Search This Blog

Monday, 12 May 2014

Walking the Hadrian Way / Hadrian Wall Trail - Tranche 1 / Day1 - Newcastle to Wylam

Sat 3.5.14 - Tranche 1 - day 1 – Newcastle to Wylam.
(Walked from 11.30-16.30 incl. 1hr stops and not including the sightseeing)
Got to Newcastle at 1am, went to my hotel and in the morning did an hour or so of sightseeing of the city. Then after breakfast I started the proper walk.

View from Eldon Square
Norman Castle
Medieval Gate near Norman Castle

I decided to start the walk from Newcastle Tyne Bridge as I had not been well the week leading to my walking and cut off the 5 miles from Wallsend to Newcastle Central.  

Tyne bridge
Looking back towards Newcastle
Follow the trail signs
Given the urban hard surface walking, in retrospect, I am very glad I did miss it, and any thoughts of making up for it another time, have been put to rest.  

Even more glad when at the end of the day I realized I had walked nearly 13 miles between the proper trail walk and sightseeing in Newcastle and most of them with my backpack on my back!
Ready to go, in the Hotel's lift

Newcastle to Lemington was mostly industrial although I did see a few Kittiwakes and a pair of shelducks feeding in the mud around Elswick.  

Shelducks feeding in the mud

The path from Lemington became much softer underfoot and once I reached Newburn the  landscape opened up and got to the river again.  I stopped for lunch at Newburn at the Tyne Riverside Country Park which sits right by the river.  

Learning a bit of history along the way
When I started walking again I followed the path along the river.  Fantastic views of the river and of birds. Walking listening to their sounds and chirping was just the perfect music to my ears.  On leaving the country park there were also bell-ringers from the church in Ryton, on the south part of the river, which accompanied me for part of the walk. Idyllic!

Walking along the river and in woodland or by fields I was rewarded with the sight of many birds: A cormorant drying its wings, pheasants, a solitary heron waiting for his dinner to come by in the river’s waters and mallards, jays, robins, blackbirds, crows, gulls, chiffchaff, blue tits, goldfinches…
The river from the Tyne Riverside County Park
Playing in the river with a motorboat...

A heron waiting for its dinner to come by...
Relaxing view of the river looking upstream
River walk among pine trees

At the end of the river walk the path turns right and you find yourself in front of George Stephenson’s cottage now run by the NT and that has a lovely tea place with a few seats outside in the garden. Welcome place to stop and visit if you are interested in trains and engines as there is a small museum in the cottage or just for a cuppa and a cake.

George Stephenson's cottage
The side garden tea-room
From here it was a short walk to Wylam and my stop for the night. Wylam is a village (rather a large one) and thanks to Google maps I managed to add an extra ½ mile trying to find my B&B!!

Anyway once found the B&B owners (the Craven’s) turned out to be delightful and very friendly; no sooner I had been shown to my lovely room the owner offered to take me and two other guests, staying the same night, to a restaurant in nearby Ovingdon, as there was nowhere decent to eat in Wylam, so they said. Consequently we got driven and picked up after dinner and we had a very delicious meal too.

In the morning I had a very filling breakfast with all you can ask and dream of.  Left Wylam with a lift from Dad Craven to Heddon on the Wall and here had my first view of some of the remains of the wall.
B&B in Wylam: Wormald House.

No comments:

Post a Comment