Border country. So a turbulent history. We are going through Liddesdale. A flash of memory: isn’t there a song? So today’s tune was Lock the Door Lariston, lion of Liddesdale. Lots of sheep, so the Seekers took no2 spot

Newcastleton was one of Scotland’s early new towns, built to design in 1793 through the generosity of the Duke of Buccleugh to his thankful people. One side of the story. Moving the people off the land and out of the old Castleton to make way for sheep, the other. Anyway, it’s a cute and vibrant wee place. And has/is doing a community buy back of the land from: the Duke of Buccleugh estate.

It’s also the land of Merlin, a road side board tells us. Of interest is the Catrail, which is like Offa’s Dyke. It’s amazing what you pass without knowing is there.

Soon across the border. An innocent wee stream is the border with England. It leads into the Kershope Forest and a changing, perhaps more manicured, landscape.

Shortly we’re indecisive at a market junction. As rule followers a closed gate means don’t enter. No signal to check maps. An interesting detour follows and this time closed gates we’re coming through. A later check shows both are ‘yellow’ on the OS map: should have gone through the first one. On the plus side we swapped a steep hill for two fords.

Then the Centre of Britain take 1 in Haltwhistle. This old, industrial, village has a vintage history. Now I think it relies on tourism based on its location and proximity of Hadrian’s Wall.

Tomorrow the Western edge of the Dales. That means one thing…..

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