Monday, 4 February 2013

St Cuthberts Way

After a long break from doing support back up for Scott we ended up doing one of those last minute things as the weather forcast was looking good for that weekend. Scott got in touch friday to see if I was up for it and with permission from she who must be obeyed got the go ahead. The plan was to run (Scott only ) St Cuthberts way over the two days:- .
This time had I had no idea of distance and any support points so on a wing and a prayer set off for Scott's place Friday evening for a early start Saturday morning.So up early Saturday we set off for the starting point at Melrose abbey.
Melrose abbey
Today's destination was a B&B in Kirk Yetholm which as most people know is the finishing point of the Pennine Way.Support points were going to be difficult to sort out due to lack of time as I love to plan these things out and get the fun off playing support.Scott would be " running" away from access roads for me to get the car near so it was first thought of meeting north of Jedburgh . Scott thought about it and rightly said it would be best if I just went to Kirk Yetholm and had a wonder up the hills.We agreed I would find a location on the trail near the road to leave a drop bag as early in the run he would be going through places with "shops".After a coffee in Melrose Scott set off up the hill and I drove off to find a good place for a drop bag.
one of the many way points.

I sent a text to Scott telling where he would find his drop bag and set off for Kirk Yetholm via a place called Morebattle and from then on the fun started for me.It was a lovely clear , cold ,dry day but snow had played a visit through the night in this area and the small lanes were untreated so I crawled along until I ended up parked out side the border hotel.I had planned a "little jog" myself but as I had trouble just standing up in my trainers changed into walking boots and headed up the hill on St Cuthberts Way which at this point is the final part of the Pennine Way.
rather slippy for running or driving 
I headed up the hill out of the village heading for the Cheviot hills and after a mile and a bit headed off the road and up the trail.
Pennine way nice but very cold

I walked a few miles over the tops but after taking a few photo's with my gloves off found I had lost use of my fingers LoL. The visibilty was fantastic and it was a good place to be never mind how cold it was on the ridge.
on the ridge

looking north
I turned to head back off the ridge and really felt the cold as I was head on to a strong wind . On the way down I met a couple walking up and they were saying what a great day it was to be wondering about the hills to which I agreed.Arriving back to the car and dumping my pack in the boot I just could not resist the temptation of the smoking chimney and the thought of a beer.There is a new plaque on the wall at the entrance to the bar marking it as the start of the across Scotland route to Cape Wrath and I was told it was going to be officially unveiled next weekend so I expect Cameron McNeish will be there.
I was now waiting for Scott to show up and praying like mad he did not want picked up anywhere as I was on my second pint and driving was out.Scott arrived in due time got changed in the gents and we settled by the fire for a couple of drinks.I had booked a table for a proper meal for later so we just left the car and walked down to the B&B a short distance away.Returned later for more beer and food and some great banter with the locals.( I wont mention the rugby but being the borders a good mixed group were propping the bar up.)
and why not
and him

The forcast for the next day was several  degrees warmer so could be boggy if it was all melted so we turned in for the night.
Day Two
After a very full breakfast we had a quick plan of the day and we agreed to meet in Wooler for a coffee. went back up to the car before Scott headed off up the hill where I was the day before and I set off for Wooler.
saw this on the way
I ended up killing time in town then walked up the "way" to see if I could meet up with Scott who arrived soon after I got there so it was a quick dash back into Wooler for a coffee and scone as we wanted to get out to holy Island before the tide came in.Topped Scott's water bottles up and off he set I was going to find my way to St Cuthberts cave which he would be running past so we could have a refuel station and I would be having a break .Glad I had the smart phone as finding my way along the small lanes was not easy but eventually I found where to park and set out on my walk to the cave.It was very boggy in places and I wondered how Scott would be getting on in the mud as you could not run in it.
I found the caves easy and as it was sheltered from now a strong wind I setup shop and had a chill out waiting for Scott.
A sheltered St Cuthberts cave
Scott turned up and had a quick refuel as Lindisfarne was a must  by now, only problem we had was only small hamlets on the way so no shops for me to get more water.Scott headed off again and I walked my way back down the hill to get the car out of the muddy car park.We met up again at a place called Fenwick which had no shops but we still had a bit of water left . Scott arrived and changed into his shorts for a the last few mile "sprint"to the finish.I drove to the start of the causeway and was glad to see we had 2.5 Hours to get over and back before the tide cut us off.
a wee Scott heading off on the causeway
I drove ahead of Scott over to Holy Island and waited by a "coffee" shop for him to arrive.This he did in due time and after a coffee and a short walk round the village we set off back to the main land as I wanted day light to see where I was going.Here are a few photo's of Linsisfarne :-
looking back to the main land

harbour with Lindisfarne castle in the distance/
So ends another adventure along the trails of Britain just wonder what the next one will be ????

No comments:

Post a Comment