Isaacs Tea Trail


We gathered at Alston on a Friday night,

rucksacks packed for the morning light.

The Cumberland Arms was our base to quaff,

 a glass of wine or beer while some had scoff.


Teamwork was gelling as ale was sunk

even talk of vicars as more wine was drunk.

Into the night we then headed for bed,

chatter of giggly women could wake the dead.


 A fresh morning was cold as breakfast was cherished,

but if we got lost we’d be well nourished.

In a convoy of shangabangs Allendale we did head,

this mishmash of folk by Chris would be led.


Diane took a photo for police records we think,

with a banner saying forty we dared not to blink.

But soon we were off skirting the town,

waking sleepy residents as we headed off down.


Miles under feet were soon passed with a sigh,

as we talked and joked waving fields good bye.

Breaks were took as we’re a hungry bunch,

Posh Chris produced china for tea with her lunch.


With Alston in sight aches faded away,

 pubs knew we were coming and ordered a dray.

All freshened up served a meal fit for kings,

full and contented we wish we had wings.

Some wobbled to an ale house to quench their thirst,

the rest to bed, shirt buttons ready to burst.


Leaving town on the second leg feeling good,

skipping across grass trying to avoid the mud.

The tribe headed for lunch ten mile down the road,

with soup and bread, also cakes for a carb load.

Tea and coffee was drunk by the mug,

the YHA at Ninebanks should feel quite smug.

They did us proud as we squelched on our way,

high on sugar and caffeine why can’t we stay?


Guests from Jedburgh and Bedford down south,

York and the North East even posh Tynemouth.

5558 feet was our assent on this classic trail,

39.4 miles we walked go tell people your tale.


The Isaac Tea Trail was completed by all,

there was the odd slip and some had a fall.

Allendale was met with all of its charm,

Peter Ford the Sherpa opened his arms.

Congratulations to all a handshake well done,

we just wished for less mud and a little more sun.


©Paul Ashman


Photographs by Chris McDowell and Diane Smith