East Wallhouses to Haltwhistle (28 Miles)
Day one had been tough but we woke with high spirits and a sense of achievement and thankfully another fantastic blue shy. The first trek brought us back onto the main path of the walk. The walk starts of easily on fairly flat terrain and mixture of field and woodland. The walk takes a diversion after 7 miles at Brunton Bank. Although this may be contrary to the route marked on the path and may add and extra mile we would recommend the staying on the road and continuing into Cholerford. The reason as you may have guessed is that Cholerford has a pub. This is one of the two pub stops today so is a necessary diversion. The George Hotel sits beside the bridge and has a beautiful beer garden with riverside views. If you have set of at around 8 o’clock you should be here around 11 which makes perfect time for an early orange cordial… and a beer. Leaving the beer garden you then go over the roundabout straight ahead passed the garage on the left and head up hill. As you enter Walwick carry on forward on the B6318 and rejoin the path. As you hit the more rugged countryside after mile 12 the path becomes more undulating, this is a taste of things to come. Mile 17 brings you to Housteads Roman Fort. Described as a place where you can walk on the actual wall you should take note that sections of the wall that can be walked on are in the grounds. This we found out as we emerged from woodland and walked down the wall like centurions before seeing the no walking on this section of wall sign. Just beware that’s all I will say. Now 17 miles is a distance to go and then stop for lunch. You may decied to follow our footsteps and stop here or stop earlier but either way you’ll need to bring your own food as there is little to eat at the gift shop here. A posh lemonade and ice cream later and we set off to Halthwhislte. Although as documented previously this section of the wall walk is particularly gruelling yet I’m sure you will agree with us that this final section of day two brings some of the most stunning scenery on the walk, passing the scenic Crag Lough you can of dream one day owning a home in such a location Awesome. The next 7 miles some may describe as the stuff of nightmares after the previous 17 miles. The terrain is, well I was going to write undulating but this seems to not only underestimate the challenge but not do it justice, this section is literally unforgiving constant steep acent followed by steep decent followed by steep accent, you get my drift, although it is broken by the sycamore tree from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, a tree, 26 miles of pain, we didn’t stop. After nearly 26 miles we reached the pub at Shield Hill on the B6138. The Milecastle Inn is excellent. Not since our early days of storming Richmond had we come across a pub stocking Cameron’s Strongarm and my face changed momentarily from one of pain to one of delight as I hobbled to the beer garden to present Jeff with a pint of the ‘ruby red’, some may say fate, personally I think this was our just rewards following the days achievements. Still on the StrongArm high the evening was made even better as we rang for a taxi to takes us to our accommodation. The taxi driver insisted that he would come and collect us but as we were only a five minute walk away that may be easier, five minutes seem to pale into insignificance following the days trek yet we did have a good think about it! I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed a B&B more than Burnhead Bed and Breakfast. The owners were absolutely charming and very friendly and the accommodation was very clean and comfortable. We were made to feel extremely welcome and it felt like we had been chatting to old friends as we discussed the days walk and joked about the pain we were in and the torment to come. The couple had even booked us a table at the Milecastle Inn (excellent food and wine list by the way) for later that evening before we had arrived as it quite frequently got to busy. Going that extra mile made a massive difference and we would both highly recommend a stay at this fine house with this wonderful couple.