Stat Counter

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Supermarket at the Centre of Britain

In a slight state of confusion, I decided that as the current cold spell seems to be coming to an end, that I’d best go out and have a plod about in my crampons now, before it all melts in a frenzy of warm Azores air and windy Irish Sea gales. Do it now before it melts.

And so, I found mysels and superdawg in a supermarket car park in…er… Haltwhistle….

Yes, yes, I know. I’ll go to the Lake District very very soon… but for now, I decided that I wanted a longish walk (although not all that long as it turned out) and I went for this…

The idea is for the intrepid walker and his bravehearted mongrel to work their way by stages and various easily linked footpaths from Haltwhistle (the centre of Britain by the way – apparently…) to the Pennine Way at Hartley Burn – possibly the best PW brewing up spot between the other less good ones to the South and some others further North….. – and then walk South to Lambley and walk back again on the South Tyne trail.

The snow was melting, the sun was shining and the ground and any boggy bits were still frozen absolutely solid. And it was warm! Yes – it was 3C. That’s 10 degrees warmer than the last time I went out.

Many people who read this blag will be familiar with the PW. This bit is possibly one of the least interesting bits. Its OK – just pastures and woodland and a bit of industrial archaeology at Lambley – still bits of coal in the spoil heaps by the way…

And the South Tyne Trail starts at the source of the South Tyne and walks, cycles, runs and rides a horse to Haltwhistle, mainly along the trackbed of the Halwhistle to Alston railway line, which closed in 1976 after 120 years of being a very big trainset.

I joined it at Lambley viaduct – which takes the line over the River Tyne. It gets to be a bit of a gently downhill plod after that, although the locals chaps who were out walking their dogs this afternoon were mostly (3 out of 4) intent on having a chat.
That’s one of the things I like about this end of England – people are generally interested in having a bit of a chat.

I got back to the supermarket in daylight. There’s a sign of spring for you.

11 miles and very little climbing.

Famous censored quotations #1

“There was a lot more snow up here last time I was on this top” Sherpa Tensing 1953.

I thank you. Quick! Get the crampons!!!

No comments: