Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there


The Englishman who went up a hill

Today was the first day of voting for The Twitchhiker Challenge – five days of what is likely to involve strenuous exercise, blisters and occasional loud swearing. Every day next week I’ll be attempting a new activity in North East England, and today the good people of Twitter voted on the first, which I’ll turn my hand to next Monday.

From my time travelling in March (that should read time spent travelling, disappointingly), I learnt that if there’s an easy way to do something, and a way that’ll cause me the most pain and suffering, then Twitter prefers to choose the more “life-enhancing” of the two. So when the Adventure Generator provided the opportunity to shoot guns, drive like a maniac or spend three hours walking up hills, it was obvious which would top the list:

The Twitchhiker Challenge - Monday's vote

Next Monday I’ll be hauling myself up Roseberry Topping in the Tees Valley, and in all honesty I’m looking forward to it. Growing up in the South of County Durham, I’ve spied this thrusting jut of rock on the horizon since I was a kid but never climbed it.

Older than the dinosaurs by a clear 100 million years, it’s been inhabited by mankind since before the Bronze Age. Roseberry Topping was named by the Vikings who settled in the area, and formed part the landscape enjoyed by Captain James Cook in his childhood. The history of this place is as breathtaking as the views:

Twitchhiker - Roseberry Topping

It’s not a particularly difficult climb, and the suggested route is only four miles long. Having said that, I’ve already started training this afternoon, by having just three sausages for tea, instead of four. I’ll be jogging to the summit, don’t you worry.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Darn… if I wasn’t in Corfu next week I might have volunteered to join you. I’ve always fancied wandering up Roseberry Topping, mostly because it sounds like a kind of dessert.

Comment by JackP

At this moment, I can think of no better reason to climb up a hill.

Comment by Paul




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