LEJOG Day 44 Bellingham to Byrness 22.46 miles. Cumulative 794.21 miles

We had a good meal in a cafe recommended by Dave, the campsite warden, and then we made use of the fantastic facilities at the campsite.

This site was also geared up for backpackers, with a large TV room with tables, chairs and even a log burner. The first on site kitchen we have come across to have ovens and gas burners, though we only needed a kettle for our porridge.

The walk started out along the River Tyne Trail, going upstream and west. A mixture of fields, woodland and country roads to the village of Felstone.

We decide to divert slightly off route to go into the village on the off chance there was a tea stop and luck was on our side. It was a lovely tea room with freshly baked goodies.. While there we chatted to a postie, who by coincidence, we had closed a gate for earlier in the day as he made his rounds by van to a remote farm. His round is about seventy miles of driving around rural Northumberland every day, with lots of gated drives to slow him down. He likes to chat too, which no doubt slows him down even more.

At this point we had covered nearly half of the days route and thought we were in for another easy forest walk to finish the day off and we would be done by about 1600, how wrong we were.

We were excited to see our first ‘Alternative Pennine Way’ sign after following it for over two weeks, unfortunately the path wasn’t as good as the signage. The route followed a firebreak through the forest, it was little used and the path was difficult underfoot with trees growing in the firebreak. We were glad to reach open moorland, however although there were still signs, there was little evidence of a path and footing was difficult. Our final bit of forest was just as bad until we stumbled upon a track which we were able to use, a longer route but we were able to pick up the pace. We eventually arrived at the holiday park two hours later than expected.

Our accommodation was a camping pod (no tents accepted on the site), our second choice as our first choice was fully booked several weeks ago. Lynn had been loath to stay here again as when we used it on JOGLE she had been badly bitten by midges. The compromise was to use the camping pod but erect the inner tent as a mossie net.

We dined al fresco again as the nearest pub was 9 miles away.

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