St Cuthberts Way 2009

Day Zero: 26th April

Weather: Overcast, with light showers, sunshine later on at Melrose.

Route: Manchester to Melrose - lots of miles in the car


The day started out brightly in Manchester apart from the dead baby pigeon on the front step – a farewell present from Cat-O-Matic. As we drove past the local Topps-Tiles store I noticed a man tying some balloons to a pallet of tiles – surely that will tempt someone to buy some tiles or balloons? We decided to take a nice scenic route from Carlisle up to Hawick along Liddesdale. We stopped for lunch at Newcastleton and parked up alongside the river to eat some sarnies. There were lots of birds by the River Liddle, and I was surprised to see swallows swooping down for insects so early in the year. We had lunch sat in the car as it was too cold outside, a reminder that I might not get very warm in the next few days. As my start of St Cuthbert’s Way was at Melrose, we took a leisurely drive up from Manchester and arrived at the Hotel just after 3pm, the sun was shining and I was feeling very relaxed. I was feeling a bit flush after my punting at the Cheltenham festival and we stayed at a lovely hotel called the Townhouse, a recently refurbished establishment. Melrose itself is a pleasant small town with a big Abbey remains - paid an eye watering £5.20 to get in. But I guess they have to pay for the upkeep somehow, and we explored the remains and took a few snaps of the Eildon Hills just outside of Melrose - a stiff climb for first thing in the morning. The Abbey has some interesting stonework and architecture – old and weather beaten, but it has been in existence for a long time. Then it was time to settle back and enjoy a lovely evening with good food and many thoughts for the coming days – and I didn’t forget to cut the toenails!

Melrose Abbey with the Eildon Hills beyond

The Angel of the North? 


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