Hadrians Wall Steelrigg

In the footsteps of Hadrian… preparing for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

Way back in October, Alan messaged me to say his friend David Wilson was organising a weekend overnight trip to the Yorkshire Dales in April and if I fancied it?   Never one to miss an opportunity to drink wine away from the children (sorry Imogen and Abigail!) and head out into the great outdoors… away from all the routines of Hooper weekend life. I quickly agreed.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Plans.

As more details of the trip unfolded it wasn’t just a quick ramble, then back to the pub for a glass of red for lunchtime… but instead the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a  challenge of 24 miles,  taking in the peaks of Pen-y-ghent (2,278ft), Whernside (2,416ft) and Ingleborough (2,376ft) above Ribblesdale and involving over 5,000ft of ascent.  Gulp!!! If I survive this it will definitely feature in a future blog post.

Anyway, back to the here and now. As part of the training Dave has kindly organised some walks to get our fitness up and to wear in the new boots!  The first walk back in the Christmas holidays took in Bolam Lake and Shaftoe Cragg a more or less flat walk with a distance of around 6 miles which the girls came along on.  They really did impress us with their attitude and stamina and we plan to get out more in the countryside.  The girls now have their own walking boots and I plan to get the most out of them!

Training Begins

Our second walk on Sunday was around the Hadrian’s wall area of Northumberland.  Although this countryside is on our doorstep and took less than an hour to get to, I have to say I’m not that familiar with the walking terrain of the area.  We did, however, stay at the nearby Winshields Farm last year on our first family camping trip.   We enjoyed some great comfort food at the Twice Brewed Inn and the night ended up with us downing shots of cherry liqueur with our tent neighbours (who we had never met before!) You can take the lass out of Newcastle!

Hadrian's Wall Housesteads

The 8 mile walk started at the Housesteads Roman Fort at 11.30am.  The fort is part of the National Trust, there is a fee of £4 to park, which was duly paid. Boots on, rucksack loaded and we set off on our route towards Steel Rigg, arriving back at the car park around 4pm.  I will be honest and say that we trusted Dave to lead the way so I can’t give you the exact route.  I’m sure there are excellent hiking bloggers out there who will have covered this path before.

Hadrians Wall Milecastle 37

The wind was brutal at times and the ground was nice and squelchy as you would expect in February. My cheeks were certainly glowing..who needs fancy micro-dermabrasion when you can have the wind exfoliating you for free?

The highlight for me was the iconic Sycamore Gap made famous by Kevin Costner filming here in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Sycamore Gap Hadrian's Wall

It was also great to get to know the guys who we will be going on the challenge within April too and a big shout out to Hugo, the most energetic doggy in the northeast.

More spending opportunities

My new boots passed the test for waterproof-ness and comfort.  Next on the shopping list more base layers (my legs were a bit chilly) and some Nordic poles.  One of our lovely team members Elaine said they really help her and I need all the help I can get.

Hadrian's Wall Steep Hill

Roll on the next training walk!


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