Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Friday Sept. 25 Gilsland to Walton ONLY 7 miles!!

 Another short hike today - woot woot! And look at that blue sky! The weather gods did turn on the tap for a brief time but otherwise it was a lovely day. This picture shows the front of our B&B.
 After a breakfast of oatmeal with whiskey and cream, oh my, we headed back into the village of Gilsland to pick up the trail which will take us to an even smaller village called Walton.
Annie made a friend!
Today's journey takes us from Gilsland to to Banks to Walton with detours to visit Birdoswald Roman Fort and Lanercost Priory.  But first we explored a milecastle just on the outskirts of Gilsland. No, Miss Kitty didn't come with us but she sure was friendly!

I would have had so much fun living here as a kid - I used to rake the leaves from our huge maple tree into a floor plan of a large house and then run from room to room pretending someone was chasing me! That's what these walls remind me of...

And off we go!

Stinging nettle is EVERYWHERE!!

We saw a few fixer uppers along the way...

 ...next up is a turret outside of Gilsland...

Look how tall we are!! I wish... (except it looks like I have a pin head!)

I remember descending this hill - it felt safer than the previous hills due to the fencing and flat, even stone steps.

 The River Irthing used to flow here and there are ruins of a Roman bridge; the river's course has moved north of this site.

Now there's a newer bridge over the Irthing...

 Next stop - Birdoswald Fort built from 125AD to 138AD.
 ...the "farmhouse" was built starting in the 17th c with additions and changes made until the 20th c. It is now used as a hostel.

Dancing tree roots!

 We're supposed to be able to see Scotland today but it's difficult to see where one country ends and the other begins. (oh, and this is the wrong direction anyways....!)

 ...a brief walk in the forest...a very magical looking forest!! Full of ferns, bright green moss and interesting tree trunks...

I love these paths the most!

...and when we emerged from the forest we were greeted by an honour box full of cold drinks and chocolate bars. Thank you Matthew!

 I had a REALLY COLD coke - I don't usually drink pop but on this occasion it was just what I needed! We had a short rest, yelled THANK YOU a few times and then continued our journey.

I could stay here forever! So beautiful!

We had to purchase a packed lunch from our B&B as there was nowhere to purchase lunch along the way. It was a bit milder today and we found the perfect spot to eat...

...and the view from our picnic spot was incredible!!

Our path took us through the tiny village of Banks.

 ...but not for long... here's another crazy tree...

It seems to have swallowed up a number of people as it grew!!

We're getting close to Walton, our destination for today.  But first we're going to take another side trip to visit Lanercost Priory.

Since this post is already very photo heavy  I think I'll save the Priory until tomorrow!

 Here's just a wee glimpse of the Priory through the crumbling but very picturesque front gate :)

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