The thing about Durham County Council walks is that you do them twice within the week. The reccy for this walk has already been mentioned in relation to an unwarranted and, frankly, mindless assault on my delicate parts by a howling (quietly) mob of ants.
On Sunday, it was time to do the actual walk, which was exactly the same as the reccy except that in certain respects it was different..er.if you catch my..er…
Anyway – the main differences were that there were other people – six others, to be precise , including the stewards Sheila and Ian , and it was a bit thundery.
Six people including two stewards is not a great number. I put this down to a games event that’s going on in That London at the moment and a dire weather forecast which mentioned prolonged torrential rain, flash flooding, thunder and lightening, a plague of locusts and a viking raid involving rape, pillage and burning (in that strict order) and a bloke with one eye who looks quite a lot like Kirk Douglas. Quite a lot of this didn’t happen and there was no mention of the midgies at High Force which foreshortened the lunch break to about ten minutes.
The route, briefly, goes up the back road out of Middleton and down to the river through some meadows and crosses the Tees at the lower bridge near Newbiggin. It then follows the Pennine Way past Wynch Bridge, The Stone Sheep, Low Force, The Juniper woodland, High Force and Cronkley and then by back lanes back to Newbiggin/Bowlees from where it crosses the Tees again and follows the PW back to Middleton. Its just a bit less than fifteen miles.
The reccy was warm and sunny and the actual walk was sweaty and heavy and the sky rumbled and grumbled darkly and there was a bit of rain, but not much.
Its a nice walk.
You should do it.
Here’s some maps.