The Pennine Way, Day 14

Date: Thursday 4 June 2015

Walked from: Greenhead, Northumberland

Walked to: Bellingham, Northumberland 

Distance: 21.5 miles

Stayed: Cheviot Hotel

Weather: Glorious!

Odds are that if you walk for long enough, you’re bound to get a sunny day eventually. Well, it’s taken two weeks, but today it finally arrived – just in time for a glorious romp through the stunning Northumberland countryside.

The first seven miles of today’s long walk (all eleven hours of it, including food stops) were all about the Romans, as we walked up and down, and up and down a bit more, heading east along Hadrian’s Wall. A leg stretching start to the day, but a good un’, with a relaxing, sun soaking lunch stop atop a part of the wall that looks down on the pool of Crag Lough, near Once Brewed.

We then struck off northeast, in a yomp through the mixture of open countryside and forest that eventually got us to Bellingham, a village I first rocked up in on a cycling holiday nine years ago, and the last place we’ll see a cash machine for four days! I managed to sink half way up to my right knee in bog at one point, to much general hilarity, but apart from that it was considerably drier underfoot than yesterday. 

I spent much of the day muttering about wanting a lemonade, and took some time to share my thoughts on the best brands available to the British consumer, which I’m sure were welcomed by my walking companions (Annette, Ken, Chris and a new Pennine Way buddy Paul, who has been section walking the Way for the past seven years and started on his last part today). So imagine my sheer, unadulterated joy to come across the place of miracles that calls itself Horneystead Farm. The lovely farmers there have a small outbuilding with comfy chairs, a loo, cake, sweeties, hot drinks and a fridge full of cold drinks… including my very favourite lemonade (Waitrose traditional cloudy, since you ask…). The sugar we consumed there got me through the last five miles or so, as we picked up the pace to get to the Cheviot Hotel (also a pub) in time for a rather late dinner. Anonymous farmers of Horneystead Farm, I thank thee from the bottom of my lemonade addicted heart. And Northumberland, you are even more beautiful than I remembered. 
Photos: Views to the north (barbarian country) from Hadrian’s Wall / Ken showing off his balancing skills on the approach to Wark Forest / the fridge of miracles / the view from Ealingham Rigg


About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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5 Responses to The Pennine Way, Day 14

  1. I thought I was bad over maps!
    I’ve been using waterproof paper successfully for about three years, and have built up quite a collection of maps.

    A lovely read and some super photos.

  2. James says:

    Can still remember visiting Horneystead farm with my wife close close on 30 years ago and sitting in the outbuildings and having lemonade and a scone. And then a chicken coming along! Still tell the tale to this day. Enjoying the blog. Well done.

  3. Hottest day of the year to be walking this leg to Bellingham, I was so happy to find Horneystead Farm- so unexpected but oh how welcome, sat there drinking tea and talking to a friendly black lab and ginger cat. Paid for a can of Waitrose ginger beer as well – took two litres of water with me, it really should have been a three litre walk, ran out a mile from Bellingham, but without Horneystead’s lovely respite I would have been even thirstier!

  4. Sean Bond says:

    We came across Horneystead Farm when walking the Pennine Way in the summer of 1986 and decided to take up their offer of tea and biscuits. We were greeted by a very old lady who despite our rather unkempt appearance served our tea in her best china. It was all rather surreal but very welcoming. It looks like it’s a Pennine Way must-do/

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