For the last two weeks, I’ve been journaling my walk along St Cuthbert’s Way and now it’s complete. Here are all the links in one place for your reading enjoyment. And there’s even a recipe!
St Cuthbert’s Way Journal
Walking Through Britain (Huff Po Piece)
As a bonus, here’s a little wrap up of our time along St Cuthbert’s Way. Bullet list style.
What we loved.
- Well marked path (except for that bit at the beginning where we couldn’t find the start)
- Gateways and crossings were exceptionally well- maintained
- No fear of wild animals (or snakes) + we never felt unsafe on any part of the trail
- Sheep + Baby spring lambs
- Yellow fields
- No crowds
- Gorgeous scenery
- Simplicity of the long days of walking together
What we’d do differently next time.
- Split the first day in half, giving plenty of time for visiting all three abbeys: Melrose, Dryburgh and Jedburgh. Also, St Boswell’s was precious and we would have loved to spend more time there. Related: Plan around the abbeys’ super limited opening hours. We arrived to town too late and left town too early to see the inside of two of the abbeys.
- Skip Morebattle and go on to Kirk Yetholm. While this would make for a BRUTAL second day, I think it would be worth it to not have extra time in the two smallest towns on the trail.
- Related: Get an earlier start from Harestanes.
- Pay attention to the end day at Lindisfarne. There is a bus from Lindisfarne on Wednesday, so if you arrive on Tuesday, you can get the bus off the island instead of having to call a cab. But check the bus schedules because they change. Also, the island can be a bit overrun with visitors on weekends and bank holidays.
- Related: Very little is open in Wooler on Sunday, so try to arrive in Wooler on another day if you want to visit the shops.
- Bring/wear gators! Better on sunny days for mud. Saves your pants.
- Bring along more food. We bought bread and peanut butter about halfway through, but we wished we had more lunch food since we had room in our luggage. You can buy a lunch from any of the hotels, but I’m not super partial to cheese and pickle sandwiches on white bread, so I’d rather make my own. Also, I would bring a couple of things I could add boiling water to and eat since every room has a kettle. Like cup-a-soup packets and oatmeal packets. On one of the long days I would have rather eaten something easy like that and then gone to bed early instead of having to go out to dinner.
- Focus less on the arrival at the day’s destination and more on the journey. This is always true with travel, but since I am new to longer walks I was always concerned about “making it” to the next town, and I would get discouraged if we were still walking late in the afternoon even though the sun did not go down until after 8pm. I am determined to worry less about how slow I take the walk because I enjoy everything I’m seeing along the way.
A HUGE thanks to Macs Adventure for making this whole adventure possible! I’ll be walking with Macs Adventure again this September along Wainwright’s Coast to Coast with my friend Diane and I can hardly wait! This is my favourite way to see the English countryside: Slowly, on foot and alongside a precious friend.