Hi, my name is Sue - aka Sooz - and along with my husband Andrew and our two good friends Lezley & Ian, we decided, in a bid to get us ladies fit, we would walk the entire length of Hadrians Wall.
Oh, can't forget the Dog - meet Dotty Dog, our resued springer spaniel, ex gun-dog and mud lover.
Obviously due to work, families, and life in general, we could not do it in one go (and quite frankly I think us ladies would die of exhaustion), but being lucky enough to live in Carlisle, which sits on the edge of the site of The Wall, it is quite accessible for us to do the first few segments with very little travelling.
So, Week One - Bowness on Solway to Burgh Marsh.
We went in two cars, dropping one off at our destination and carrying on to our start point. It was a bit of a job to fnd a parking spot in Bowness on Solway, as it is just a quiet little village. Eventually we did, put Dotty Dog on the lead and off we set to try and find the passport stamping area.
The Passport is a card that you get stamped at certain areas along the trail, at the end, if you have all the stamps you can apply for a completion badge.
It was a little confusing as it stated the stamp would be at The Bank, or the local pub. It wasn't at The Bank and the pub was closed, so we decided to pop to the toilets behind the pub and just set off and pick up the stamps later when we returned for the car, but there in the toilet block was the stamping station - result!
So, we got our first stamp and then it was time to really hit the trail.
We walked back to The Bank to make sure we started at the very beginning. Only 84 miles to go !!
We had some segments off road, and some on roads - and tight little country roads at that - so Dotty Dog had to be on a lead, much to her disgust, but she did have a paddle in the sea and in a few muddy puddles.
We passed through Port Carlisle where they used to bring the good in from the sea and down a canal to the City of Carlisle, the canal has now gone but the remains of the lock are still there.
Around this point we stopped for a bite of lunch, cheese & marmite sarnies and a bag of crisps :)
The next Village was Drumburgh where there is a really odd looking castle with some interesting history.
Drumburgh Castle, a fortified farmhouse, was close to the site of the Roman Fort at Drumburgh, about 3.5 miles south east of Bowness-on-Solway.
It was originally built almost entirely with stones from Hadrian's Wall, by Thomas Lord Dacre early in the 16th century. Licence to crenellate the preceding tower had been granted in 1307.The upper doorway of the house once had a date of 1518.
Then we left the Village and headed onto Burgh Marsh. when I was a child we used to come and play on the Marshes and if the season was right, collect loads of mushrooms, so I was chuffed to spot one in the grass :)
The road through the Marshes is long, flat, long, boring and long. Are you getting it was long? It seemed like it was never ending.
We parked about 1/3 into the Marsh at a little hamlet called Boustead Hill, and there us ladies rested while the blokes went to collect the car.
Total walked - approx 6 miles (according to the gadget one of the blokes has). Time spent - approx 2.5 hrs walking + 15 mins eating lunch.