Trails and trials of the writer who walks
Berwick-upon-Tweed is a delightful town with a very modern comfortable hostel. I met two other ladies of a similar age and swapped travelling anecdotes with them in the coffee lounge. We must have looked like a female version of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.
One of them, a lass from Hexham, informed me that a bus pass is valid in Northumberland from 9 am instead of the usual 9.30 am, so I got an early start for the 2 ¼ hour ride to Newcastle and the Hexham lady travelled with me, pointing out Holy Island when we passed, and making it a jolly journey. My next ride, with very little waiting time, was another 2 ¼ hours to Carlisle. There I grabbed a quick glass of wine before the 1 ¼ hour trip to Penrith. So far, so free. Had to give up at Penrith and get the train though because the 555 Keswick-Lancaster bus finishes around 5 pm. Still it only cost me £13 all the way back to Croston and I’d had a grand tour of some of the prettiest villages in England.
Next trip? I’ve just booked an advanced rail ticket to Inverness (£17) for January. My plan is to walk the Great Glen to Fort William, then travel by train to Mullaig and take a ferry over to Skye. Buses can get me across Skye, or I can walk some of it, to Uig, where ferries run to Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Three weeks should be plenty of time. Advance rail ticket back from Fort William is also only £17.