What a way to start the summer break. No more white shirts, polished shoes and Provincial tie, but waterproofs, walking boots and rucksack were the order of the day for Barry Dickinson, a member of Bryn Lodge No 6553. Following on from last year’s successful fundraising by walking the West Highland Way, this year he went for another long-distance trail. Walking from coast to coast via the Hadrian’s Wall Path was the chosen route to raise some money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
For those who aren’t aware, Hadrian’s Wall path is an 84-mile trail starting in Wallsend near Newcastle and ending in Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. As the name suggests, the trail follows the route of the Roman wall built by the Emperor Hadrian some 2,000 years ago.
As the official Hadrian’s Wall path starts in Wallsend on the River Tyne, not the North Sea, and wanting to do the full coast to coast, Barry got his friend and fellow lodge member David Brogan to drop him off on the beach at Tynemouth. From then on, he was on his own, and with a further six miles from the coast to cover before the start line, the wind blowing a gale, he quickly dipped his boots in the sea and picked up a pebble to carry across country to drop in the sea in the West. The initial stretch of the trail was long but easy going, following the Tyne through Newcastle before heading inland to open country.
The weather was a mixed bag for the rest of the trek, with some days testing his waterproofs, followed by fine dry and even sunny spells. Following the wall unveiled some spectacular views in some wild country and some sections of steep climbs and descents had to be negotiated. In all, the walk was completed in six days, with some nice pubs and B and B’s along the way. On the final day, Barry was joined by David to walk the final stretch from Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway. There, having dipped his boots in the sea and deposited his pebble, the pair adjourned to the Kings Arms for some well-deserved refreshment.
To date, his efforts have raised over £800 plus gift aid which has already been donated to Derian House Children’s Hospice.