HIT THE TOON

The next diary entry is a bit of a set-up post after the rigours of conquering Hadrian’s Wall.

Well, actually we got half-way, but that was 40 odd miles, plenty enough for Mrs RM on this trip. We’ll go back and do Haydon Bridge to Newcastle later in the summer, then think about the bits on the edge. I’m sorry if any of you placed bets on our completing the walk, as if were Phileas Fogg or something.

I mentioned our hotel in Hexham being a mixed bag. To be fair, the room was large, spotless and had working W-iFi. It was only at breakfast when we were compressed into a tight area full of wheezing Glaswegian golfers talking up Ranger’s European ambitions that we started to regret our choice.

Covid has hardly crossed our mind this last week, out in the great wide open and with check-in and masks pretty much automatic by now.

But as we crossed the Tyne into Newcastle for the last day of the trip, we wondered what the first Bigg (Market) night since the Heaventeenth would bring.

Excitingly, Mrs RM’s last hotel choice took us west of centre.

I’m not sure I’d ever been west, unless you include St James Park and the Bodega.

It’s rather like Nottingham west of the Maid Marian Way, a pleasing mix of motorcycle shops, dance studios, old tobacco factories, shisha bars and schawarma grills (wholesale).

Scruffy shopfronts downstairs, faded glories upstairs; always the way in England.

On and on we walked, past graveyards and some tidy high rise flats.

I thought I’d booked a hotel in the centre” said Mrs RM. And to be fair, it WAS only 22 minutes till we reached Sure, which seemed to be a Punjabi restaurant with rooms masquerading under the Best Western brand.

Reader, they let us have our room at 11am ! Bless their hearts. I wish we’d had a curry there that night.

But I don’t like making plans, for Nigel or Martin, and had a couple of North Tyneside ticks to do before the Friday night crowds turned ticking into a lottery.

So we (or someone) abandoned the walking boots,

and headed for the twin temples of Tyneside and St James Metro.

16 thoughts on “HIT THE TOON

  1. When I did the Hadrian’s Wall walk in 2003 with one of my daughters (14 years old at the time) we had to give up at Acomb – the weather was so hot we were suffering from sweat rashes which made every step torture. But by that stage the wall is more in the head than on the ground, so if I were to attempt anything similar today, I think I’d make it a pub crawl like you did.

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    1. Our route would have gone through Acomb to Hexham and stopped there, but c.45/50 miles felt plenty and we weren’t following the route that strictly, particularly after Greenhead. It was good to see an actual bit of wall before Glisland but it’s only bricks !

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      1. Yes, or the remarkably cheap State Management beers.
        But why didn’t he name the place at t”other end Wallsstart ?

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      2. “…it’s only bricks”

        A friend insisted one year that they have a different style of holiday one year, so he took his wife to Greece and did ‘culture’ for a change. She was not impressed; her memorable quote was “If you’ve seen one pile of rubble, you’ve seen them all”.

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      1. Yes indeed.
        On 27th May 2003 it was Pedigree in the Boat and Jennings and Banks’s in the Railway.
        On 23rd July 2003 it was Banks’s in the Star and Tetleys Mild and Banks’s Original in the Railway.
        Both times it was then across the road from Stafford railway station for Titanic in the Stafford Arms.
        And on 27th May it was the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley for the evening.

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  2. Quite a history behind the hotel. It was the first pub built and owned by John Fitzgerald (before he was knighted) and founder of the chain that was recently sold. It was the Balmoral Hotel, and for a brief time in the 80s was managed by none other than me!

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