Day 43: Alston – Garrigill – Upper Tyne Valley – Teesdale – Langdon Beck

16.3 miles – Greyed out skies and hills, rain, often heavy, strong winds in the afternoon

The Victoria inn at Alston. The shower was awful. It dribbled tepid, so I turned the knob further, hoping to make it hotter; this resulted in a jet of water shooting out over the bathroom floor. I gave up and had a ‘dry shower’ – a vigorous rub down with the towel.

It’s not just that I’m soft; I feel I’ve already done peat bogs, done big ascents, done wind and certainly done rain – all in abundance on this walk. So it took me a bout a mile and a half this morning to decide that there was no point in struggling up Cross Fell in the rain and low cloud for a stunning view of all of 200 yards of moorland. It took me a further mile to decide that there was no point in pursuing farmland footpaths – they must be lovely in the summer – with their plenitude of long, wet grass, which would soak my socks through my boots in minutes and give me sore feet, when I could get to the same places along lanes and byways, keep my feet drier, and get a much better pace going into the bargain. So I did that.

these delightful little gates are common in the north Pennines. just 2 – 3 feet high, many of them are on top of styles, giving an extra layer of security.
These old road signs also abound.

Actually there was little to rejoice about today; however, the Post Office at Garrigill was just like shops used to be in my childhood 50 years ago. The postmistress also made me tea. It was charming.

The Post Office at Garrigill

I am also overjoyed that there was a bed for me out of the wind and rain at Langdon Beck Youth Hostel, and blown away by its drying room, which restored all my wet clothes, boots and rucksack. Let the rest of today be blown and washed far, far away!

A ‘level’ or opencast mine entrance, long disused.
an interesting take on a familiar road sign.
Wild thyme against a dry stone wall. These tiny flowers have delighted me again and again on this walk.

Comments (6):

  1. Anne

    7 July 2022 at 17:59

    Dear Toby, we hope you’ve had a good day today. It was lovely to meet you at Langdon Beck YHA yesterday. We are home now, it’s not long until August 7th and you will be home too! Keep going the weather was so very different today with bright sunshine in great contrast to yesterday’s wild wind. Every good wish, Anne & Mark Davies

    • Toby

      10 July 2022 at 11:18

      Thank you so much, Anne, and thank you for being so cheerie and supportive at Langdon Beck. Toby

  2. Guy

    8 July 2022 at 18:06

    I wonder if the gates on top of the styles are there to keep the draughts out?

    • Toby

      10 July 2022 at 11:22

      Great idea! I suspect that it has to do with keeping pet dogs from the sheep in the next field, as the styles would keep sheep and cows from passing.

  3. Colin

    11 July 2022 at 22:00

    Hi Toby,Colin here I was the biker you met at Langdon Beck,just wanted to say it nice meeting you and good luck on the journey.

    • Toby

      20 July 2022 at 05:50

      How kind of you to post a comment and wish me well. the YHA at Langdon Beck was a joy.


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