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Walking Land's End to John o'Groats with Mark Moxon

Bellingham to Byrness

A sign saying 'Never Mind the Dog, Beware of the Wife'
Farmer humour at Blakelaw Farm, just north of Bellingham

If this section was sold to people as a self-contained day walk, then I'm pretty convinced that nobody would bother to do it; the only reason I can imagine why anyone would drag themselves out of bed to walk from Bellingham to Byrness is because it's part of the Pennine Way, and once you've come this far north, you might as well finish the bugger. The journey is completely without merit and it's just one more reason why I'm delighted to be leaving the Pennine Way tomorrow; I've really had it with this bloody track.

Moor, Forest, Byrness

The depressing moors of Padon Hill
The depressing moors of Padon Hill

This is where I normally get all lyrical and manage to squeeze 1000 words out of even the most insipid day. I've long subscribed to the theory that you're only a writer once you can write 1000 words about a fridge and maintain the reader's interest, but even I'm not going to waste 1000 words on this northern stretch of the Pennine Way.

Today many walkers, in search of an adventure, take up the challenge of completing the Trail in one continuous walk over a couple of weeks.

Redesdale Forest
Walking through Redesdale Forest

I'm amazed that this is how they introduce the Pennine Way. Doing the Way in a couple of weeks is pushing it even for the strongest walkers – I wouldn't like to try it, even now – and statistically speaking, most people who pick up this leaflet are unlikely to be at that level of walking.

The Trail is well signed and looked after to high standards to ensure one of the best walking experiences in Britain.

The River Rede near Byrness
The River Rede near Byrness

Um, are we talking about the same Pennine Way here? 'Well signed?' That's nothing short of a lie, and coupled with the main photo, showing a young girl sitting by High Force in pop-socks, shorts and a T-shirt that obviously hasn't been struggling under a pack for the last few days, I can't help wondering whether this leaflet was written by a team of marketing executives who've never even been to the Pennines.