DUALITY OF WALKS

Why restrict oneself to only one walk at a time? When two are far more exciting!

As I stride out into my neighbourhood through woods and fields I’m simultaneously traversing the path of an ancient wall 300 miles north and 2000 thousand years in the past.

Nearer to home is a beautiful lake, over a mile long and created when the gardens of the local Hall were designed in the middle of the 18th Century.

The Hall itself was host to such prestigious guests as Elizabeth I and her grand retinue in the 1500s as well as King Louis XVIII. Along with his wife and courtiers the party numbered over 350 people and they resided at the Hall between 1807-1809 after King Louis XVIII fled the French Revolution.

Hall photo courtesy of and copyright © Hello Romance , with thanks.

Nowadays the Hall with its Elizabethan and Georgian aspects is a beautiful wedding venue.

Hall photo courtesy of and copyright © Hello Romance , with thanks.

I’m further immersed in history on my second walk, this time a virtual one as part of The Conqueror Challenge, which involves a fabulous 90 miles following Hadrian’s Wall.

Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north of England and the hike starts off at Wallsend near River Tyne not far from the North Sea and finishes at Bowness-on-Solway near the Irish Sea.

Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in AD 122 by order of Emperor Hadrian and it was the north-west frontier of the empire for over 300 hundred years.

The landscape is breathtaking and along the 73 miles of the wall, much which is alas not in existence, there are fascinating fort remains to explore!

At home I’m still standing by the lake, soaking up the serenity of the winter peace. During the rest of the year, the 35 acres site is bustling with people and particularly with water skiers, both of national and international competitive standard, including a young man who was in my son’s class at primary school.

Just up the road is the local church and one has existed on the site since 1190. It was built by Audrey De Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford during the reign of Richard I (The Lionheart).

The current church was established in 1435 and looks very much the same now as it did nearly 700 years ago. It is incredible to think that the church registers go back without a break to 1539.

As I leave the church, my walk along Hadrian’s Wall continues and I pause for a while at Homesteads to explore the ruins of ancient Roman military site. At this vantage point, the panoramic views stretch 360 degrees across the stunning countryside and show exactly why the Romans would have chosen this location for the fort. Amongst the ruins, I happen to see the oldest toilet in England!

Following a couple of months of bleak, damp and bitterly cold weather I needed an incentive to set out for daily treks. The inclination was rather low at the thought of walking through the same familiar routes and thankfully I came across The Conqueror Challenge on various blogs to encourage me out every day!

These challenges vary from the extreme to more moderate and Hadrian’s Wall looked just ideal for my first attempt at the challenge.

An app on the phone handily allows me to track my progress as well as seeing my location in 3D on StreetView. Along the way four postcards are emailed to me packed with information and for every 20% completed a tree is planted! Participants of the challenges have ensured more than 450,000 trees have been planted since August 2020. Furthermore, I look forward to receiving a medal upon completion of the walk – I can’t remember if I have ever received one before!

To finish my post I would like to briefly mention a very special man on who passed away on 2nd February 2021.

Sir Captain Tom Moore raised our spirits in 2020 with his warm, kind and positive nature and utter determination and true Yorkshire grit in his own particular charity fundraiser. Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire (a town close to where I grew up), he served in India and Burma during WWII.

Sir Captain Tom shot to fame as he aimed to raise a £1000 for the NHS by walking a lap of his garden on each of the 100 days leading up to his 100 birthday on 30th April 2020. To say he smashed the amount he hoped to raise is an understatement. He raised over £33 million for the NHS Charities Together, an incredible feat for one individual. He gave us all hope and inspiration when it was so sorely needed proving that the human spirit can prevail when so much feels lost.

As the flag at my local church flew at half-mast in his memory, the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ which Sir Captain Tom Moore recorded with Michael Ball played on loop in my head. It rightly became a number one hit in the U.K. in April 2020.

Here is it for you all!

152 thoughts on “DUALITY OF WALKS

  1. Bless Sir Captain Tom Moore’s heart. What a beautiful soul he was. ❤️ Your post has inspired me to seek out the Hadrian’s Wall next time I am in England. Shamefully, I’ve never heard of it until today! I was in the north of England last year and went to Manchester, Newcastle, and York for the first time, and I felt like I was in a fairytale. I love it over there. So much history and stories to be told. Now I’ve got something to add to my ‘must-see’ travel list. I love these posts, Annika. They are a spark of light in the dark, and they always offer hope and something to strive for. There is just so much to see, and I want to see as much of it as I can! I hope you are well! Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your next walk…to wherever that will be. ❤️

    1. Tanya, it’s so lovely to ‘see’ you here! 😃 It’s great you’ve been to northern England last year and I’m glad you had a chance to experience so much of the area. York is one of my favourite places and I love visiting the city and surrounding area. ‘Fairytale’ is the perfect word to describe it. Hadrian’s Wall is quite a landmark but by no means the most known. The ‘walk’ is allowing me to learn so much along the way as well lapping up the dramatic views (from afar alas).

      Awww … thank you so much for your kind comment about my ‘travel’ posts – I love to write these and have missed them and thought others felt the same! I am very well so far thankfully … enjoying the walks although they resemble treks across the arctic tundra in the current weather. I am looking forward to when my actual walks can be further afield – dreaming of visiting Sweden again after nearly two years … fingers crossed. I hope you are keeping well, take care. xx ❤️

  2. The video moved me to tears – thank you for sharing the life of this inspiring man. A poignant reminder of what one person can do, in the face of tribulation.

    I visited a small part of Hadrian’s Wall decades ago – it was an awe-inspiring moment, touching history in this way. Thank you for bringing back this memory, and expanding my contact with this expansive monument.

    1. Ju-Lyn, how wonderful that you’ve been Hadrian’s Wall and sensed the history in real life. I am beginning to think there isn’t a place you’ve travelled to?! 😀😃 I’m glad it brought back good memories for you and can well imagine it must be awe-inspiring – I feel the sense of history and that is just through the images and StreetView! I’ll be estatic to visit for real sometime.

      Oh, I didn’t mean to bring you to tears but I feel just the same when watching the video – even more so after numerous views. Sir Captain Tom was an incredible man and I hope his spirit lives on for a long time with us all! Such a light in dark times and showing us nothing can hold us back!

      1. Actually, there is so much of the world that I haven’t even touched. We have just travelled through a lot of the UK and France (because of family), parts of the US because of school & family, and some of Asia because of access from Singapore.

        Tears come easily these days. Watching the video and having conversation with my family about Sir Captain Tom was a positive part of the day. We really could use more inspiration like him!

  3. What a great walk (well, two) and walking challenge, Annika. I must say, the one you do “in person” seems beautiful and historic, but I understand how you want a change of scenery also. I’m trying to walk here, despite the almost two feet of snow and the freezing temps (it got “up” to 26 degrees this afternoon, so hooray!) Walking to me – to all of us – is the most heathy activity to do. I’m zooming exercise with yoga, cardio core and Zumba, but tomorrow I’ll try to walk in the “great outdoors” – I’ll be singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in my head!

    1. Pam, I’m sure I heard your gentle tones of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” yesterday – you must have sung aloud now and then!😀 Wow! You are doing brilliantly with all your exercise and love the thought of Zumba. It’s always sounded such fun and invigorating! I hope the temperatures climbed even further for your walk. Here we are experiencing similar lows this past week but then back to balmy 50 next week. I might even be able to have a quick tea break on the swing seat outside if sunny! You are most welcome to join me! 😀 ❤️

  4. What a fabulous post, Annika, filled with nature and history combined! Gorgeous photos and so impressed you took the challenge. Sir Captain Tom was an inspiration and that song is a favorite; listening to this rendition caused goosebumps and tears. So moving.
    My husband and I will embark on our challenge this summer by backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra, something that’s been in the works since reading about other’s experiences. We’re only as old as we feel, so we need to keep moving until the body disagrees. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing the momentous experience of two glorious walks that will inspire others to do the same or try similar outdoor adventures.💗

    1. Lauren, bless! ❤️ Thank you so much, you are too kind. 😀 It is wonderful if my post inspires others – as I have been inspired by so many blogs. It has been a matter of finding that extra momentum and interest close to home whilst still ‘travelling’ afar and enjoying the beauty and history of those places. Now, your walk I believe is a real-life one! That will be amazing. How far is your trek? The scenery will be spectacular and will be a trip of a lifetime! Have a most brilliant time.

      Ahh … I didn’t mean to give you goosebumps with the song. It is incredibly emotional and a special song to be your favourite. Sir Captain Tom epitomised warmth, generosity, kindness and determination. During the worst of times last year becoming a beacon for us all – and I had no idea he had become famous around the world. How wonderful! Wishing you a lovely day. xx ❤️

  5. Well, not only am I a non-traveller it seems I’m a non-virtual traveller as well. I did the Conqueror Ring of Kerry for old times’ sake and it didn’t do anything for me. But I have to say their Challenges are very well designed and seem popular – just not with me 🙂 But excellent post, writing and pics as ever Annika.

    1. Roy, I love travelling and can’t believe I haven’t been anywhere for well over a year – not sure if visiting my son at uni last February really counts! Hence my excitement to partake in the challenge and it has given me the stimulus to head out for walks again. I can totally understand if it is not for you. I wonder if you haven’t had personal experience of the Ring of Kerry and can then well imagine that the challenge would fall flat for you. I’ve driven the route and love the area. Still one of my favourite places. I stayed in one of the best small hotels ever in Kenmare! Thank you for your lovely comment and compliment – it means a lot! 😀

  6. What beautiful walking experiences…what a blessing to get outdoors and exercise. What a lovely and uplifting post, Annika. Some of my ancestors are from the northern counties, so I really appreciate these gorgeous photos but also the story of Sir Tom who is new to me.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary!😀 The walks are a blessing, always soothing, healing … I don’t know what I would have done without them this past year! Without fail, I return reenergized and mentally refreshed. How interesting that you have ancestors from this part of England, do you have any family there now? I enjoy taking photos along the way albeit it is a bit trickier in the icy cold weather and snow!

      1. So beautiful! Every now and then I get a genetic match from someone in England who are most likely very distant cousins way back on my father’s side. It’s really fun to trace ancestry when you have so many different countries involved. Please continue to post these lovely photos, Annika. Hugs!

    1. Jina, I hope you have a chance to experience such landscapes – on certain days the air is so crisp and pure I feel immediately reenergized! I’ll just stop, close my eyes and let the sunlight flow over me! Life feels simply perfect in such moments.

      1. I do that from my backyard almost every morning – if it’s not reigning 😉
        We do have trees, many, many birds, and I live far enough from car exhaust that I can smell the greenery! My almond trees are flowering too, and they smell amazing.

  7. Fabulous post, Annika! Seamlessly stitching together past and present. I’ve seen these challenges and, like yourself, wondered if it might give me the boost I could use in these tough old times. I still have one or two possibilities but I think I may well be joining you soon. Not on the Wall but I do have somewhere in mind. Thanks for this 🙂 🙂

    1. Jo, I’m now most intrigued where you have in mind! 😀 Enjoy if you sign up for one and it did provide the much needed incentive this bitterly cold winter. Did you ever actually walk along Hadrian’s Wall when you lived up north? I’m so glad you enjoyed the weaving of the two walks and history – all of it taking on an extra dimension this past year in yes ‘old’ times. Pre-pandemic seems so long ago! Hope you’re having a good day in spite of it all. Here the sun has just magically appeared so heading out soon for a walk! 😀

      1. I’ve walked stretches of it, Annika, but never the whole wall. 🤗💕 I’m engrossed this morning in tennis from Down Under, and while our weather has been much warmer than yours it’s a bit miserable this week so it’s a good distraction. 🤣💕

    1. Betsy, thank you so much and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. 😀 There are not enough words to describe Sir Captain Tom and it’s wonderful how he touched so many around the world! I had no idea!

  8. What a delightful, glorious walk, Annika! Thank you for taking us with you.

    Walking along Hadrian’s Wall is on my wish list.

    Shame,kind, sweet Sir Captain Tom. He did managed to lift our spirits last year 🙂 What a motivation!No day is too late to get up and walk!

    1. Patricia, I’m loving your positive spirit here and you’re so right, it’s never too late to get up and walk and Sir Captain Tom showed us just that! His kindness and gentle humour shone through and I feel he enriched all our lives.

      It was a joy to share the two walks and I feel so lucky to be able to do them. I hope you get to walk along Hadrian’s Wall one day – I may pass you on the way as I want to visit in real life but doubt I’d walk the whole wall!

      Hope you’re having a lovely week! x

  9. Ahh …., Annika, you have delighted with this wonderful post of two walks simultaneously. Duality indeed! I love the way you share these two walks with beauty and history anchoring it, together with the most wonderful pictures.

    As both Hadrian’s wall and the Lake start shimmering I get tempted to follow your footsteps. Lived up North before and visited Hadrians wall but learnt so much from you. A lake can never go wrong, it reflects all and obviously this one is big enough to hold water ski competitions.
    And the beautiful hall with so many prominent visitors. So much to inspire you as you walk. Thank you💕.

    Miriam

    1. Miriam, warmest thanks for your beautiful comment!😀 It’s as if I could sense your very presence along the way! ❤️ I’m so happy you enjoyed the duality aspects of my walk – this is just how I feel when out and about and it’s wonderful how you see ‘two walks with beauty and history anchoring it’. Jus so! Ahh … as always it’s a joy to share my photos although this time rather trickier owing to the cold snowy conditions! 😀

      How lovely that you have been to Hadrian’s Wall! Is it as amazing in real life as the photos here? The lake is beautiful and I’m impressed by how they train waterskiers to such a high level – all this in our small village! You share so much of nature in your posts and I’m happy if I can inspire a little through mine here. Look forward to your latest poem … hopefully soon! hugs xx ❤️

    1. Debra, although there are so many versions of the song this has become one of my favourites – so special! I imagine many will have this playing in their heads now. So glad you enjoyed the photos as well.

    1. Carol, it’s funny as I seem to have waves when I truly appreciate the history that surrounds me and exists in the country and other times when I take it all for granted. The walks are such a boost and fascinating to learn along the way. I totally agree, Captain Tom was a wonderfully inspiring man and one who reminds us what is possible whilst still retaining humility and a great sense of humour! xx❤️

  10. Mike

    What a great idea Annika. I have wanted to walk Hadrian’s Wall for a long time but never seem to have got round to it. I’m not sure I ever will so I am going to sign up for the challenge. Love the photos too, and the church, lake and hall must make it somewhere special to live.. It’s a shame that Captain Tom has passed on but he did a lot to uplift our spirits last year.

    Mike

    1. Yeah! 😃😀 Mike, it’s great you want to sign up for the walk and I’m chuffed to have inspired you! Enjoy the walk and you will learn lots along the way and it’s exciting with the StreetView – especially the times I’ve found myself standing right next to the wall! As always with the photos it is a matter of choosing my favourite few – problems such as these are precious!

  11. Hi Annika, I read your post yesterday and then I emailed it to my husband, since I knew he would greatly enjoy it. I love everything about it for many reasons. I listened to the entire ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ you shared here. This is the first time I have seen and listened to this specific video. Sir Captain Tom Moore’s story is very moving. A good reminder how we all make a difference at every age. My eyes too blurry/teary to write a comment last night.

    I really enjoy how you weave the two walks together. Creative, interesting, informative and transports me to Hadrian’s Wall, 300 years ago and today. I appreciate seeing through your eyes your present day walking scenes with your beautiful photography.

    I have mentioned to you before, Annika, how I imagine us all walking together when I am on my walks. A good feeling.❤️

    Reading through the comments I see how you celebrated your Mom’s birthday, yesterday. ‘The biggest gift of all.’ ❤️Thank you for sharing a beautiful post and most of all for sharing beautiful, you, Annika.xx❤️

    1. Erica, reading your comment it’s as if we are having a chat over a cuppa tea and cake! 😀 We can listen again to the video, tears in our eyes, in awe of a man who inspired a whole world. And yes, he was a reminder that age is never a hindrance to making a difference to others.

      Ahh … thank you for forwarding my post to your husband and it was lovely to read Chuck’s insightful thoughts about it! Say thank you again from me.

      I deeply touched how you imagine us walking together! ❤️ Bless! I have a feeling I would hold you back on your Icelandic Challenge though! 😀 How is this going for you? It must be very special to to relive your wonderful trip there a few years ago. How many trees have you helped to plant so far?

      Warmest thanks for your beautiful comment and words, Erica – they mean so much to me!

      Happy Trekking … local and wider afield virtually. hugs xx ❤️

      1. Hi Annika, Yes, a chat over a cuppa tea would be nice one day.❤️ I do imagine all of us walking together, yet in various locations on our planet. Your trees comment made me smile. I looked at my stats from a couple of days ago. So far: I have received 4 postcards; planted one tree; walked 301.24 km. In 33 days; completed 22% of my walk. I think it is one tree planted for each 20% completion. Some days it is a push to get out the door (usually 2 times a day). I am not sure whether you have completed this trek, and you are waiting for your medal to arrive? Always great to connect, Annika, and “walk together.”xx❤️

  12. Hi Annika – these are fantastic. And there’s so much history to ponder. I’m so glad you shared the information about the app too. In addition, I had just read about Sir Captain Tom and was sad to learn that he died soon after. Here’s to more walking and walking challenges! 🙂

    1. Barbara, thank you so much! 😀 The walks even got me out in minus three and bitter chill – not sure I took in the first few minutes I was so cold but then felt wonderfully refreshed and strode out across the snowy fields! Look forward to logging the distance on my app tonight as usual. Is this something you would be interested in trying? It is indeed very sad about Sir Captain Tom – I only heard that he’d been very ill with pneumonia for quite a while before the news was released he’d got covid – from his time in hospital I guess. What an incredible man to inspire the world!

      1. Maybe I would try the app – not sure I have the time to devote to it though. Right now I’m tracking the types of birds in our backyard for the Great Backyard Bird Count – through an app. It’s fun!

  13. Annika, my walk with you today was beautiful. Michael Ball has an gorgeous voice and when I saw Sir Captain Tom Moore walking and then singing along to You’ll Never Walk Alone, I was singing along with everyone and seeing the joy in the faces pf singers as they swayed to the music. Such very powerful imagery will have me singing this song for most of the day. Sometimes it is requested for funerals. Loved your photos to accompany this walking journey. Be well, enjoy the week and keep walking. Thanks for this post to brighten my day.

    1. Mary Ann, bless you for your wonderful comment. I’m deeply touched how you sung along with the video of Michael Ball, Sir Captain Moore and the NHS choir. It is incredibly moving and I’m not surprised that this is a song at some funerals.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos from my walk – hopefully I will be able to take my own of Hadrian’s Wall one day! The walks are continuing apace in spite of minus temperatures and bitter chill – once the shock of the cold has worn off I’m loving it! Ahh … thank you for your kind words which have brightened my day so. xx

      1. Annika, with walking, I found that once one starts, one is hooked. It is hard to stop. I burst into song whenever the spirit moves me. I imagine you have a burst of writing after your walks. There is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing. I think that’s a Norwegian saying. I love that shock of cold if I am dressed correctly, Enjoy your walks, lovely lady. Thank you for writing. Be well. oxox

  14. Behind the Story

    What an informative and fascinating post! You’re so lucky to live near so many historical sites. Even here, in the western United States, where our history is so young, I love visiting historical sites and learning more about how people lived in times past. When I visited China, I found it amazing to see the remnants of life that existed thousands of years ago.

    The lake is beautiful. I’m surprised that the hall could accommodate 350 people.

    Sir Captain Moore made the news here, too. His determination and good cheer inspired people the world over.

    1. Nicki, your lovely comment reminds me never to take the amazing history surrounding me and here in the UK for granted ever again! One can almost become blase when seeing yet another Elizabethan house but then I start to imagine all the stories within just the one building over centuries and I am once again in awe of the history. It must have been incredible to see so much history in China – did you walk along its Great Wall at all? I’ve travelled around some of the Greek islands and as you say, it is amazing to see history from thousands years ago, and so much of it surprisingly in tact. Hadrian’s Wall has suffered over the centuries but it seems to be more than enough to give a wonderful sense and awe of the construction.

      As for the all the 350 retinue of the French Court I reckon it would have been a squeeze in the buildling; some might have stayed in ‘tents’ outside … hmm … something the research!

      It is heartwarming how the world has taken to Sir Captain Tom Moore – I had no idea his fame had spread so much but not surprised. His inspiration having a global reach – wow!

  15. A most beautiful post Annika. How stunning to have such historic views in your walks. And oh yes, Sir Tom. I’d seen him when he was knighted for his walking challenge. God bless that man who lived through war, yet to 100 years old, and dies from the damned Covid. Thanks for this lovely share. ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Debby and I feel lucky to have history and nature interlinked on both my real and virtual walks! It was heartwarming to see him knighted, wasn’t it … two stalwarts from the war and before – I imagine they understood each other well. The virus is taking so many preciuos lives sadly including Sir Tom.

  16. Annika, Thank you for sharing your beautiful walks, both IRL and virtual. You’re going to get a big medal for your efforts 🙂 I followed the news about Sir Captain Tom Moore’s walk, how much he raised for the NHS, and his passing. He was a true hero and good role model. Happy birthday to your mother and have a great week ahead!

    1. Natalie, I like learning a new acronym- IRL! Very useful in today’s world. I’m looking forward to that medal I must admit; the smaller things matter so much! You’re so right about Sir Tom and we need those heroes more than ever. Ahhh … thank you on behalf of my mother for the lovely birthday wishes – we had a very special day celebrating yesterday and think half of it was spent with her talking to family and friends in UK and abroad! Wishing you a lovely week! xx

  17. Thanks for showing us the beautiful part of the world you live in, Annika- so much history!
    The walking challenge sounds interesting! I love that they send you postcards and plant trees to celebrate your progress!

    1. Jacquie, those two elements really sold me to the challenge ultimately! As well as the medal, of course! 😀😀 I looked up about the organisation behind the tree planting and they have enrolled conglemorates and companies from around the world into the program! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and it’s special to have nature and history near and afar to lift one’s spirits!

  18. I recall reading the story about Sir Captain Tom Moore. What an example to put us younger ones to shame! May he rest in peace ❤
    Last night, I finished reading your beautiful short story collection, The Storyteller Speaks. Your writing style is truly enchanting.

    1. Rosaliene, how true that he put us younger ones to shame – he rightly made a massive impact on our lives and showed us anything is possible! Such an inspiration.

      Ahh … I read your comment late last night and went to bed with a big smile and lift in my heart – I’m over the moon you enjoyed The Storyteller Speaks so much and found it ‘truly enchanting’. Thank you so much and a perfect start to the week! xx❤️

  19. Thank you for your invitation to join you on your walks. Every step we took together, was steeped in history. So many stories have occurred these pathways. I love see the world through your lens, Annika!

  20. What a wonderful idea for the virtual and actual walk to be combined. You do not say what your lake is. Hadrian’ Wall must be on my to do list. I have passed by but never stopped. Hopefully we can emerge a bit in the Spring and socially distance ourselves along the windswept borders of Hadrian’s Wall. Yes, Sir Tom Moore was an inspiration and shows how good it is to have our elders and often our betters leading the way.

    1. Thank you so much, Georgina! 😀 I honestly flit between the two walks as I’m striding out on walks near to home; imagining I’m seeing the moors, the wall, traipsing through fort remians. Every evening logging on the miles and learning something else about Hadrian’s Wall. I hope you manage to visit it in the future and it’s definitely on my list of places to go! I hardly dare believe we will be able to head out even just a little in Spring. Yes, seeing Sir Tom’s incredible determination and spirit I felt rather humbled and incredibly inspired!

  21. Oh, Annika! Thank you for this beautiful post. I so enjoyed the walks through all the historical and natural beauty of “the old country.” I hope one day I can take a walk—or two or three!—somewhere on your lovely isle. 🙂

    1. Jennifer, it’s wonderful to read your sparkling comment and I’m smiling at your reference to ‘the old country’, and maybe even ‘olde’! I do hope you manage to visit one day – I’m imagining us crossing mid-Atlantic as I head to visit your country! 😃

  22. I heard about Hadrian’s Wall when I was still in elementary school and found it fascinating then, but I’d never seen a picture of it. It looks fabulous! And to have lasted almost 2000 years is truly amazing. This is a beautiful post, Annika, and a lovely tribute to Captain Tom as well.

    1. Anneli, how wonderful that you learnt about the wall at school! I must admit my knowledge of it was rather scant and as well as enjoying the walk it’s been fun to learn so much about its history and geography. Oh, imagine seeing that landscape and wall in real life!😃 Since reading about Captain Tom’s passing I knew I wanted to feature some kind of tribute. A man who touched many of our lives.

  23. chuckhenault

    Who ever thought that a simple walk could take on such meaning. Tom’s tribute is a tear jerker to say the least. We are all walking in the steps of our fore-bearers. Thank you for sharing your virtual Hadrian’s Wall adventure on the Conqueror Challenge. Stay Safe.

    1. Chuck, thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment. I’m wondering if the deeper meanings behind simple walks weren’t there all the time, we just tended to rush them instead, not giving the detail along the way due consideration and thought! It’s uplifting to mix the virtual and real walk … my first such challenge but by no means the last! 😀 I wanted to honour Sir Captain Tom in some way … the flag at half mast had me teary-eyed and the video is definitely a tear jerker and rightly so.

  24. How fortunate you are to live in a place so rich in ancient history, Annika. Thank you for sharing your walks. Yes, Captain Tom, highly revered, will always be remembered. Have a great day!

    1. Jan, I’ve always considered myself lucky by the beauty of nature surrounding me but this (and last )year appreciated it more than ever. With less chances to visit other places I’m looking into local history much more, as well as that of the virtual walks! Do you have many opportunities for walk in natural surroundings near to you? I hope so! Wishing you a great start to the week. xx

    1. Neil, I’m astonished by the fame Captain Tom achieved in the States; rightly so and lovely he could be an inpsiration for many in your country too. I like your (very English) understatement of ‘quite a person’. So true!

  25. Wonderful walk, lovely pictures Annika. Thank you for taking us along with your double walks – your neighborhood is beautiful and the history fascinating. I would like to see Hadrian’s wall!

    1. Balroop, thank you so much for joining me on the walk! 😀❤️ The mix of nature, history, beauty is intoxicating and uplifting. I too hope to see if for real one day though I doubt I will have time for the whole walk. Wishing you a lovely start to the week! xx

    1. Alison, you’re right that this walk is giving me a real boost! I will always raise to a challenge and Hadrian’s Wall is a real encouragement every day to head out, whatever the weather! The mental stimulation of learning the history along the way is a real bonus! It was so sad to hear about Sir Tom’s passing and I wanted to honour to him however small.

    1. Kamal, thank you so much and I’m overjoyed to share my walks, the nature and history along them both! It’s lovely that you could join me for even just a small part of them here! 😀

  26. A lovely post, Annika. What a wonderful challenge and beautiful walk through history. We just don’t have the relics of ancient history in the US, or at least they are few and far between. Hadrian’s wall is particularly fascinating to me. I would love to walk there. And thanks for sharing the post with Sir Captain Tom. He made it to the news in the US too. What a sweet and generous person and amazing outpouring of love for him and his cause. ❤ ❤ Enjoy the rest of your challenge!

    1. Diana, the outpouring of love for Sir Captain Tom is incredible and gives one hope when so much felt lost. The amount beggars belief and listening to the radio channel which featured him first before the interview he’d raised about a thousand pounds, by the end of the interview it stood at three hundred thousand. He’s a national icon and heartwarming to know so many took him to their hearts around the world. I honestly had no idea! You’re right that he was such a warm and generous person and also a lovely sense of humour and very humble! Woe betide any interviewer trying to ply him with praise, he wasn’t having any of it!

      It is fun to mix history with nature and although I’ve heard of similar challenges this one has so many tempting and positive elements I just had to have a go! Learning lots along the way, a boost to the spirits and good exercise all one! 😀

  27. A lovely tribute to the Captain. I was so sorry to hear about his passing, especially from covid.

    I’ve always wanted to do a Hadrian’s Wall walk, and still hope to after this miserable virus is under control. Thanks for sharing your interesting walk with us – I very much enjoyed it.

    1. Lynette, I do hope you manage to do the Hadrian’s walk sometime. The landscape looks breathtaking and such wonderful history – I do want to visit for real but doubt I’d have time for the whole walk! 😀 It is so sad about Sir Captain Tom and especially since covid was the cause of his passing. His family must be so proud of all his amazing achievements and hopefully provide some comfort.

  28. What a lovely walk to share, Annika. I have taken to walking around and around my garden while listening to audio books to keep me entertained. I was sorry to learn about the death of Sir Captain Thomas Moore last week. A tragedy.

    1. Robbie, we are all finding our own ways to cope with this time of restrictions and walking whilst enjoying a book sounds ideal. Are you not able to head out at all from your house even if only for an hour like here in U.K.? I’m so glad you could join me on the walks here, albeit if virtually! It was indeed very sad indeed to learn about Sir Captain Tom Moore, a man who inspired so many, raising spirits across the country and I’m heartened to see, around the world.

      1. Hi Annika, we actually have more freedom than you do, but I don’t walk the streets on my own. There is a lot of opportunistic crime at the moment so I only walk in the park when my dad or Terence can come. Yes, Sir Captain Tom Moore was a hero, even here, far away across the sea.

  29. You’ve been on some fascinating walks Annika 🙂 I live about 5 miles from Wallsend so we could have ‘waved’ to each other. Interesting though, I’ve seen hardly any of Hadrian’s Wall – it’s always the things on your doorstep that you don’t visit!

    1. Andrea, how wonderful that you live near Wallsend! 😃 And I’m smiling at how you have yet to see Hadrian’s Wall. You are so right that we don’t often visit what is on our own doorstep, unless for visitors. To be fair I don’t think there is that much of the wall there … it all seems to be more a bit later on! Happy Trails and enjoy your beautiful countryside!x

      1. I have seen the wall at Wallsend – but there isn’t much of it, a few metres – I actually work for the department that manages the fort there – but it’s further afield I haven’t seen the wall, where it’s at its best in the hills. I did have it in my head to post about the bit on my doorstep one of these days….

  30. Hi, Annika – What a brilliant post. I’m delighted that you have joined the Conqueror Challenge. I have recently completed the Conqueror’s Cabot Trail and I’ve been curious about Hadrian’s Wall. Your photos and descriptions are stunning. Thank you also for including the information about Sir Captain Tom Moore. He remains a true inspiration!

    1. Donna, it’s wonderful how within a few days we posted about the challenge and the walks within our locality! Equally inspired by both, I feel! 😀 I’m so glad you enjoyed my take of the walks and congratulations on finishing the Cabot Challenge! As I long to visit your country this is one trek I will look at this one next. Sir Captain Tom was amazing man and I wanted to honour him, albeit it in this small way!

    1. Jena, it’s a joy to have you along on the walks – luckily in small chunks so nothing too strenuous and always a cuppa of tea and biscuits once home!😀 Or perhaps homemade scones? Thank you so much for joining me … wishing you all well. x

  31. What a beautiful post, Annika! Thank you for taking us along on your walks. I enjoyed reading the history and I agree, the church register is incredible. I loved your tribute to Sir Captain Moore. Derek is a huge fan of British soccer. He always cries when they play ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and all of the fans (pre-Covid) sing along. It’s quite moving. Funny, just yesterday I was revisiting your beautiful Christmas card. I love the photos! Stay well. I hope your mother is staying healthy. xo

    1. Jill, it’s wonderful to have you joining the walks and it is amazing how the real and virtual ones are becoming interwoven in my mind and heart! Along the way, I’ve learned quite a bit about the places and it’s a joy to share here. It is incredible, I agree about the church registers and I think just as well as so many of the headstones are illegible alas.

      I had to ask my football fan hubby (West Ham supporter) about the ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and found out it is Liverpool side’s anthem. It is such a moving song and the fans belt it out with passion and heart. (Yep, all pre-covid … )

      Aww … how lovely you still have the card out – Christmas seems so long ago! We are all well and today is very special as it’s my mother’s birthday and I’ve spent the morning baking a cake and preparing for birthday dinner this evening – we are so lucky to be in a ‘bubble’ – the biggest gift of all at the moment!

      Wishing you a Sunday filled with peace and joy, my friend. Hope you and Derek are keeping well. hugs xx ❤️

  32. Two walks at once! Your home area is beautiful and filled with history. When we lived in England, we were continuously amazed at ancient things all around us. Americans have almost no history at all compared to England.

    We walked on Hadrian’s Wall 40 years ago. That was fantastic!

    1. Anne, how wonderful that you’ve been to Hadrian’s Wall – is it as fascinating in real life as it seems to on my virtual walk. Some of the landscape is breathtaking!

      The two walks are merging into one in a most surreal manner and I wanted to share this unusual sensation; the history of both places increasingly a source of interest to me. haha! I must admit, that during my two visits to the States I was quietly amused at the history – being shown around grand houses from … 1850! That’s nearly a new build here! 😀 Wishing you and your family a lovely Sunday, Anne. x

      1. We are very impressed with the little bit of history we have in the States. Ha! Ha!

        Do you watch your virtual walk on your phone as you trek through your countryside? I must not have read your words carefully enough. I’m sorry. I must go back and read it again.

        Hope your Sunday is being a pleasant one. x

    1. Charley, thank you so much! 😀 It feels almost surreal how the virtual walk is becoming integrated with my real walks … loving the scenery of both. So far not much snow but blimey, it is bitterly cold and enjoying the cosiness and warmth of home! Have a lovely peaceful Sunday … are you busy marking?

  33. What a beautiful post of, things I love, nature and history. But Captain Tom, his remarkable contribution to this world and the song…all so inspirational and touching. May he rest in peace! Thank you Annika for sharing your world. Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday…xx

    1. Khaya, thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀 It is only this past year I have really started to notice more how nature and history are intertwined and it’s a fascinating voyage of discovery! I’ve learnt so much about my locality and now about Hadrian’s Wall! Oh, Captain Tom was amazing and touched all our hearts. This morning there was a special interview with him by Michael Ball on the radio recorded in April – it was just fantastic and he was such a genuine and interesting man!

      I’m having a very special Sunday as it is my mother’s birthday today – just finished baking cake and as we are all part of the same ‘bubble’ lucky enough to be able to celebrate together this evening … the biggest gift of all!

      Wishing you a wonderful Sunday, my friend! xx❤️

  34. A visitor nightmare – entertaining the French court and wondering when they would ever leave! What a history that house has. From there to the cosy sounding Homesteads, the only part of the wall I have visited. It was a cold autumn day with few visitors and strange, but comforting to think.nature can reclaim busy places.

    1. 😀😃 Janet, one can just imagine the huge sigh of relief as the massive entourage departed the house! Perhaps they were only supposed to be guests for a week and two years later still there! 😀 The house used to offer afternoon teas on Sundays during summer and it was like stepping back in time and my son along with his class had a special lunch inside the house once and he was in awe of the architecture!

      Janet, how wonderful that you’ve been to Homesteads and I wonder if there is a sense of all the history the place experienced. Although I doubt I will ever walk the whole route for real this is a place I would love to visit sometimes. Maybe on a warm summer’s day, though! 😀

        1. Absolutely! I was reading how one large section of wall was destroyed to make way for mining and later the slag heaps just left there. It was put back to nature much later but barely any wall remains at that area. Almost a sacrilege.

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