I don’t recall quite how we became aware of it, but at some point Susan proposed that we walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path. In England, they refer to this as a National Trail; it was formally established in 2003. The trail runs along the ancient (122 AD) Hadrian’s Wall, which is a World Heritage site. The trail runs from coast to coast, and is most often walked from the east end at Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast, a short distance south of the border between England and Scotland. The distance is officially 84 miles, but our walk was closer to 100 miles.
We had visited some of the sites and museums along Hadrian’s Wall in a previous visit (year?), but this would be a chance to see the entire route and all of the remaining fragments of the wall. When we asked them, our friends Carl, Renee, and Chad agreed to walk with us.
We spent a few months walking increasing distances at home, and on successive days, to prepare our feet. We made arrangements with Sherpa (?) to reserve rooms at Bed and Breakfast establishments along the way, and to move our bags from place to place. We only planned to carry lunch and raincoats while walking. We planned on eight days of walking, with a rest day near the middle.
The walk was very successful, except for Carl. He stepped in a rabbit hole coming over a stile, and sprained his ankle. Fortunately, there is a bus route that runs parallel to the trail, along the old Roman military road. (The bus route is called Route 122, named after the year the wall was built.) Carl was able to meet us at the B&B’s and sometimes for lunch.
The B&Bs were all very good experiences, but some days required walking a few miles away from the trail, adding to the official distance.
When we got to Carlisle, we rented two cars, and continued our trip to the Western Isles.