Sunday, 22 April 2018

Great English Walk Day 35 - 22 April 2018

Fenton to Berwick upon Tweed
Walking 5.20am to 6.00pm
Distance walked today 24 miles
Distance walked so far 541 miles
Distance left 0 miles

While I was lying in my tent in the wood last night, pheasants squawking, I began to think maybe I could finish the walk in one long day. I woke shortly after 4am and the thought was still there so the decision was made. I didn't even make tea. I just packed up and set off in half light.

I slept in there last night

I largely followed the official GEW route all day although, to save a little time, I road walked between the villages of Ford and Etal. There was absolutely no-one about, just the way I like it and no traffic whatsoever. Both Ford and Etal have ruined castles that will have to wait for another time.
At Ford, I went by a sign for a cycle route to Berwick which, if I followed the route, would save me three miles but the GEW guide was effusive about the riverside walking so I opted for that and am so glad I did.
Ford church and castle
Etal castle

At Etal,  I started walking alongside the River Till, the only English tributary of the Tweed, and it was, with the exception of one stretch, my constant companion for a few hours, quite lovely. I walked through the beautifully named Tiptoe Wood, the smell of wild garlic accompanying me much of the way, under an impressive railway viaduct, and then arrived at the confluence of the Till and the Tweed, not so impressive but I took a quick break here. I'd done ten miles by ten o'clock with fourteen to go.
Wild garlic!
The Way then followed the Tweed the rest of the day, sometimes right next to it, sometimes a way away. Now and then, there was a diversion due to land slip. The quality of the path ranged from excellent to poor, the latter where there had been a land slip and a new path wasn't fully established. I passed through the villages of Norham and Horncliffe, meeting only a couple of dog walkers.

River Tweed

Here's where the path was
During the day, I took a couple of doses of ibuprofen for a muscle strain at the top of my right leg which has been troubling me the past few days and it helped a little.
The weather having been good (not hot) all day, on crossing the A1 outside Berwick, there was a ten minute shower which I waited out rather than don waterproofs. Then a path past a sewage works. Under the Royal Border Bridge, the main line between England and Scotland, then the modern Royal Tweed Bridge and the Old Berwick Bridge and this carried me into Berwick with the youth hostel only minutes away.

An exhausting day but well worth the effort and it means I have a day to explore Berwick tomorrow. My legs won't know what to do with themselves.


  1. Geoff,


    It has been a pleasure reading your blog each day and riding along with you.

    A great effort and UCare will benefit from your efforts.

    Enjoy your stroll around Berwick and watch the border as you enjoy St. Georges Day - "Cry God for Harry, England & St. George"

    Stride on!


  2. Would you mind awfully just turning around and walking back? I've enjoyed following your posts, but it all seems (from the comfort of my armchair) to have passed too quickly!

    1. For you, anything, BUT, I have to be at a wedding in Cornwall on Saturday. I hope our paths cross again some time. Would be great to see you and Mick.

  3. Congratulations and well done! I'll miss this daily little adventure and I'm happy I was part of it for at least a couple of days :)

    1. Mike, your company was greatly appreciated. My beer consumption increased by 100% for the three days we walked together!

  4. Well done Geoff - fantastic effort and like the above has been a great read every morning over a hot cup of tea and breakfast, in the warmth of the home. Well done again.