20th August – The Sill to Bellingham

20180820 Hadrian's Wall and Peel Crags
Hadrian’s Wall and Peel Crags

Monday

The morning did not start well when the Fire Alarm went off at 5.00am. After a few minutes, when all the hostellers were in the corridors in various states of undress, it was declared a false alarm.

20180820 Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough
Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough

Returning to bed but not really sleeping I left at 8.10.  Today’s walk really broke down into 3 sections, the Wall, the Forest and finally moors and farmland.  For once it was not raining, and it was enjoyable just to get by with a T shirt.  The Hadrian’s Wall section was dramatic with fine cliffs at Steel Rigg and Hotbank Crags.  There were plenty of ups and downs with lots of steps before I left the wall at Rapishaw Gap.

20180820 Broomlea Lough and Hadrian's Wall
Broomlee Lough

Turning north from the wall the path crosses an area of moorland before entering forest.  One section of forest leads to moorland at Hawk Side before more forest is encountered and eventually you reach a small road near Ladyhill.

20180820 Boggy path through the forest
Boggy path through the forest

From here the path descends into a deep valley to cross Warks Burn and then rises steeply to the farm at Horneystead.  Someone should nominate the owners for a medal.  They offer shelter, toilets, refreshments, which included tea or coffee, soft drinks, beer, Waggon Wheels, crisps, sweets etc.  All were offered free, donations were appreciated, but not mandatory.  I stopped for tea and a late lunch.

20180820 The Mast at Ealingham Rigg
The mast at Ealingham Rigg

Much refreshed, I crossed more farmland before descending to cross Houxty Burn, immediately followed by a climb up past Shitlington Crags, to the tall mast at Ealingham Rigg.  From there it was a short walk down rough pasture to Bellingham.

20180820 Coming down to Bellingham
Heading down to Bellingham

This is yet another ex-YHA hostel, now operated by a local farmer.  I arrived around 4.20 just as the rain set in.  A trip to the local Co-op sorted out supplies, and I am self-catering to avoid having to go out in the rain.

There does not seem to be a fire alarm, so I am hoping for a better night.

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