Friday, 26 August 2011

Brocolitia to Chesters.

It was a pleasant day to walk in on Sunday, slightly overcast with a nice breeze, but t-shirt weather for walking.

We parked at Brocolitia, where the lovely coffee van is, making a mental note to have a nice coffee on the way back.

Setting off across the fields, there was quite a few walkers out today, even quite large groups of them.

We started off walking down the right hand side of the Military Road and periodically crossing to the other side, then back again. I supposed it runs where access to the land is available.

We passed Black Carts Turret and continued onwards.

We are starting to see less and less of the wall now, not sure when we will see our final piece, I guess we wont know that until we reach the end.  It's a pity it's not marked  (LAST BIT OF WALL BEFORE NEWCASTLE  :)  or something )

Exciting the fields we walked down the main road for a while, sorry about this blurry photo, but it's just to show how far we have actually come.

This is us tagging onto the end of a walking group. Apparently there are companies that provide a walking day, all of these walkers were foreign, it was a little shameful that people from other countries flock to this area when myself, who has live in the area for over 40 years, is just visiting some of it for the first time!

The views are still spectacular even though the walk has now flattened out considerably.

The Vallum is still quite noticeable in places.

Finally leaving the fields, walking through a little village and out onto the main road.  The next part of the walk is mainly on the roadside, which is hard on the feet, grass is much kinder  :)

On route was this fantastic building with a FOR SALE sign outside.  I have since found out it is Chesters Stables, a grade 2 listed building.  Would make a nice holiday cottage I thought  :)  But alas, not for residential use.

Just a few more steps down and we came to a little box on the wall outside Chesters Fort.  It was the stamping station, where we got our next passport stamp.

Into Chesters Fort car park where we had parked.

We ate our packed lunches before setting off to pick up the car from Brocolitia and getting a nice coffee, but OH NO!!!, the coffee van had gone home for the day, gutted.

It was only a 4.25 mile walk this week, which felt like a stroll in the park, our stamina levels much be getting a lot better.

Total walked today- approx 4.25 miles.  Time spent - approx 2.00 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 61 / Time 32.45 hours.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Housesteads to Brocolitia

A lovely change from last week, this week was warm, comfortable and a really nice climate to walk in.

We parked at Housesteads and walked up the rubbly path to the Museum by the fort.

This is where we got our next stamp in our passports, we walked past this bit last week and it was way too wet to walk all the way back again.

We walked up past the Fort and down to the back wall, where we would begin our wall walk.

All along the trail it asks you politely not to walk on the wall, and you can totally appreciate why as people walking on it will dislodge the stones and it won't be there for future generations to enjoy.  This is why it is so annoying to keep finding people standing, walking and even running on it!

Not so far from the back of the Fort is Knag Burn Gateway a rare example of a gateway into the wall.  Dotty Dog thought it was her own personal paddling pool.

Onwards and upwards we walked, admiring the magnificent views.  Like last week we walked up and down and up and down, until we got to the peak of a hill where we had lunch.

Dotty Dog had pasta and dog biscuits today, as you may guess she rooted the pasta out, and left the dog biscuits!!

Behind us was a dry stone wall, and when we wandered over to look over it we saw the most fabulous view of a lake.  A hidden beauty.

After lunch, it was back to the hills, walking until we reached Sewingshields Turret.

Followed by Shewingshields Milecastle.

Walking on, we came to Sewingshields Wood, these little woodland parts are quite a nice change from the fields of sheep, you get to see fungi and pretty woodland plants.

Out of the woods and through a field, we walked to Grindon Turret, and then Grindon Milecastle.

The next part of our walk took us parallel with the Military Road, walking along some farmers fields, the walk had suddenly became quite flat, with just very slight inclines.

Just before we had to cross the Military road we had to climb a style. There was a little card pinned to the style telling us there was some good coffee ahead. That did sound welcoming!

Spotting the sign for Brocolitia, we crossed the road and headed towards the Temple of Mithras

This was fascinating, but such a small temple.  It was amazing that they could squeeze any worshippers in!!

Heading away from the Temple, we spotted another sign.......

At this point we were debating what to do if the coffee was NOT available as we had it well and truly lodged in the tastebuds!  Heading towards the Brocolitia car park, we were relieved to see a coffee van  :)

The bloke who makes the coffee (Ant, I think) is a fabulous font of knowledge about The Wall. He told us that Brocolitia used to be Procolitia, which means - small hill in the distance, but some historian chap changed it to Brocolitia thinking it was referring to Badger Sets.

One Cappuccino later, and we were happy bunnies  :)

I did ask if he did local coffee beans, as I am sure I had spotted loads in the fields that we had walked through, just laying on the grass.  He said if I went and collected them he would roast them for me..... I declined  ;)

Total walked today- approx 6.00 miles.  Time spent - approx 4.00 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 56.75 / Time 30.45 hours.