Training for “Hadrian’s Wall Walk” Walked 55 miles over 4 days

15 miles Monday 28th Aug 013

I will be walking Hadrian’s wall two weeks today!!!!

From Friday 25 the August to Monday August 28th I have walked 55 miles. On Hadrian’s Wall I will be walking 73 miles over 5 days.

Friday 25th I walked 12 miles to and from work.

Saturday 26th intended to leave the house at 7am but overslept.

Left the house at 8 30am, the weather was good. Big skies and the orange orb spread its warm and light, casting my shadow before me. I wore shorts, tee-shirt hoodie fleece, good walking boot and my back pack. The weight in my back pack  will be the same as when I walk Hadrian’s Wall.

Walked through my barefoot meadow,  the meadow was full with dew. Onto the open space beauty of Gelligaer common. Towards the Roman road and making my way to Capel Bugail. The only sound was sheep, gold finches and sky larks and the lovely sound of my back pack. I stopped to survey the view, ate an apple and banana drank some of my honey water.

Photos taken at the top of Capel Bugail and surrounding area. Information from Ian Jenkins who is an expert on Capel Bugail and the surrounding area



Walked from Capel Bugail turned left into the beautiful Bedlinog Valley. The views were stunning. The welcoming light breeze turned the dried thistles into white fairies creating fluffed up snow in summer. Cut across the common, with every step  sky larks leapt, making their liquid sound. The sun was high in the sky sapping me of energy.

Sunday August 27th 7am.

Same walking gear but different tee-shirt and I wore my new walking scarf a gift from my dear friends Rhiannon and Dan. The sun yawned and smiled, skies were big and clear. Past the cattle from farmer Powell’s farm. Across Gelligaer common onto the old Deri road. I cut down passed the dam waved to my secret meadow and spied all theses spiders webs very mystical in deed.

Onto Cwm Darran Trail, the trail was bare only shadows from the trees and me. On the trail I spied a buzzard but out the corner of my eye saw two red kites. One kite had a bird in its claws the other was behind covering its partner back. It was spectacular  but the cries from the black bird stayed with me for a while.

Past the visitors center saw a couple of runners and two dog walkers. Walked towards Focrhiw I wanted to walk the back of Focrhiw mountain but cannot find the route. I passed the path where they are felling non indigenous trees. I turned left and crawled my way up through the heather. Up the top to where I wanted to be. The views were breath-taking. Views at the top of our beautiful Rhymney valley and me hot faced, wearing my new scarf.

Sat and ate and had a good drink, soaked up the views. Walked towards Groes-faen. Above big skies, below to my left Rhymney Valley below to my right the Darran Valley. Waved to the farmer cutting grass. Through the shade of Deri woods. Saw these and thought of Amanda Birch my walking friend.


Back onto to the Cwm Darran Trail. I saw two cyclist in the distance and behind me.

I was a cyclist myself for many years. I would often cycle from Bargoed to Cardiff do some shopping and cycle back. I used my bike for work. I stopped cycling after a nasty experience. When I was a cyclist I knew I had to give way the pedestrians, dink my bell to let others know I am coming through.

I heard the man shout “get out-of-the-way”. I ignored him and carried on. “Hey you get out of my way”. As he drew near I noticed him and the woman he was with were in their late 60’s shame on them!! I told him to go away and take his misery with him and no I did not get out of his way. I walked through my secret meadow passed the young oak trees onto the old Deri road and back home.

Monday 28th August left the house at 6 50am. The reason why I leave early, I am Celt in colour and I do not like the heat or the sun on top of my head it saps my energy.

The sky was on fire  as I walked the sky blazed flaming red creating a golden glow.

I left my boot prints in the heavy soaked dew grass. Walked the road way towards the five houses then veered right. Through the right of way and more heavy soaked grass.

Where I encountered a herd of Welsh Black. I am not afraid of cattle. They began to run towards me. I put my hand up and said “Cow up cow up”. They ran towards the kissing gate and my right of way. As I drew near I saw two bulls among the herd. I  shouted not yelled “Cow up cow up”. I thanked them and made my way

My boots are good boots and well dubbed. Making my way towards Cwm Bargoed park and the Vale of Merthyr. The views from the Graig were wonderful.


Walked back onto Gelligaer common to the cross-road of Deri, Merthyr and Gelligaer.

I saw people stood around a one seater aeroplane. I stopped and we all chatted. The owner of the plane was David Gwynn Carreg the others were man and wife Rob and Adel. David had never flown this plane before but in Australia where he lives six month of the year he flies similar planes regularly.

I made my leave walked on the old Roman road and I was freezing. I stopped to long to chat and I was on one of the highest points of the common. Also my arms were bare my fleece was tucked inside my Back pack. I stopped put on my fleece pulled the hood up. These wild horses and foals warmed my heart but not my bones.

Just before Capel Bugail I stopped on a boulder pulled my water proof coat out wrapped the coat round my legs. Ate an apple, banana and drank my honey water. Warmed up I passed where the elevated Roman villas stood, down the back lane onto the old Deri road and back home.

Tips for walking.

Make sure everything fits and nothing rubs that includes underwear and socks.

Always wear good walking boots when you walk on uneven ground.

A man’s handkerchief or flannel is better than any tissue.

Warm water is better than cold. Reason being when you are warm so is your belly. By you drinking cold liquid your belly can be upset. Honey added to hot water is just as good as any plastic bottle water.

When you do stop to chat remember to put on another layer of clothing.

If you get bitten rub Vick on to the bite, it works I have tried it!!

If you encounter cattle stay calm walk a good distance from the cattle. If you have a dog with you let the dog go they will chase the dog and you can get away. Through the eyes of cattle we humans look enormous, giant like. The dog will look like a dinosaur. Just gingerly walk and keep your distance.

Remember cyclist must go round the walker, wheel chair user, mam with a pram and by law the cyclist must dink their bell to warn you.

3 thoughts on “Training for “Hadrian’s Wall Walk” Walked 55 miles over 4 days”

  1. Nice to meet you on the Wall, Julie. Hope you’ve made it home and that you didn’t delete, by mistake, the photo we took for you on Walltown Craggs!?
    Deric & Barry

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