There’s this Northumbrian lad from Northumbria called Mick with whom I’ve been in a desultory correspondence about routes around Weardale/Teesdale and so on, suitable for a chap with a metal leg. I kind of assumed that the terrain would have to be reasonably smooth, but judging by this man’s tussles with the tussocks up the Cheviots, I’m not entirely sure about that.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the butler did it because he was jealous of the footman’s illicit affair with her ladyship'.
To cut another story short, Mick did this walk from Eastgate to Rookhope and told me about a locked gate that might need sorting out in my capacity of Outdoor Footpath Snitch. Looking at a map of his route, I also formed the opinion that this could be a nice walk for the Durham County Council winter walks programme, so I determined to go and have a look. And this is what I did this afternoon.
I parked prettily in the Eastgate Village Hall car park (very big car park, quite a small hall) – DCC might need permission to do this, but maybe a donation to hall funds will help with the negotiations…
After this, a very pleasant trundle up flowery wooded pastures on the Weardale Way follows. This passes through Hole House farm, which is a proper farm with donkeys, geese, chickens, a friendly dog and some goats. This is like one of those toy farms you get for Christmas when you’re six, except that they’re all real animals. They do need some pigs and a black and white cow with the paint scratched off it’s arse.
Soon, we are in Rookhope and the public bar of the Rookhope Inn calls. (I wonder if they’d do soup and butties…?) I didn’t go in, though…
And much too soon later, we are heading South again to find the locked gate.
But what’s this? The Public Footpath sign at the start of the path at North Hanging Wells has fallen over and is pointing skywards. this will not do. Its more than my jobsworth to allow this, so I’ve reported it.
I’ve also reported the locked gate and the overgrown(ish) path and the bit about where all the shoring has fallen to bits, the reclining birch tree and the teetering boulders from the slope failure. I reported the heron I saw for looking at me in a funny way, the dirty pigeons, the illicit rope swing (health and safety hazard) and the fact that it was a bit cloudy some of the time.
I just enjoy the power, really. Mwhahahahaha, as they say the County Council Rights of Way Department.
It was six miles. Very nice, too. Lots of primroses, violets bluebells and all kinds of other pretty things. And I got some galena from a rabbit hole. Very enterprising rabbits around here…..