Hexham to Haltwhistle
20.75 miles – 12,362ft of ascent
This was the day that AW had awaited so long – the day when he would reach ‘the Wall’ and ‘see something that was as old as the Gospels‘. After crossing the Tyne at Warden Bridge he took the lane that follows the North Tyne and emerged from it to arrive at the Wall ‘half running‘.
Cilurnum (Chesters) was but ‘three minutes‘ away and AW was soon exercising his imagination as he surveyed the ruins – in his mind’s eye they ‘rose again to their full stature‘. A similar mental exercise was undertaken when he paused, as he headed west, at Limestone Corner. He was, as he knew, on top of the Wall as the road he was walking on was built on top of the Wall by General Wade in the 18th century.
At Borcovicium he left the road and after a look around the impressive ruins of Housesteads fort saw the Wall ‘in all its imposing majesty‘. Tearing himself away he walked along the Wall passing Cuddys Crags and then Crag Lough before, in the gloom, dropping down to the road to make for Haltwhistle having ‘never been so elated‘.