It was a bit of a long train ride north, uneventful as we watched the towns become fewer and fewer until we arrived in Newcastle, a large sprawling industrial town on the River Tyne. Taking a taxi from the station we arrived at our hotel, Newcastle Quayside hotel just across from the boardwalk and the river. Checked in and settled, off we started walking to check out the area, find the metro station and dinner.
We found that to actually walk the entire way of Hadrian's Wall we had to go to Wallsend and begin walking from there. We decided we would take the metro to our starting point and it seemed we would actually walk back by our hotel on our way out of town. Well if we were going to do this walk right, we needed to do this walk from the very beginning.
It was very early in the morning when we arrived at Wallsend and we were not sure where the Path started - no signs to be seen. I couple on a corner noticed we looked lost and gave us directions to the Museum as that is where the Path started. The museum was not open, to early, so we looked around the area, took some photos and noticed the sign which read Hadrian's Wall Path and an acorn. We how to follow markers from having walked the Camino so off we went following the Acorn.
We walked along the river for a long bit, past our hotel and then headed north into the country side. It was a damp and dreary day and we were chilled so we stopped at a little pub that had a roaring fire and ordered coffee before heading out again. We realized this Path was not marked as well as the Camino so we also decided we needed to check our map more often, and keep a look out for the acorn. I have to admit I felt like Scrat in the movie "Ice Age" that is always after the acorn.
Our first day ended at a little past Heddon on the Wall and was 15 miles from Newcastle, but we had started at Wallsend. The countryside was green and far to the North we could begin to see mountains that were in Scotland. Not a lot of the Wall had survived this area. Over the years, residents had used the stones to build their churches and homes. I was hoping we would see more wall tomorrow once we left the Military Road.
Our actual accommodations were at the Ironsign Farm, on the Military Road and was about half way between Heddon on the Wall and Harlow Hill. The farm has a lovely country house and we were lucky to find out the owner was a chef so the food for our first night on the road was a three course meal and amazing. Our room looked out to the south, pastures full of sheep, such a peaceful sight.
A lovely evening finished an interesting day. Nestled in our two beds we watched the moon come up as we said good night.