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Thursday, 29 July 2010

A Light Touch on the Border

 auchope cairn
November always seems like the end of the walking year to me. So, each November, I try to plan out whatever it is I might do the next year. In the past, this has inevitably had a four (ish) day backpacking trip in April as a pre-TGO shakedown; May is for the TGO and October is a fortnight in Wales. June, July and August each will have a week Hewitt bagging or whatever….  Last year I walked a high level route across Cumbria , for instance.
So this year, I decided that in August I will walk the English/Scottish Border and this has now crept up on me and slapped my head asking if I’m ever going to start planning for it.
And the answer is “No”. I’ve decided not to. I’m just going to buy a train ticket to Carlisle and walk till I get to Berwick.
 windy wild camp cheviot hills
I start on 9 August (according to  my diary) and, roughly speaking, the walk goes like this:
9/8/10 Carlisle to Longtown
10/8/10 Longtown to Newcastleton
11/8/10 Newcastleton to Kielder
12/8/10 Kielder to Byrness
13/8/10 Byreness to somewhere else
14/8/10 Wherever I was the night before to Kirk Yetholm
15/8/10 Kirk Yetholm to Coldstream (ish)
16/8/10 Coldstream(ish) to Berwick on Tweed.
And that’s it. Planned.
Lets see what happens if you just set off….
Will I make it?

19 comments:

Meanqueen said...

I will be watching this with interest, it sounds like the ultimate adventure. When I am out walking I prefer not to know what's round the corner, then everything you see is a bonus. I fancy having a go at this myself, first got to get the tent. Good luck.

Mike Knipe said...

I'm trying not to think about it because its not possible to think about it without actually doing some planning.
I've asked the hostel at Byrness if they've any beds....
And I must dig out the maps...have I got all the maps...? Dammit, I'm planning again....

The Odyssee said...

Why take maps Mike, just keep the compass pointing east and follow what looks the best route.
Should be fun.
Look forward to your posts.

Mike Knipe said...

From Kielder to Kirk Yetholm, I believe that basically its just a matter of following the fence and avoiding the Border guards Alan.
Who needs a compass?

The Odyssee said...

Yes. Thats true. Another 15 grams saved.
If only there was a sun you could use your watch. (where there wasn't a fence of course).

Mike Knipe said...

The most effective piece of survival equipment you can have is a fully charged credit card...
(5 out of the 7 nights on this walk have pubs within staggering distance of a campsite)

The Odyssee said...

Why use the campsite? Stay at the pub.
Leave the 1kg tent at home and shelter comfortably using the credit card.
Weight saving at one quick "swipe".

If we try hard the end to this post could result in staying at home.

Mike Knipe said...

.. and it would also save on food, stove, sleeping bag.... about 10kg.
I could post a pair of pub underpants and t shirt to each pub and get one of my secretaries to pop out with lunch....

Actually, I ought to reword that last sentence....

Mike Knipe said...

....incidentally, a post isn't properly finished until somebody mentions Adolf Hitler....

suzie said...

do you hav ea list of equipment you bring with you on these trips? any recommendations for gear? thanks!

Mike Knipe said...

Suzie - I can put up a post with a kit list in a couple of days if you'd find that helpful. Some readers might make comments (!) ("You take a what....?")

But I don't care. I'll put up a "long walk" kit list which is bigger than a weekend outing..

The Odyssee said...

Any kit list that includes Whiskey and photo's of Kylie is fine by me.

Mike Knipe said...

That comes under chapter 7 "In -tent entertainment" Alan.
Cask strength scotch is more efficient weight-wise....

Meanqueen said...

I can never understand why people need to keep changing their clothes on a walking holiday. You are out in the open, who's going to notice a few wiffy smells and the beer stains down your front?

Mike Knipe said...

Who rold you about the beer stains Llona?
Actually, you're right, specially when backpacking. Spare clothes weigh a lot. I met a lass on the Cumbria Way who's bag of used undies and other stuff was bigger than my rucksack.
I bet she won't do that again, though.

James Boulter said...

.......and why were you examining her bag of used undies Mike?

Mike Knipe said...

She seemed very proud of them James... I didn't want to appear stand-offish...

Stephen said...

for the somewhere else camping in the cheviots i can suggest a few places, if the weathers ok then theres a decent spot at the top of windy gyle which is about half way through the journey, if the weathers not so good follow the path towards kirk yetholm from windy gyle and you'll come accross a decent spot about a mile down the path next to a crossroads.

if you're travelling a fair distance on that day, i went from byrness to the mountain rescue hut and pitched there for the night, gives you around 18 miles travel for the day but again its a decent camping spot.

I've camped in all 3 spots and the windy gyle was the most spectacular, but only if the weathers ok !

Mike Knipe said...

Well, it was pretty 'orrible in the Cheviots, Stephen. I ended up dtoping low on the Scottish side off Clennel Street and found a nice sheltered spot for a windy and drizzly night.
Windy Gyle wuz tooooo windy!