the wrong assumption that this was in the middle of nowhere. Actually it's a vibrant, well signposted visitor attraction, with buses, taxis and trains to get you where you want to be. There's lots of accommodation, maybe not in the most convenient places but the transport helps out.
  The weather was kind.
  The terrain was not too brutal.
  Given the easy ways to get about, there was no need to have long days.

  So those were the points that in retrospect would have been very useful.

The actuality -
  I broke my glasses on the first day.
  The pace was too fast. I was walking at my top speed and got very tired as a result. By the third day I was not enjoying it and bailed out at lunchtime. Because we didn't plan, the walking was too long, especially the second day and I did well to complete. We had to do it, with a little help from a bus, to make the accommodation. All the other places to stay were excellent, but this was a disappointment - twin-beds and a shower. After such a long day it was a real downer and apparently we had been upgraded. I'd been spoilt the night before with a bath and plenty of time to rest and recuperate. Still, a couple of beers and get on with it.
  Then calamities. I lost my phone on the bus and I'd booked the accommodation in Corbridge for the wrong night. So rearranged to a great place, but minus the cancellation fees. Not the best finish to a walk.
Birdoswald. Audiovisual presentation as well as museum and ruined buildings. Good place to come back to in the car. Cafe and toilets.

I won't be walking anywhere far.
I retrieved the phone.

Brief Encounter meets The Discovery meets Desperate Dan July 2016

A weekend at Silver Ridge, site of Steve and Hazel's van all those years ago. Clic for 1974

Wet and grey Arneside. An excellent lunch and happy memories at The Albion.

We waited for the bore after the air raid warning. It never came. Apparently it only arrives once a month.

Train to Carnforth.

Carnforth Station
The New Inn at Yealand Conyers was shut. Stuart Woodhead's brother lived at Warton and they use to go. Hartley's brewery and great beer. The owner, Colonel Hartley, lived across the road. Shut because no one went in. For goodness sake - it had turned into a Robinson's.

The King's Arms we remembered as being just down the road from Silver Ridge caravan site. It's a bit further than that. We had Amanda and Andrew with us one visit, before they were married. We suggested they go off by their two selves. No, joined in with us like an old married couple. I went with Steve once, a walking holiday. We ate steak canadiennes here by the bucket load.

Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe.
No beach. Tired and broken down rides and arcades. Ripped off at Frankie and Benny's for lunch. Afternoon in the park near the golf course. Putting, crazy golf, ice-creams and entertainment from Frecklington Brass Band. Got lost on the way home. Finished at Beetham where a single chicken was holding up traffic.

Our caravan was called Hazel. We had forgotten just how tight it is to turn round apart from the lounge.

Edinburgh. The apartment was even tighter than the caravan. Good central location but did we really need it? Crossing the road was dangerous and you get use to Fire and Rescue sirens every half hour.

Bennet's Bar 

Dundee, home of The Discovery where it was constructed. The ward room. Lost my glasses in the car  park. A kind stranger overheard our enquiries at reception. 'I've seen those,' he said and took us right to them.

Also home to The Dandy comic.

The Tay Bridge. The pillars of the previous one can still be seen.




Training 4 (16m) - The reality sinks in

This was the hydration system recommended by the private male only walking team I once went out with. Sits in the rucksack with the tube looping over a shoulder. It works but fiddly. And doesn't contain the amounts of fluid that I need for 15 miles. When it arrived the childbride asked why I'd bought a catheter with bag. Reasonable question.

Huddersfield Train Station

Kirklees College

The canal at Milnsbridge

The canal at Slaithwaite

Unusual sluice lock gate 

The canal at Marsden

Lunch at the Riverside (alcohol free)

My camera ran out. The afternoon route was up Wessenden and it baking hot. Hydration management was now bottled water. the catheter bag too cumbersome. Rang for a lift once I'd reached the Isle of Skye road only to be told I had to wait half and hour, so I walked to The Huntsman.
The canal walk was pleasant enough. The rest wasn't.