It was the best of Teesdale. It was the worst of Teesdale.
This was another of Pieman’s walking contributions to the North Pennines Walking festival wot is on this week. In this case, a walk I’d done before as a Durham County Council guided walk and repeated here as part of the festival.
Today’s stewards were Compulsory Dave (David) and Sheila and today’s punters numbered thirteen – substantially from Durham CC walks, but we also entertained people from around the North and some on holiday from other parts of the UK.
I did the reccy on Monday in a flat non-photogenic light, which explains, or , maybe excuses, the quality of my pictures. Luckily, though, in view of today’s driech drizzle, I did manage to take some pictures of the bits we missed today and they’re here on the pieblog for those customers who may stray over here who might be curious about whatever it was they missed.
As I set out on Monday, I came across a sheep with a bucket on it’s head, being chased around the pasture by a pony. I watched this for a bit and considered that my horse-and-sheep-with-a-bucket-on-it’s-head skills were probably not up to the job of sorting out this particular situation, so I reported the matter to the farm nearby. the nice lady there said (with a smile) that she’d tell her son. I returned. By now, the bucket had slipped around the sheep’s neck and the pony was chasing the whole flock around the field. It was only now that I had the bright idea of taking a picture. By today, the bucket had been removed. I think it had anyway. All the sheep looked the same without buckets.
Anyway, today, I abandoned the walk in the face of sheets of rain sweeping across Cronkley Fell and chopped a huge chunk of high ground off the route. Instead, we went straight for the caves, getting only slightly lost in the hillfog on the way. Only Graeme entered the cave, but here’s a picture of what it looks like when you’re in it. Innit? It’s quite dark as you can see… only..you can’t..actually….
Anyway, it chucked it down pretty much all morning and only abated just after the abandonment. We had to shelter behind a sheep shed for lunch and we scared the cattle as we loomed out of the mist towards them.
About half of us visited the Bowlees cafe afterwards. they were happy to see us. It had been a quiet and drizzly day at Bowlees..
Here’s a map of the full route. We chopped off the Western end of the walk. the full route is about 14 miles. We did 9.
The Best of Teesdale walk contains the following best bits:
Wynch Bridge aka The Wobbly Bridge
Two stone sheep, neither of which Bruno is very keen on
A flowery riverside path (not very flowery in October, though)
Cronkley Fell exclosures, sugar limestone
Riverside path complete with tricky duckboards
Forest school time sculpture
Hay meadows (not in October!)
Bowlees tea and scones.
More North Pennines Walking Festival stuff tomorrow. here's their website – click on EVENTS