01/04/17 Twice Brewed (Roman Wall) ‘A’ David Palmer ‘B’ Margaret Palmer
With a dreadful weather forecast of heavy rain and possible thunder 45 members travelled to Northumberland. The further west we travelled the darker the sky became. There was drizzly rain while we stopped for coffee in Haltwhistle where our party seemed to inundate all the small cafes in the main street. However, although the service was slow everyone was served eventually. We travelled to Twice Brewed but the new National Parks Centre was still under construction with a timescale of opening in late summer 2017. Arrangements had been made for the coach to park in the public house car park adjacent to the centre and we could use their toilet facilities. 10 members set out on the ‘A’ walk while after lunch, 35 members went on the ‘B’ walk along the road towards Steele Rigg’s car park but deviating onto the Roman Wall footpath at a bend in the road next to a National Trust holiday cottage. Immediately we were greeted with clarty tracks, not helped by the herd of cattle (including a bull) in the field. Fortunately they weren’t interested in us. Instead of climbing the steep slippery rocks we skirted in front of the Wall on grassy tracks eventually reaching the famous sycamore gap tree. As we posed for a group photograph a ewe and her twin lambs passed behind us on the hillside. We descended towards Crag Lough then immediately ascended a steep path to a farm where we left the Wall. More squelchy mud was negotiated then sodden grassy fields to reach a descent farm track that was covered in large puddles in some places. Good views of Crag Lough and sycamore gap could be seen. We reached the road and retraced by steps back to the pub. No rain for the ‘B’ party but while we were enjoying refreshments there was a heavy shower of rain so the ‘A’ party wasn’t as lucky. After a prolonged stay we travelled directly home. Flowers: coltsfoot, lesser celandine. Other: 7 skylarks, 2 white calves, lambs.
photo c. K. Gilliland