Walking Hadrian’s Wall For Cancer Research

A different sort of post just for a change.  This week is the birthday of my Mother whose death occurred almost 5 years ago.  She suffered from cancer on several occasions and so  my wife, uncle and I have decided that we are going to do something positive in her memory.  We’re going to walk the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for Cancer Research.

hadrians-wall-map-02

Hadrian’s Wall crossed England and indeed Britain at just about the narrowest point and is 84 miles (about 135km) from the Solway Coast to Wallsend in the East where the River Tyne is so wide that the Romans believed formed an inpenetrable barrier in its own right. Traditionally most people walk from west to east. This is partially because the prevailling winds blow from the west and also as there is limited transport out of Bowness whilst there are no such problems with Newcastle.

Wallsend Metro station, part of the Tyne & Wear Metro. The only public station with signage in Latin.

Wallsend Metro station, part of the Tyne & Wear Metro. The only public station with signage in Latin and where our walk starts. 

We are going to walk this route from East to West which is the way the Romans built it.  There is also the advantage that your first day starts in a big city and ends in the country rather than the less enticing way of finishing your trek spending 6 or 7 hours walking through increasingly busy and noisy surroundings.  Also as I am originally a local, I know where picturesque highlights are no matter what people in faraway London or overseas might say.

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Most people take 7-10 days to do this route but we are going to do it in 5 days.  Whilst it might be something of an achievement, I think if one can’t walk 15-20 miles a day then it is a bit of a poor show.  The hardest bit for me will be because I have asthma and am prone to chest infections, though I suspect this is from the dirty London air it doesn’t help me if I start off ill as walking across the moors is probably not the best way to get better!

Having said that, last time I was in the area and on the first day of my holiday my chest was so sore I could barely walk across the room of my cottage.  It didn’t stop me climbing Skiddaw by it’s hardest route either, maybe I’m just stubborn!

HWP_Elevation_Profile

Another advantage of starting at Wallsend is that you get the hardest parts done earlier on.  I’ve been to the wall several times and driven along the length of it on the old parallel military road hundreds of times but I’ve never walked it in duration.

bighistoy

There are lots and lots of fortifications and Roman remains along the entire length of the wall and for anouther 30 miles down the western coast so plenty to see and do.

One of the main reasons for doing this though is to raise money for the Cancer Research Charity.  I hope that some of you will be able to spare a donation or two for this very worth cause.

One of the mos famous trees in Britain, Sycamore Gap. Made iconic in the 1991 Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves film. In reality it makes no sense to go 400 miles plus from the Channel to camp here overnight before going to Nottingham... as Nottingham is the half way spot!

One of the mos famous trees in Britain, Sycamore Gap. Made iconic in the 1991 Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves film. In reality it makes no sense to go 400 miles plus from the Channel to camp here overnight before going to Nottingham… as Nottingham is the half way spot! Photo from Flickr by BDK

We’re doing the walk in early July and I will no doubt blog about it and Hadrian’s Wall itself in the future.  For now though the link to the Just Giving page is below.  I know most people put a photo up on these pages but I don’t have a recent photo of me and Mam but if she were here she would be more concerned about me wrapping up warm and not disappearing down an abandoned mine-shaft.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-liddell1

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
This entry was posted in Cumbria & The Lake District, Life, Northumberland and Durham, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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