DRIVING HOME – Walk Complete

Hadrian’s Wall – done!

And that’s that, our journey back home to Norfolk is complete and this blog is our record of the week’s events. Please note that this blog was written by Julian and isn’t really safe for work, so read at home at your leisure….. There were seven days of walking and also one day to get there and one day to get back.



The results have been counted for the awards ceremony.







Clive is suspicious if Bev really did have bad feet, but if she did, that was a remarkable achievement to battle on through the pain. The scenery during the week was ever changing, woodlands, lakes, hills, roads and there were plenty of nice pubs and accommodation options along the route.

Any concerns that we had that Bev might be quiet were shattered after a few minutes in the car, and she certainly added much to the trip. Joy was calm and always available with the map reading, whereas Clive lurched from accommodation crisis to crisis. Steve was the reliable person who would make phone calls and organise meals, whereas I, Julian, was the glue that held the rubble together   🙂

We saw as much of the wall as we could, although we didn’t have time to visit the museums on this occasion. That can wait for a return visit. So, I will be writing the missing blog posts up for the next few hours, but for anyone reading this from Monday 19 June 2017, then this is all there is.

I’m delighted to have completed my first coast to coast walk, whilst Steve and I also completed an unsupported (ie, we carried our bags) Hadrian’s Wall walk. Clive, Bev and Joy completed the Hadrian’s Wall walk, but they used baggage carriers so their efforts weren’t as impressive.

Thanks for coming everyone and I hope that it might interest more people in Hike Norfolk than it scares off.


DAY SEVEN (Getting back to Newcastle)

After we had completed our very brave walk we went to JD Wetherspoon and then hobbled to the train station. We got on the train and were pleased to note that it was quiet, so we had lots of space for bags. The conductor’s banter slightly irritated me (since it was aimed at me) but I forgave him.

We started on our journey and it was interesting to see the places that we had walked in the week from the different perspective of the train. It’s also just a little disconcerting that the train takes just minutes to go a distance that took us hours to walk.

Mid-way through the journey we were rather surprised, as were Northern Rail it would appear, to see about 200 people try to get on the train. The train didn’t have space for them, so the conductor eventually told them to wait on the platform for the next service to Newcastle. Everyone was good mannered as they had their beer, since they’d been to a real ale festival I think.

As the train was so packed a number of customers sat on Clive’s bag which was left in the corridor. There was much laughter about this, especially from Bev, who had been slightly quiet since I’d warned her about taking her feet off the train seats. Clive didn’t join in the laughter, but was relieved to get off the train.

An avid reader of this blog would question why Clive got off the train early. Well, this is because the “I have a hotel just next to Newcastle train station” turned out to be the wrong hotel, so he had to get off a stop earlier and get a taxi. He took this in good humour until he realised that the hotel he was staying at resembled a brothel.

Anyway, we got into Newcastle and then took a taxi to the hotels, driven by a taxi driver who was a very fast marathon runner and who used to play for relatively big football clubs. I was pleased with my accommodation in a pub, it was a peaceful place to end the big adventure….

Clive struggled to get back up from this….
The Carlisle to Newcastle thunderbolt
Manic laughter
I pointed this sticker out to Bev
She apologised 🙂
This is the Indian restaurant where we ate earlier in the week
A rather packed platform
The window was a bit marked so my beautiful evening sun photo failed
Clive recovering his bag
Waving Clive goodbye

DAY SEVEN (We’re here!)

We walked back into Carlisle today and so the end point was the bridge over the River Eden, the same end point as yesterday. Great to be back in Carlisle, shame that the last section of the walk was through the city centre rather than by the river as it usually is.

These are the end photos, we were all so brave!!!

DAY SEVEN (17.1 miles)

Quote of the day – “Northerners are so untidy” – Bev   “I’m already looking for bridal shops” – Bev  “I think I’ll have the rump” – Bev    “There’s Joy again, always some solution to every problem” – Bev    “I think my hen week will be in the Maldives” – Bev   “F****** lager louts sitting on my bag” – Clive   “I could have paid less if I had known I’d be getting off earlier” – Clive    “I was in Deborah tonight, but now I’m in Charlotte” – Clive.

Bravest person of the day – Julian

Amount of time spent gossiping about other Hike Norfolk members – 1.2 hours

The Hadrian’s Wall walk is over (and my coast to coast walk) although it’s been a difficult day in the sun today. I am burnt, hot and Bev has destroyed my arm with her quack medicine. We’re currently sitting in the William Rufus pub in Carlisle enjoying a very lovely meal, feeling very proud of our achievements.

The walk started with a taxi journey to the coast and we walked back from there, so Carlisle was our end point for the second day in a row. I was delighted to compare a photo of me from 2009 to today and I’ve realised that I still look young.

The walk was a bit monotonous today in places because it was along roads, with no sign of Hadrian’s Wall at all. We found that a lovely pub which was selling Magnums and we quickly popped in, although we spent ages there when we discovered that Clive had merrily ordered himself a huge meal. Whilst at the pub, Bev found it hilarious that her ineptitude nearly broke my arm, but Norwich Ramblers will be sent a bill for any long-term injuries.

The rest of the day seemed to go relatively quickly, although there was a frightening moment very near to Carlisle when a large herd of cows refused to move out of the way. Luckily we got through, but farmers are going to need to do something about this significant threat to my well-being.

It was clear that I was ill in Carlisle, due to sunburn, as I couldn’t face a Gregg’s. I’m not sure that’s happened before, but the cider in Wetherspoons improved the situation. Most customers left the pub when Bev put all her used plasters on the table and I nearly made a complaint about it to the manager.

We then got a train back, which was full due to some real ale festival, although fortunately that only happened after we got on. Some people sat on Clive’s bag, which caused widespread amusement. I hobbled to the taxi with my red skin and was escorted with the others (minus Clive, who is splashing his cash again at a 5-star luxury hotel in Gateshead) and now am enjoying sweets, lashings of hot tea and some Haribo I’ve just found in my bag.

Really pleased to have completed coast to coast and the Hadrian’s Wall path, two birds in one stone as they say. Not sure who first said it, but I know Richard has said it, and probably Andrew. And I’d like to thank Richard, Andrew and other Hike Norfolk members for existing, as they ensured we had lots to talk about all week. Although the chat was professional, not the bloody “snog, marry, s***t” game that Loud Sarah and Dating Dave played last year I heard about.

I’m hoping everyone on this trip will be going on the Ridgeway long distance walk next year, so we can start the gossiping and fun all over again!