The Pennine Way, Day 16

Date: Saturday 6 June 2015

Walked from: Bryness, Northumberland

Walked to: Windy Gyle, Northumberland 

Distance: 13 miles

Stayed: Forest View Walkers Inn 

Weather: Super windy. Heavy rain featured. 

The Met Office weather app warning of 50mph gusts aside, I knew it was going to be a windy walk when someone I only know through Twitter contacted me to warn of the weather and Joyce (see yesterday’s entry) started listing the possible escape routes down from our intended walk. Pah to that – this was the penultimate day of our walk and we were heading on out / movin’ on up, etc.

Fortuitously, while the wind was strong, it was also largely behind us, which meant we pretty much got blown up today’s hills, and along most of the route. Bags were much lighter today, as we were all being picked up by the indomitable Joyce and taken back to Forest View later, which was good in some ways, but did mean I was lacking the ballast my bag usually offers me in such circumstances. I succeeded in not being blown over, but think it was more luck than judgement! 

The big climb of today happened within minutes of starting, up Byrness Hill, then undulating climbs and descents along the ridge to Ravens Knowe, Lambs Hill and Mozie Law, and our flirtation with Scotland began, dipping in and out of the border after meeting it for the first time at the appropriately named Coquet Head. Rain mixed itself in with the wind at various junctures today, but was out in full force by the time we reached the trig point at Windy Gyle, where we dropped down (quite literally) two miles off the route to Trows Farm, and our pick up point. 

Waiting in the barn for our lift back to the warm and dry refuge of Forest View were the lovely Joy and Owen, a retired couple from Dorset who we had met the night before. Shivering in our damp clothes we cheered up the 20 minutes it took for our lift to arrive (bang on the 4.30pm pick up time) by turning up the volume on my phone and having an impromptu singalong. I’m not going to comment on Ken’s dancing; suffice to say that he is a dad. And he dances like one…

Another warming and plentiful meal at Forest View, a few more pints of local beer, catching up once more with Peter and Colin, and it was again time to fall into bed ahead of the last walking day of my holibobs. I fell asleep dreaming of the beautiful Cheviot hills, and a fantastic walk, now almost over. 

Photos: Climbing up Byrness Hill, a random mini TV set abandoned on the hillside / three pics of The Cheviots, including one with beautiful Cotton Grass in it! 


About silkakt

I'm a map addict. I nip out in my lunch break to go to the National Map Centre, just around the corner from where I work, to feed my habit. My fix normally costs £7.99 and comes in the form of an OS map, although I'm a big fan of Sustrans cycle maps, the Trailblazer walking guides and maps of the world too. And once I've got my new map, I start plotting - routes, adventures and an escape away from the office that I spend too much time in. Maps, quite simply, make the world a better and more exciting place.
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