Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hadrian's Wall Path - Newburn to Newcastle upon Tyne

24 Km

Our last day of walking, a long day ahead, pretty much all city walking today. We started in the sunshine. After retracing our steps from yesterday afternoon past the Rowing Club and the Pub we immediately took a wrong turn. We met another group of walkers who also took the same wrong turn and were able to consult with them about how to recover. Easier for us walkers maybe than the owner of this burnt out motorbike.


The tide was low and these tidal mudflats on the Tyne were intriguing to someone who grew up in central Canada. I imagined all sorts of interesting creatures living below.



The birds knew where to look.

The waterfront was walker- and user-friendly. 



Giant dock rings from an earlier, far more industrial time had been left in place.



Newcastle upon Tyne is a city of bridges.



We stopped at a busy pub with a large outdoor seating area for lunch. Across the way was this old house.



Neptune guards (inspires?) the Fish Market.


Okay, you might have trouble seeing them - kittiwakes on the Tyne Bridge! Usually, they nest on remote islands far out to sea so this colony is the farthest inland population known. For residents, they are a mixed blessing. One word: guano!






The kittiwakes also nest at the nearby Baltic Art Centre where there's a live-streaming webcam. Click here. When I checked on it on July 12 the ledge was crowded with chicks stretching their wings and wingercizing in preparation for fledging. Fun to see and I will have to remember to have a look next May when the kittiwakes are returning from their long winter and starting the nesting season all over again

One of the initiatives to help the Tyne kittiwakes and reduce the pollution is the creation/provision of two Kittiwake Towers, artificial cliffs, as an alternate nesting site.

More information about the Tyne kittiwakes here.

Every Sunday there's a street market along the Newcastle waterfront - it was very busy. 




Across the Tyne, there was an interesting contrast between new and old. The new building is the Sage Gateshead, a concert venue.


The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian/cyclist tilt bridge. The walkway, the part on the left in the photo below lifts up to let boat traffic by.


As you might expect to find in a coastal city, there are lots of boats.



By the time we got past the waterfront and around Anthony's Point, we were getting pretty tired and looking forward to arriving at our terminus, Segedunum in Wallsend. Why is it the last few miles seem the longest?


Pretty stoked, both of us!!


OMG!! WE MADE IT!!!!


We had come to the end of Hadrian's Wall Path but the journey wasn't quite over.....we found our way to the Metro station near Segedunum and travelled by train to Whitley Bay on the North Sea, about 25 minutes more and then a walk through town to our B and B for our last night in England. 


What a relief to arrive at OakTree Lodge and Andrew's warm welcome.

See that burnt out church across the street? It happened just 3 weeks ago and arson is suspected. The congregation had departed some years before.


Most of the restaurants were closed on this Sunday evening, but we found a really good meal at an Italian place on the waterfront and toasted each other with a glass of wine. 

After a restful night, we packed our bags and headed back to the Metro station to begin our journey to Glasgow. Spent the afternoon there (did a very interesting city on-off bus tour and ate at a French restaurant) then the next morning headed to the airport to catch our flight to Iceland.

We had a terrific walk, more than 200 km altogether, including diversions, getting lost, walking to B and B's and dinner, rest day and so on.  It's hard to go wrong walking in the UK. People are friendly and helpful, the landscape is breathtaking and there's always the history. 

Wendy was the perfect walking/travelling companion. I had fun telling people she'd been a flower girl in my wedding 51 years ago. As we get older age matters less and less, right? We managed well together and Wendy's use of technology enhanced our experience in so many ways, not the least of which was putting us on the right path more than once. Also, she didn't die laughing was very supportive when, at the Keelman Inn, I was overly enthusiastic in pulling a door closed and the handle suddenly came off in my hand, sending me shooting across the foyer and smacking into a radiator before crashing to the floor. All part of the adventure and, once I recovered, I was overtaken by giggles just thinking about it.

Next: our adventure continues in Iceland. So much to look forward to!
Coming up next on the blog!

This was Day 8.