One of the projects I’m proposing to do in the summer as part of the Durham County Council guided walks programme is to complete County Durham’s bit of the Pennine Way from Tan Hill Inn to Cauldron Snout. I think this will take five walks, each of which will be circular.
So this weekend just past, and after one weather-related postponement, I’ve been exploring circular-ish routes in Teesdale to see what happens…. Bruno came too, and on Sunday, I was joined by Louise and her collie pup Rosie.
Saturday’s ramble started from Forest in Teesdale school, wandered up the Pennine Way to Langdon Beck, Widdybank farm and , finally , scrambled up the very noisy Cauldron Snout, all in a fierce headwind combined with that ever-familiar driving drizzle that’s been a feature of this year’s winter. In fact, it was howling most of the time and, having my hood up and head down and not paying sufficient attention made me miss a turn and, so a small chunk of the Pennine Way. It’ll be all right on the day….
We returned damply from Cow Green reservoir over a bit of moor to Binks farm, down through Harwood in exceptional and unreasonably fierce and unbalancing hail –loaded gusts and back along the Tees. It was nice to be pushed along by the gale for a bit, though. The fields are sloppy and wet, and, taken together, it developed into a bit of a scrap with Mother Nature. Basically, we got a bit roughed up. It’ll be all right on the ..er…. it will be July and the hay meadows will be in full flower and the curlew will be wheeling and calling on the moor in a warm sky…
Anyway, Sunday, and after a night for the kit on radiators, I met Louise and her dog in Middleton and we fought a slightly reduced headwind, but this time in bright sunshine, up the Pennine Way beside the Tees, to Low Force, High Force and up to Forest and back along old back lanes and riverside paths, where it eventually went dark and forced us into a road walk of a mile and a bit, or so. So, I missed another bit of path which I’ll likely have a short walk to see in a week or so. There’s no panic, really. The last bit of path was up a seventy metre hill through pastures, and I think we’d both had enough calorie-burning by that point in favour of a plod down the B6277 with the Petzl on strobe, which is an odd experience and makes reflectors and road signs appear to flash from a great distance. It does make sure you get noticed by traffic, though.
Bruno and Rosie enjoyed themselves once again, bouncing around, choosing sticks and, generally doing doggy stuff. There’s more sheep on the return route, though, for some reason (its probably a bit warmer on the North side of the Tees…?) and canines had to be on leads. Rosie is specially interested in seeing how fast sheep could run, given the chance and does sheep-dog poses from behind gateposts. Bruno, on the other hand, only notices sheep if they make a point of running away. He’s much too old for that sort of thing, really. Its that time of year when flocks of sheep tend to follow us across fields anyway, which is a source of some puzzlement to a canine codger like Bruno.
Anyway, I’ve managed to reccy the Pennine Way from Middleton to Cow Green, so there’s just three more routes to do…
Total miles for the weekend was 12 + 14, (that’s 26, folks…) with 2200 feet of up. (that’s not a lot of up for 26 miles…)
More of this later this week but today I might have a bit of a rest…….