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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Walking to Bishop Auckland

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Martin rang last night and complained that he was suffering from High latitudinal lassitude and what was more, the A66 was still closed. (We were supposed to be walking at newlands in the morning)

For myself, I detected the first signs of an onset of Sculthorpe’s Oscillation – a condition fatal to the execution of going for a walk who’s symptoms include indecision, dithering, pussyfooting, prevarication and an inability to find the correct map. It was something to do with the fact that all of the local trans-pennine routes were closed and that whilst I should at least go somewhere, an attempt to visit the Lake District would either be a very long detour or would involve close contact with a snowdrift.

We agreed to do the Littledale walk later....

So, instead, I decided to do a walk up Teesdale somewhere.

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A flock of sheep.

This morning, the condition had worsened somewhat just after I noticed the verglass (black ice) all over the road and the wife’s car and the fact that white van delivery man’s hair was stood on end and also that he seemed to be whimpering something about the roads being “lethal”. there was some kind of procreationary adjective attached to his declaration somewhere, but this is a family blog notwithstanding the chocolate flapjack cakes, so I won’t repeat it.

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I would walk to Durham and back up the Deerness valley. Bruno agreed and stood by the dog walking equipment drawer.

Shortly after embarking up the Deerness valley walk (yet again), I decided to walk to Bishop Auckland instead.

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The Bishop-Brandon Walk

So we turned off through a flock of sheep and up the big hill wot overlooks Crook, through the golf course to Sunnybrow and along the Bishop-Brandon walk (another ex-railway line) to Bishop Auckland.

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Bishop Auckland skyline

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River Wear from the Newton Cap viaduct.

And we got the bus back.


The New Monkey Inn at Hunwick is closed.(shame!)

The Tap and Spile in Bishop Auckland has an effete barman with strangely coloured hair and they can’t allow dogs in. How he gets away with that in a scruffy pub in man’s town such as Bishop Auckland is a miracle. (You have to say the word “man” in a “manly” tone by the way. Read that bit again. Do it properly this time.)

The Hut on Bishop Auckland Bus station is run by two hillwalkers, one of whom has just been to Everest basecamp and can’t resist putting milk in your coffee even when you want it black. Their stuff is incredibly good value for money, though. (Coffee was 75 pence). They also do your bacon butty a few minutes before you actually ask for it. Remarkable. They seem very busy. I’m not surprised.

Bruno doesn’t like double-decker buses at all. (he’ll get used to it when I get me bus pass)

It was 8 miles and just 400 feet of uphill

It was drizzly, misty, snowy, freezy stuff and the snow has a hard crust on it which is mainly much easier to walk on, although, occasionally, it lets you down. (I had a girlfriend like that once….)

I may walk tomorrow as well….

crook to bishop


peewiglet said...

...and they can’t allow dogs in...

I've come across imbecilic places like that too. Festering with references to 'Health and Safety' and the like. Or dislike.

I think Piglet may be developing a bit of a 'thing' about Superdawg. Whenever his picture comes up she gets all wistfull and starts tidying her coat.

mike knipe said...

Grrrr to the pub (Bruno quote, there)
Piglet needs a talking to. Bruno has no "equipment" and very little interest in girls unless they're made of sugar and spice and stuff like that.
He's usually fairly polite to them, though.

james boulter said...

I rather fancied bumbling up to the North Pennines this weekend and staying the night in a high bothy. I have a funny feeling that the road from Teesdale to Alston may not be a good idea. I am going to go to Suffolk instead, no moors there to get in the way............
Even if there is a big thaw, I have a feeling that there may still be snow on the high moors for a while yet?

Louise said...

Oh to be able to get into the hills! There are a lot of deep puddles to splash through on top of inches of ice around here, so I'm still trapped on the wrong side of the doorstep due to my complete and utter inability to stay upright.

And that's before I hit the Glenmorangie at the Ceilidh on Saturday. If I can get there...

mike knipe said...

James - The road from Teesdale to Alsron is closed its only open from Alston to the Yad Moss ski tow - in fact, the only two roads into Alston that are open are the one from Brampton and the one from Hexham, which is "passable"
Other closed roads are the A66, A689 and A68.
And you'd need skis or snowshoes to get anywhere near one of the bothies - although the snow is beginning to stiffen up a bit. When it turns to neve, it'll make walking much easier.
Louise - In Huddersfield, they're reduced to crawling along the street - much safer (Its been on the telly!) Better to stay in till it thaws a bit...and get in some practise with the malty drinks (and I'm not talking Horlicks here...!)

Ratdog said...

Ohh to be back in Blighty, do you think they will let me in if I bring a bag of salt?


mike knipe said...

You have salt, Ratdog?

What? Real salt?

Hells Teeth said...

Mike, I was going to walk all that route, although the other way round but managed to get my car stuck in the car park at the end of Newton Cap viaduct which was a real Brucie bonus.

mike knipe said...

You're not very far from Pie Towers are you?
If you decide to do it, we could have a pint whilst you're waiting for your bus home!
I thought that car park looked a bit dicey when I walked through it - looks like a few people had been stuck judging by the chewed up snow