Tips and Directions

Brookside Villa B&B

BROOKSIDE VILLA B&B, GILSLAND, Denise & Gerry 016977 47300 Text only: 07711263172 NY 625 659. FIND US What3words: dips.clouding.various.

Walking East to West If you leave the Trail at the old advisory diversion sign, or to visit Gilsland, missing Poltross Burn Milecastle – turn left after the play-park. Walk down through the village with the Village Hall on your left. Walk on to T-junction, turn right. Pass a yellow truck garage. Cross the River. Turn down left at T-junction B6318 BIRDOSWALD. Brookside Villa is 200m down on left. (c.7-10 minutes from the play park)

*ALTERNATE ROUTE THROUGH GILSLAND: Follow the Trail & visit Milecastle 48 Poltross Burn (ignoring the advisory diversion sign*) Continue on & cross the Railway – no signal, take extra care. Continue on the Trail to the road. Turn right & walk with the School on your right. Cross the road & walk on to Meg’s Tea Room on your left. Swing left, pass a yellow truck garage. Cross the River. Turn down left at T-junction B6318 BIRDOSWALD. Brookside Villa is 200m down on left. (c.7-10 minutes from reaching the road by the School)

Walking West to East Follow the Trail past Willowford Farm. Follow the Trail along the standing Wall, and then the farm track, and out onto the road opposite the School. Turn left and follow the road, bearing left. Pass Meg’s Tea Room on the left. Keeping left, pass a yellow truck garage. Cross the River. Turn down left at T-junction B6318 BIRDOSWALD. Brookside Villa B&B is 200m down on left. (c.7-10 minutes from reaching the road opposite the School)

Other stuff that might be helpful….

If you’re an experienced long-distance-trail walker—this note probably isn’t for you—if not, take a couple of minutes to read through—I hope you find something useful.

Over the past 17 years I’ve had people arrive unhappy – because they’ve under-estimated the challenge, over-estimated their abilities, or just packed too much of the wrong gear. We work hard to make you comfortable, happy and ensure you are fed and have a good night’s sleep, but here are some tips to try to ensure nothing gets in the way of your enjoyment of this incredible Trail.

TIP - TRAVEL LIGHT. Even if you use a baggage transfer service, you will be carrying your bags up and down stairs evening and morning in most B&Bs - you won’t need a smart jacket or a posh frock! (We offer overnight laundry and drying if that helps)

Waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers are a good bet. Denim jeans or chinos are not a good choice for walking. (Yes, I have seen people hiking here in the rain in trainers and jeans!) Have lightweight trousers that offer some wind proofing and dry quickly. And don’t forget the sunscreen and hat – we get wonderful weather here too!

TIP – FEET I’ve seen dozens of folks who’ve spoiled their holiday ruining their feet on day one, and our local hospital A&E department will testify to this. Have good boots or hiking shoes well-worn in before you start the hike, and get your sock combo sorted out. Trainers are not safe on most of the Trail HOWEVER are probably better at both the Newcastle City and the Bowness-on-Solway sections – being mainly on tarmac.

Even if you walk or hike frequently you will probably get at least one blister. Carry hydroponic plasters e.g.COMPEED in your pack not in the bag which is being transferred to your next B&B! As soon as you feel a “hot spot”, stop and put on a plaster—don’t wait until it blisters. Do NOT peel the Compeed off – you will tear off the healing skin.

The Trail Is very well signposted-but do buy a guide book (even if you're using e-maps) – Henry Stedman’s for Trail Blazers (c. £10)  is packed with useful maps and interesting information and is updated bi-annually. If you prefer a physical map Harveys has the Trail on one weather-proof map. 

The central section IS strenuous—you’ll likely cover about 1.5 to 2 miles an hour. Please take this into account in your planning. For example, most people won’t walk Chollerford / Gilsland in one day and still be happy at the end of that day! (Some 8-10 hours fit-person’s marching without stops).

You will be walking on fine grass paths, some boggy fields, stone paving, steep stone steps and some tarmac. There are innumerable stiles to climb over and gates to get through. Please do not walk in single file and please do not walk on the Wall. Do follow the Country Code.

Facilities and Supplies The line of the Trail is not well equipped with toilets and there are no shops! At the time of writing there are toilets at Cawfields and Walltown carparks. Enterprising folks on the route have refreshment huts & wagons, but these cannot be depended on to be open every day. Take food & water. We sell basic pharma, toiletry needs, batteries, etc.

I suppose I need to put the usual disclaimer about the above being only my own opinion, from my own experience and I take no responsibility for you following or not following any suggestion or advice. Enjoy! Denise

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