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Day 20 – Pennine Way – Byrness to Clennell Street (Cheviot Ridge)

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After a good night at the hospitable Byrness Hostel watching the world cup and drinking a few beers we set off after a light breakfast.

To our surprise David and Una who walked Cross Fell with us last week had arrived in the nick of time to join us on our trek up over the Cheviot Ridge.

The now six off us, myself, Harvey, Steve, Richard, Dave and Una set off and immediately we climbed stiffly upwards through the woods to Byrness Hill.

Correction seven of us, as we were joined by Linden who was staying in our Hostel last night. Who had many stories to share as he was also doing Lands End to John o’ Groats just like our old friend Fred.

Our initial climb had everyone gasping and sweating profusely only to be greeted by a stiff N Easterly on the ridge that cut through us.

We pressed onwards and upwards alongside the forest of Northumberland National Park towards the Scottish border.

Linden departed Jedburgh bound as we progressed ascending and descending, which was slowly but surely draining our energy.

At the junction of Dere Street we caught our last glance of our old friend Fred as he left our path and headed north. An opportune moment to take lunch.

We took in Lamb Hill and Beefstand Hill as our path hugged the English Scottish border. Our last breathless climb for the day took us to Windy Gyle and beyond to our camping ground for the evening, Clennell Street.

At about 550m above sea level we were miles from anywhere with good views all around on a glorious summers evening.

Once our circle of tents was erected a variety of pasta and rice meals were prepared and eaten just in time to listen to the England match on the radio.

A stiff breeze was still blowing as we settled for an early night hoping for an early start in the morning that would see us make our final journey towards Kirk Yetholm.

By Paul Courtney.

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