It’s that time of year when bids and plans are submitted for the Summer 2013 Durham County Council guided walks programme, so I’m currently considering walks for April to September next year.
And, I’ve given instructions that if I mention any walks to Tunstall reservoir, that I must be immediately locked up in a secure institution. I really don’t know what came over me when I was planning these walks last summer, but I seem to have been to Tunstall reservoir from several different directions over the last twelve months – and, I must say, for each guided walk I do the route twice, maybe three times.
The Tunstall sheep and ducks are getting suspicious and so, yesterday, when I lead yet another group of walkers out from Wolsingham towards The Biggest Stile In The World and that notorious puddle at “T”, I was sure that I was getting funny looks from the grazing stock and all those laughing ducks.
The main difference this time was that the sun was shining. OK, it was windy in a howling Wuthering Heights kind of way, but it was sunny. We (nine of us) started with rainbows and ended in bright sunshine.
Not so with the reccy a few days earlier during which me and superdawg got really muddy and a bit wet.
The route is an easy one, though, just about seven of your Earth miles and only one, brief steep bit but lots of squishy, sloppy mud – having been the wettest drought since Noah and having consistently persisted since April, except when it all froze up for a week or so early in the month.
I did notice at Chapel Walls well, just outside Wolsingham, that the two springs (Holy springs?) were marked with pink-painted stones. I wonder what the significance of this is. Anybody know? Is it just another mystery?
In case anybody is busting to follow this route, there’s a map below. Go either clockwise or anti-clockwise. If you were to start at the reservoir car park, you could have a lunchtime pint in Wolsingham. As for me, I’m not going anywhere near Tunstall for at least another twelve months. I mean, it’s all very pretty etc, but I do need to introduce some new stuff.
My New Year’s resolutions will also include some cutting down (don’t they all – shouldn’t we, perhaps, resolve to do something more often…?) – cutting down on my visits to Bolt’s Law. I’m sure that Durham County paying punters might be relieved about that.