Day two of cycling Hadrian’s wall – plus a refreshing river dip

Setting off early, we were ecstatic to see that the 72 National Cycle-way led us down a hill to the right of our Hostel and not along the busy uphill road we had arrived on.

While the downhill didn’t last overly long, the ascents were much more manageable than the ones we faced the day before. The upward challenges were usually followed by glorious downhill stretches which gave us the momentum to easily peddle up the next big hill.

Enjoying the ride, a cool breeze swept through my hair. Surrounding us was the peaceful countryside. Birds chirped in the trees, while sheep greeted us as we zoomed passed. Horses quietly munched on grass in fields as we stopped to admire them.

Due to setting off early we arrived at Vindolanda (a Roman fort) before it opened at 10 am, meaning we couldn’t go inside. However, we managed to peer over the wall seeing excavation work in progress.

We stopped to make friends with some chickens on route. Having no sense of personal boundaries they flew onto our bikes giving us no choice but to have a break.

As we were well ahead of schedule we decided to have a look around Hexam – a quaint market town home to no more than 12,000 people.

It’s abbey formerly a monastery was founded in 674.

As the area is on the border between England and Scotland it suffered from wars and attacks. The entire town being burnt down on one occasion in 1297.

We had a mooch around the shops and sat in the lovely park before enjoying a cold drink in the Angel of Corbridge a mile or so away.

Cycling along a quiet road we spied the river to our right. Ducking through trees and dodging spiky shrubs we made our way to the river edge for a quick dip in the cold but refreshing water.

At around 4.30 pm we arrived at our air b and b. Jenny was our host and her home was delightful. She was very welcoming and gave us some tips on where to eat (a choice of two pubs).

Despite our tummies rumbling we wanted to make it the Prudhoe castle before it shut. We could see the castle in the distance pocking out behind some trees. After walking up a steep hill we made it with no regrets. The castle was fantastic.

We sneaked in before being told to leave by English Heritage staff who said they were closing.

It was then time for dinner in the Adam and Eve pub I demolished a vegan burger and chips.

Feeling satisfied we headed back to the air b and b for quick read before bed.

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