First 3 Days in a Nutshell

Nutshell? See what I did there? An acorn is UK’s national trails marker!

I didn’t start blogging until the end of our first day of hiking. Long story short, I was locked out of my own blog! So instead of trying to maintain a 3 day lag for the rest of the trip, I’ll just quickly bring you up to speed!

Our before picture in Bowness-on-Solway, iTunes silhouette edition.

Day 1: Where’s Walldo?

The entire first day of hiking, 15 miles from Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle, saw no actual wall. On the Ordinance Survey map (UK’s version of USGS topos) we could see where the wall used to be. Occasionally there would be a bench to sit on and a sign pointing out where a milecastle — the taller structures every mile along the wall where Roman soldiers would take turns sleeping and keeping watch — used to be.

You can’t see them because they’re hiding, but these cows are standing on Hadrian’s Wall.
With great meat pies come great responsibility.

Apparently 19 centuries is too long to expect a farmer to avoid the temptation to borrow a rock or two or two thousand to repurpose in their fields and their homes. So day 1 of Hadrian’s Wall was much more… theoretical. But the weather was gorgeous, sunny, cool, and dry, so this was a great day to just remember how to walk far.

Day 2: Okay, that’s a lot of wall. And rain.

A rainy day self portrait.

It rained all day from Carlisle to Gilsland. A light, steadily saturating rain. It was too warm out and too much bother to break out our raincoats, so we just embraced it. After all, today’s 20 miles would just fly by, right? Mile after mile of sheep, and cows, and green pastures, and hedgerows, and sheep, and rain, and what was this path named after again?

Every glamping tiny house should come with its own lamb.

Then there was wall.

It’s wall, it’s wall, it’s big, it’s heavy it’s stone…

And forts, and castles, and ditches… When it rains, it pours.

How it looks in the cookbook vs. how it looks when I try to make it.
Hadrian’s Wall, I am in you.
OK, seeing wall is off my bucket list now. What’s next? Oh. More wall. OK.

Day 3: Already taking shortcuts for beer!

The wall was all starting to look the same, until we saw this guy peeking out the window.

Today, Gilsland to Once Brewed, was a lot of up and down compared to the last 2 days. Luckily it was offset by perfect whether and only 9 miles of hiking. Once you’ve seen enough old wall, you also start wondering if there might be a shorter path to get to your next pub. After all, who needs to religiously stick to an arbitrary millennia old path? (Answer: Moe, who could care less where the next beer lives.)

The applause within Twice Brewed Inn was deafening as the Lionesses sealed the deal.

We front-loaded our schedule with the longest, hardest days of hiking. We’re already past the half-way mark after only 3 days out of 7. So perhaps more time to stop and smell the flowers tomorrow!?

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