Emily’s Hadrian’s Wall Challenge

After previously climbing The Three Peaks, I decided to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, a total of 84 miles from Newcastle to Bowness, for the charity, Bliss.  Another motivator for the challenge was that a family friend had recently given birth to twin girls prematurely, but sadly one of them passed away, so I promised to carry a photo of the twins in my backpack in her memory.

We planned to do the walk over a 9 day period (one being a day off, as we wanted it to be a holiday and not make it too strenuous).

I found the walk challenging, particularly the middle section where the terrain was very hilly and the weather was wet and windy. It was made easier by friends and family joining us along the way. We had lots of laughs, which was a great distraction to the aching legs, and motivated us to keep going. As it was Easter time, we had a stash of mini chocolate eggs in our backpacks, which we treated ourselves to each time we reached a certain milestone – they definitely helped too!

A highlight of the challenge was the kindness and generosity shown by people we met along the way, who were interested in our challenge and put money in my pocket even though they didn’t even know me. Another highlight was meeting a farmer who let my Mum and I hold a newborn lamb, as it was lambing season at the time. It was so cute – I could have taken it home with me! Further along our walk, we encountered some nosey cattle who wanted to follow us, so my dad bravely fended them off with his walking poles. Not far from there, we also came across a large and menacing bull that stood in the middle of our path, so we ended up taking a detour, as we didn’t feel very comfortable going near it. You are never sure what these animals might do!

In total, I raised £900 for this challenge which I was really proud of. After two adventures completed, I am constantly asked by family and friends “what will your next challenge be?” I enjoy cycling, so perhaps Lands End to John O’Groats could be an option. My parents aren’t too enthusiastic by this, so I may have to drag somebody else along! We’ll see…

Emily Vines