Sunday afternoon stroll in the English countryside

Yes a murder scene (continued on from getting a cup of tea, but first lets set the scene a bit.

Its a pleasant stroll in the English countryside, you know, chilly wind, rain, that sort of thing. Minding my own business, taking photos of trees in all their splendour, railway bridges:

trees with brooks…

Remember it is windy, cold, raining and a not insignificant part of me is asking a fairly obvious question, to which the answer is, well, if you are going to wait until its sunny, then most of your time you will be looking out the window. What sort of a trip is that! Well, not a wet one that’s for sure. Bah! humbug, you have, well, I have a better gear now, shall we say, to deal with wet weather.

Time for a cup of tea, as you do in England, then, more wandering as the weather continues on its relentless way. I really sympathised with how this fellow must have thought (except I’ve been dealing with it for a few hours, and quite evidently its a few decades for this guy)

Haven’t I seen you before? Ah, your brother I guess…

When, I round the corner of the hill, and spy this. What the…??? a cordoned-off car, police, in the middle of nowhere…

Well, um.. lets see, really, is that a, well, yes it is a police vehicle… bit further, get a bit closer, will have a great scoop here, can just see it now, front page.. Oh. Someone else is already, wait! Hah! bloody TV show being filmed! The Brits juts love their murder mysteries, and here we are, in some god-forsaken (just ask the tree from a couple of shots back) part of the Crags in northern England, on a blustery, wet Sunday afternoon, and I stumble on a film crew for a murder-mystery.

So, I went up and had a chat (as you do). As I say, “nice spot for it”, one of the blokes replies, “you wonder how they find places like this don’t you”, to which I think, “well not really… you get on a bus from Carlisle to go look at Hadrian’s bloody Wall (more on that later), come rain, hail (yes, it did!), wind, for a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll in the English countryside, and, you know… “, but really, I just said “yeh…”. Wasn’t much else to say really.

Ok, time to head back to the bus stop. The rain stops, for real this time, and the wind blows an absolute gale. I was dry in five minutes! Really.

Back at the bus stop, and for the first time since starting out, the sun comes out! I’m standing at the bus stop, 5 minutes to the last bus comes, and the bloody (you do say that word alot when you talk about the weather in Britain), sun decides to come out, even if only fitfully. Still, quite a sight, and have to say it was a day of unexpected adventures. Not a bad sight to finish on really.

Perhaps it is interesting to provide the details for the whole trip. Its kinda crazy!

The point of the day’s outing is to work along some part of Hadrian’s Wall, and I’d planned to do this as a day trip from Edinburgh. So, train from Edinburgh to Carlisle to start the journey. There is a bus, AD122 is the number of the bus route, that runs between Carlisle and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, stopping in and out of the various points of interest along the wall. You get a ticket for the day, and can hope on and off as you like. The bus is quite rickety (not really an appropriate bus for the type of terrain and miles that it does), but it does actually run on time and visit all the places, getting you to places that, without a car, you would otherwise find difficult to reach.

Birdoswald Fort is my first stop, and then plan to walk to the Roman Museum or Roman Fort for the next few hours. I can then get the bus to Newcastle and will have traversed most of the country the wall passes along. I don’t get quite as far though, having detoured to the village of Greenhead due to a “spot of weather”. By the time I get to the Roman Museum, I realise I won’t have the time to walk to the Fort, particularly as I don’t know the countryside.

The AD122 bus wends its way through all the various villages, so its a slow journey, but you visit all of the local countryside, and we pass through villages such as “Once Brewed” and “Twice Brewed”. There is a train service the runs between Carlisle and Newcastle as well, so at any point you could alight from the bus and get the train. The bus service is run by the organisation that also preserves the wall, but unfortunately is not well patronised. For most of the trip to Newcastle, I was the only passenger, and the driver said he had had 9 passengers all day, with the weather he was expecting zero, an infinite improvement on expectations!

In any case arrived at Newcastle around dusk, and grabbed the train back to Edinburgh, its quite a nice part of the countryside to cruise through, and village of Berwick certainly looks picturesque and worth a visit.