Me and Dawn, plus LTD, did the reccy for this severalteen days ago in cool and cloudy but ultimately sunny conditions. Yer actual walk was for the Wednesday Walkers, a splintering kind of group of Durham County Council punters , stewards and walk leaders who do longer walks on Wednesdays when the Durham County Council programme has no walk. And Saturdays. They walk on Saturdays too.
And this was Wednesday Walkers Walking on a Saturday and Not In County Durham At All.
Me and Dawn (plus LTD) had a pleasant trundle around the 12 mile route and nothing much happened apart from LTD suddenly discovering that he can detect mice and voles and other small carbon-based life forms, probably by some combination of smell, sound and predicting the kind of places such carbon-based life-forms are likely to be and then pouncing on them and eating them, or, if prevented, just killing them or maiming them in a cruel but otherwise playful manner.
I must get a large supply of worming tablets.
On the day, thirteen people and an additional dog turned up (I’m allowed a dog when leading these walks as they’re not Durham CC walks) and we progressed around the circuit in a safe and dignified manner with no significant death toll or the involvement of any air ambulances or anything like that.
The route, for those interested in such things, leaves Lordenshaws car park, with the additional option of the bagging of Garleigh Hill if you’ve turned up a bit early. This adds a mile. The walk progresses along the fine and bouldery Simonside ridge, with cracking views of the Cheviots and Pennines, steeply down to collect Tosson Hill then across the moor (watch out for small carbon-based life-forms) and through the forest, returning along St Oswald’s Way back to the start. St Cuthbert is often depicted as having St Oswald’s Head under his arm, in fact, although he’s definitely not been heard to sing “Oh Ganny Goy” whilst drinking a glass of water whilst carrying this head. “Gottle of Gear” as St Oswald once remarked.
The Simonside ridge is an easy trundle, mainly on hard surfaces with superb views at a distance and lots of rocky interest close by. Anybody who enjoys a bit of a scramble would enjoy a bit of a scramble on all those rocks. The forestry bit is slightly dull, but the return over the moor is fast and easy and wide-open enjoyable rambling. People who hate skylarks and meadow-pipits will be in hell. Everybody else will be having a fab time.