Friday, September 18, 2015

The End of a 500-Mile Walk

September 2010, I felt sad as Bamburgh Castle loomed in front of us. For three weeks my partner and I got up each morning, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, then walked. I wanted to walk forever, but this Northumberland castle on the North Sea marked the end of our walk.

We had started down the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. We trekked half-way across England, then north up England's Pennine backbone before heading back to the sea. We connected several trails, including half of Wainwright's Coast-to-Coast, half of the Pennine Way, and sections of connecting trails including Cleveland Way and St. Oswald's Way.

330 miles, mostly glorious miles, sometimes tough-sledding miles. Usually just my partner and me, sometimes with my brother or friends.

I called the walk a "Walk around Newcastle" because it explores countryside around Newcastle upon Tyne where I grew up. I wanted to experience and share the heritage of this rugged northern land.

I vowed I would return to complete the loop around my home town by walking between Bamburgh and Saltburn.

In 2011 I walked a 100-mile section from Jarrow on the River Tyne to Saltburn. The following map shows the 430 miles I've walked so far:

Interactive map | Tracks (GPX)
October 2015, by plane, train, and bus I'll return to Bamburgh Castle, then start walking the remaining 70 miles to Jarrow. Part of me wants to leave a short section un-walked: imperfection, wabi-sabi travel, another reason to keep walking.

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