As you know, I turn to BRAPA for my FACTS. And BRAPA FACT No. 377 is that Hadrian’s Wall is the border between England and Scotland. Which is nonsense, cause then Berwick would have to play in the Scottish League, surely ?
The Wall was actually built in 1974 to keep the evil Mackay clan out of England where they regularly invaded our pub for ticks before CAMRA gave them their own section of the Guide. That’s probably a BRAPA FACT, too.
We had three main objectives for the trip; to see a bit of Cumbria we’d overlooked, get fit(ter), and to allow James and his Waterbeach mates to occupy our house for a few days.
Tuesday morning, let’s get going.
An undistinguished full English at the Abberley, after which I stubbed my toe on the raised shower step and caused a pool of blood that may yet cause a future murder investigation that features on BBC 1 at 7.30pm. Mrs RM had packed a large First Aid kit (not the band), and the subsequent cluster of bandages slowed me down a bit so I was only 3 miles ahead of her after 5 minutes.
At that point we’d reached the golf course just before Brunton Park, and I suddenly realised I hadn’t got a clue where Hadrian’s Wall actually was, just where the football ground and Sam Smiths pub was, which was no use.
So after 5 minutes we made Baa Baa get the book out, and decided to follow the instructions rather than me making it up.
Five minutes later I’d got lost a second time, still in Carlisle, mistaking the rail bridge for the iron bridge.
That was the last mistake, till this morning.
In Rickerby Park a strange man came up to us, shouted “Roman centurions” and took a photo of us, like BRAPA and I do in pubs. I half expected him to sell us a polaroid for a fiver, but it’s probably doing the rounds of the dark web now. He gave us a 2 minute history of the Wall, the park, and left saying “I conquered the felt gladiator !“.
There’s some strange people in Carlisle.
At the start of the walk you get great views back to the Lakes, or Greater Workington as I call it.
You also get a view of a lot of cows, which Mrs RM is terrified of. An hour later she would ask a chap walking from Haltwhistle if there were any cows. “Loads” he said, unhelpfully.
The first half hour takes you through some quaint riverside estates (think Audley End),
then you get to cross the M6. “There’s a zebra crossing” a local wag tells two Wall walkers before they reach the bridge; possibly the origin of my pub the previous night.
I thought I’d found a micropub near Linstock, but the shed had far too much character for that.
Easy walking, good views, rusting farm machinery, and the sun on my back.
All it needed was a pub stop after 2 hours in Crosby on Eden. .
But the Romans didn’t build many pubs, and the folk along the wall have let theirs go the wall.
AKA the point at which Carling is swapped for Tennents.