Hobbled in Northumberland

Long shadows on the Moor

Hangman: dead moles hanging on barbed wire fence

The mole catcher’s invoice

The weather was so good today I decided to get out, outside with a little encouragement from my friend and self styled life coach (you know who you are). Making the most of it I thought a trip somewhere new, somewhere not far away, it was too late to get to the Lakes, where? Allendale beckoned, the Hexhamshire Hobble in early December is a 10.5 mile trip from Allendale over the bleak moors south east of the town.

Hexhamshire Common

Hexhamshire Common
in the late afternoon

Allendale, I’ve lived in and around Newcastle for much of my adult life and I’ve never been. It’s a typical (?) Northumberland market town and about 10~12 miles from Hexham. Parked the car in the square and set off, lunch on the move, and a 25% climb straight out of the town. Some wag walking an imaginary dog coming down the hill said “don’t give up now”. Damn near did! 25% is maybe only a ¼ in old money but it’s bloody steep enough at any price. I walked a while.

MM2

MM2

Although I did have the appropriate OS map, I was working from the race ‘flyer’ a schematic map of the route, I also wasn’t paying too much attention to be fair, I missed a turning. What the detour lacked in distance made up for in more climbing, bollocks. Got a good photo though, as I stopped to read the map. The route is bleak, the moor is everlasting all the way to God knows where with little in between. But in the late afternoon sun, the long shadows and clear air it was beautiful. It was 4:30 by the time I got back to the Town square, 11 miles in just over 2:20 not a cracking pace by any means, in fact bloody slow and I’ll have to pick it up if I intend to do anything but last on race day.

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Hexhamshire Hobble

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