Day 38 & 39. Thursday & Friday 16th, 17th Feb. Belford to Berwick Upon Tweed.
Updated: Feb 21
I'm probably not having enough rest days so it was nice to rest up in Belford, it doesn't take long though before my aches and pains return so I'm thinking I need more than just the 1 day per week not walking.
I quickly found the coastal path, which wasn't particularly close to the coast but knowing there was a huge tidal beach near Holy Island, I was happy to stick to the path rather than have to backtrack.
Eventually the path found its way back to the coast and I noticed a cafe on my map which looked promising for some lunch. A slight detour inland and I arrived at the Barn at Beal which was just off the road leading out to Lindisfarne (Holy Island). The tide was in so the road was closed to traffic to and from the island.
I had a great fish finger butty for my lunch, I'm getting a bit partial to a good fish finger butty and this one was the best I've had, not so much a fish finger as a whole piece of fish, in a huge panini... 😉 While I was paying for my lunch I noticed a motorhome parked up so I enquired if the campsite was open, I was amazed to hear it was, the first campsite I'd found open since leaving Skegness on New Year's Day. I'd walked 9 miles already and I knew the weather was forecast to take a turn for the worse with 85mph winds expected through the night so I decided to stay put... I sat and had a chat with Jackie, the cafe owner who very kindly wouldn't let me pay for the beer and I pitched up when the cafe closed at around 4pm.
It was strange to be pitching up in the daylight, not worrying about being moved on for trespassing on someone's land, I was asleep for just after 10pm but it wasn't to be a great nights sleep. At 1.20am, I was woken up with at start as it felt like my tent was pitched on the central reservation of the M1... I'd forgotten about the weather forecast and they'd got it spot on, the wind was howling and smashing my tent from every angle.... I tossed and turned for the rest of the night as the tent was battered, I didn't get a wink of sleep and at 8am, with the wind still howling, I got up and packed everything away. I'm really impressed with the tent, it flexes and twists and 3 of the 6 guy lines had been uprooted but there was no damage. It protected me and kept me dry through the overnight storm.
Jackie had offered me a free breakfast so I made my way up to the cafe and enjoyed a great fry up before saying my goodbyes and heading off towards Berwick Upon Tweed.
It was just over 11 miles up to Berwick, on the coastal path and an enormous beach, some parts of which felt like I was walking across a desert. The wind hardly let up all day and it was hard going with the wind mostly blowing square in my face or worse, across me so it was constantly trying to take my legs from under me.
I wasn't upset when I made the decent down into Berwick. I hadn't booked any accommodation, I'm getting the best results if I just walk into a place and talk to the locals first, as it happened, the cheapest and most convenient digs were a premier inn so I booked in for 3 nights, at last, a proper rest...