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Saturday, 7 November 2009

Border Marches March develops a bit

Some alert readers may remember me going on about a route along the English/Scottish Border.

208 auchope cairn day 18 Auchope Cairn Cheviot Hills

Well, as its been chucking it down in Crook yet again, and I’ve been at a bit of a loose-end, I’ve been playing with the maps and I’ve come up with a first draft – or , as it’s November – a first draught, possibly, of a route.

And this is it:

Start at The Sands Centre in Carlisle. I’d been lead to consider starting at Gretna, which may be more logical, but its easier to get to Carlisle and you don’t have to get married. Its quite a bit longer, starting at Carlisle, but the paths are better.

So – we start at Carlisle and follow the Cumbria Coastal path northwards as far as it goes, to a place called “Metal Bridge”. Lanes take us into Longtown. End of first day. Its about 23km and should be fairly easy walking. Good start, I think.

Day 2 Goes alongside the River Esk for a bit then uses quiet lanes to get into the forest and forest tracks and paths to Newcastleton aka Copsawholme, which is a much better name. 27 km. This day starts well and deteriorates a bit on the lanes and forest roads. But it gets a bit further East, which is what we want.

192 byrness day 18

Near Byreness

Day 3 Takes an old drovers road to Bloodybush and, very roughly over Larriston Fell for more forest roads into Kielder. 22km

There’s a campsite and a pub at Kielder, so thats OK then. Larriston Fell could be a shock after all that easy walking – but training for more rough stuff is required. Think of this as a granny-stopper.

Day 4/5 Goes up Peel Fell, down to the Kielder Stone, and, basically, follows the border fence over Carlin Tooth to Carter Bar and a bit further till a track down to Byreness is taken. This is a long way - 33+km. Some people may consider that two days with a big pack over vicious tussocks may be the thing. There’s usually a tea van at Carter Bar. The independent hostel Forest View at Byrness will probably turn out to be an oasis in a desert of brown grass. This may save your sanity. Onwards!

Day 5/6/7 - After an initial walk back up to the border fence, follows the Pennine Way from Chew Green to Kirk Yetholm. 40+km. Probably two days. There are multiple wild camping spots, specially on the Scottish side of the border, and two garden huts, sorry, refuge huts, and B&B off route at Uswayford.

Day 6/7/8 Goes to Town Yetholm and by lanes to the River Tweed, which is the border, which is followed on footpaths and lanes to Cornhill on Tweed 27km.

Day 7/8/9 More riverside paths and lanes to Berwick on Tweed for Fish and Chips, Beer and the train home. 29km

marches march

Hows that for a walk, then? _ I think I’ll have a crack at this next year….


Martin Rye said...

That is a fab idea and do it. It has a sense of adventure about it.

mike knipe said...

Thanks Martin (oddly, I got two emails notifying your message, but nly one message)
Anyway - there's more info from Joyce at the hostel at Byreness, which is significaant for Border Marchers and Pennine Wayers as well - so I'll publish that shortly.
I'm getting quite enthusiastic about this project....