Day 2. Newburn to Wallhouses 10.5 miles
Another beautiful day on the trail today with slow moving big grey clouds and patches of sun. The kind of day that a guy can walk all day in shirtsleeves and still be comfortable.
We left Keelman Inn (we stayed in a brewery!) after breakfast and continued walking along the River Tyne, heading west. Before long we turned away from the river and started climbing along tree canopied trails, alongside hay fields and through little villages. For the first couple of hours as we climbed we could look back and see the River Tyne below us but that view vanished as we approached Heddon on the Wall.
At Heddon we got our first look at Hadrian’s Wall. Much of the wall has been pillaged, used for building materials or buried with time. There is a 125 yard long section of the wall in Heddon that shows the width of the wall (about 8 feet) and shows Roman tool marks on the wall stones. It is not a tall wall, only 6 courses of stone in some places, with very little left of its 12 foot height.
Back in the day, British Parliament instructed the military to tear down the wall, break up the stone and use it to build a road. They did and they built Military Road right on top of the wall’s foundations. We walked 6 miles alongside Military Road today but not on the roadway. We walked through fields of hay and flax separated from the road by a hedgerow. We were considerably lower than the road in many places and could see portions of the original wall, below the roadway, through the hedges and could see vast views looking away from the highway, views of rolling hills, farmland, sheep grazing all topped with rolling black clouds.
At the 10 mile mark we stopped at the Robin Hood Public House for a late lunch. The Sunday roast beef was excellent with Yorkshire pudding, carrots and turnips and 3 types of potatoes. Shannon had the salmon, also good judging by the empty plate. Wallhouse Farms B&B is only 3/4 mile from the pub but we didn’t want to navigate the trails after dark so we bought some beer, wine, cheeses and biscuits so that we can have a little picnic for dinner. Maybe out by the sheep pen. Wallhouse Farms is a working farm with lots of sheep, fields of hay and nothing around it for at least 3/4 miles. Nothing. The TV works though so maybe we’ll watch the closing of the Olympics as we lay in our twin beds at the Wallhouse Farms B&B.