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Day 18 / 19 – Pennine Way – Bellingham to Byrness

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Day 18 rest day in Bellingham was a mixture in terms of a result.

The Cheviot Hotel ensured a restful stop however Wednesday’s in Bellingham are not a hive of activity.

Bellingham is a lovely village however it is somewhat of a one horse town.

A couple of shops, the walking kit shop closed down, and three pubs that seem to open on 1980’s licensing hours ensure very little to do unlike Hawes on our first rest day.

The long day was broken by the arrival of long time friends Steve and Rich whom arrived to walk the final three day 43 miles into Kirk Yetholm.

A fantastic show of support I will always be grateful for.

The evening meal in the Rose and Crown was hearty and was punctuated by a surprise entrance from Fred, the Lands End to John O’Groats walker we had previously left at Hebden Bridge.

With tales told of how heavy Steve and Rich’s rucksacks were and what they should do to cut some backpack weight (the kitchen sink and 1000 page book was a tad OTT!) we headed off and arranged a 9:00am start the following day.

The warmest day yet ushered in Day 19 with a 15 mile hike to Bryness.

The walk itself was very much a link walk – getting across to be able to do The Cheviot – a rather uninspiring trek over farms and the Kielder Forest.

This was however a good warm up for Steve and Rich with (over) full packs – a taste of what attrition backpacking takes on feet and limbs.

With a couple of miles left on the day the mileage started to tell on the new arrivals whilst Paul and I were very much in the groove on one of the least testing walks of The Way so far.

Forest View (the old Youth Hostel) at Byrness were our beds for the night, and a delightfully sunny evening ensured a couple of coolers and homecooked evening meal were taken in the garden before retiring to sort out our wild camping rucksacks for the following day.

240 miles done, 2 days and 28 miles and 1 wild camp to go. 🙂

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