While this isn’t my first adventure of the year its my first long distance walk and quite fitting its Hadrian’s Wall given a number of things happened to me over the years on the wall.
The norm is to walk it in 6-7 days but I’m pushing myself to get through it in juat over 3 during the Easter weekend in March.
My research involved buying the Cicerone guidebook and a strip map. Its not really a hard route to follow given its pretty much signposted and there’s a big wall in the middle.
I am walking west to east to end up in my home time so I looked at the mileage and figured there were stages I could join together. From speaking to people and researching online the first few stages aren’t that interesting or taxing. Its the middle days with the undulating hills I need to be wary of. I’e walked parts of this so I know what I am putting myself through and using it as an exercise to learn my capabilities, test some kit, move quick & light and wild camp where I can.
I just want to push my limits in a controlled way for my first solo walk. There are going to maybe up to 12 hour days of walking. Tough for any one. But I like a challenge.
Given these factors these are the stages I am aiming for:
Bowness to Newtown – 24 miles
Newtown to Sewingshields – 22 miles
Sewingshields to Newburn – 27 miles
Newburn to Wallsend – 12 miles
Having worked out the daily miles I looked at the strip map, OS Maps online and Google Maps to work out check points, food places along the way and research accommodation options. I arrive on the Thursday and have found a campsite in Bowness. It keeps the costs down and the site does a breakfast so that should set me up for the first slog.
At Newtown the B&Bs are expensive and limited so I found a bunkhouse. I could have wild camped but the first day is going to be long & flat and I’ll be ready for a bed. The second night I aim to wild camp near Sewingshields. I know its frowned on to wild camp on the wall but I have found a few places that should be out of the way enough. Obviously I will try to ask permission where possible and leave no trace.
When I get to Newburn I was going to try and wild camp again before my last leg into Newcastle but my Dad has offered to pick me up and has room on his couch. He wants to walk the last leg with me. When I get to Newcastle I return to my Dads via a visit to see my dog.
So thats the first walk of the year planned. Reivers Way and Wainwrights Coast to Coast to plan next before the big one. Lands End to John O Groats. And a few mini adventures to sort in between.