19th August – Greenhead to The Sill at Once Brewed

20180819 Hadrian's Wall shrouded in mist
Hadrian’s Wall, shrouded in mist

Sunday

The torrential rain during the night gave way to a light drizzle by morning. Knowing that the weather was due to improve I arranged breakfast for 8.30 and it was 9.50 before I left Greenhead.

20180819 Hadrian's Wall near Walltown
The Wall near Walltown

Kitted our in full rain gear I set off for one of the highlights of the trip, Hadrian’s Wall. The trail passes Thirlwall Castle leading on to an old whinstone quarry and rising to the wall. Unfortunately for most of the rest of the day the views, which are extensive, were obscured by thick mist and rain. It is also disappointing that most of the information boards are indecipherable and need replacing.

20180819 Milecastle 42 near Cawfields
Milecastle 42 near Cawfields

With little incentive to dawdle I passed Turret 45A and Milestone 45.  Large forts were built at intervals, with mile-castles each mile.  A Roman mile is 1481m.  The wall follows the crest of Whin Sill and is a bit of a roller coaster with steep ups and downs.  Passing Cockmount Hill, Great Chesters, Cawfields, Shield in the Walk, I reached the viewpoint on Winshields Crag in driving rain and mist.  I therefore missed seeing Scotland for the first time on the trip.

20180819 View north from Winshields Crag
The view north from Winshields Crag

Shortly after leaving the high point of the wall I reached a minor road at Peel and could descend to the new YHA hostel called the Sill. I arrived at 2.30 and persuaded the warden to open the drying room before booking in time at 3.00.

20180819 The Sill Hostel
The Sill Hostel

As I write this at 5.30 the rain has stopped. Tomorrow I head for Bellingham and a last chance to stock up before two days crossing remote moorland and the Cheviots.

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