24th August 2019
I woke to a beautiful morning, and went all of about 10m before discovering I had camped right above an open quarry - just a small one, on the east side of Needs Law.
I had an easy way out of the forest, largely on tracks, which took me to a major watershed waypoint.
On the summit of Peel Fell
Its location on the English-Scottish border means that the summit of Peel Fell is well-known to walkers of the Scottish section of the watershed - it's frequently the point where they officially start or finish their journeys.
However – less often mentioned is the fact that it's not quite the end of the watershed's journey in Scotland. The route continues south-west for about 14km, with the border roughly following it. So I was to briefly dip into England before crossing back over to Scotland and ascending the Larriston Fells, the summit-line of which lies entirely within Scotland.
The view from Peel Fell towards the Larriston Fells, roughly following the border.
The day continued warm and sunny. A substantial monument at the source of the North Tyne was a good spot for lunch. Walking across these largely ungrazed moorlands was hard work and time-consuming.
Finally I turned south-east towards Hobbs' Flow. With a name like that, I was expecting wet feet, but it turned out not to be so bad. It's certainly a less enticing spot than Peel Fell, but in its way deserves equal recognition. This is where the watershed crosses the border and leaves Scotland behind for good.
Fence-posts identifying the border at Hobbs' Flow
Not long after crossing the border, I properly entered Kielder Forest. The terrain was actually slightly easier in the forest, but no faster to cover ground. I camped shortly before leaving the forest, as the day's walking had taught me that there was likely to be little in the way of ground comfortable enough to pitch a tent on the open hillsides around here.