Yet another Durham County Council guided walk stewarded by Anne, possibly the only steward able to walk far enough to do the Pennine Way walks.
I did the reccy last week on another steaming hot day with many a probing attack by the Pennine clegs. these all failed, I’m pleased to say, due to more of that Ultrathon lotion.
The reccy was straightforward – I met only one person who marched past whilst I was lunching at the Deepdale shelter and another who’d come up from the battle Hill direction for an old folks ramble (or something.. I could barely understand him as he was from Darlington.
On the day (yesterday) there was just the six of us, including me and Anne. Apart from me, everybody else was female – although I do have my feminine side, probably somewhere underneath the beard.
And so, in reasonably cool conditions, we set off towards God’s bridge to join the main Pennine Way as it heads North over Cotherstone Moor towards Scotland. A short beak was had here, just long enough to see if I could get under and through the bridge without getting wet or losing any dignity. The answer to this question is “no”.
We passed the haunted Bowes Bus station. I snapped Sheila studying a blank doorway, claiming she could see an evil presence staring back at her, but there was nothing there, as you can see……
There’s a shooting hut in Deepdale which has a room left unlocked as a shelter for walkers and this contains chairs which may be taken outside to allow a small hiking group like us to site outside and eat our butties. There’s a bit of an issue with the door at the moment, which is difficult to close properly and, it would seem that one of the local sheep had discovered this at some point and had spent long enough inside to do a small poo – probably a minute or so. Other, more scummy walkers, I noticed have left litter in there. Honestly…. dhuhh…. they carry full sweetie wrappers but can’t carry empty ones. The estate doesn’t have to leave this place open y’know. If it starts to get trashed and mucky, its likely that they’ll just lock it up. Pennine Wayfarers ought to know better.
We progressed. The clegs came out. We got to Clove Lodge and met the local dogs, who were all friendly and a bit knackered from their walk – and we passed on through the haymeadows, mostly in the process of being cut (if you’re after studying Northern haymeadows, you’re probably too late now – and you’ll have to wait till next summer) – and on up to Goldsborough where we took tea. Here, it is rumoured, that there is a cup and ring marked rock. Its not the one covered in grass halfway down the ridge to the North – oh, no. It’s another one……..
We continued, meeting a chap on his way to Hadrian’s Wall. He was too clean to be a long distance walker and, once trussed up, smeared with skin-so-soft and probed with heated walking poles, he admitted to having just left Bowes an hour or so ago. We let him go and wandered past Levy Pool with it’s superbly restored ling-thatched cottages and through the chemical warfare storage site with it’s superbly derelict and polluted storage areas, back to Bowes where it all ended with tired legs and cleg bites (just two for me – it could have been worse).
The walk is 13 miles. Here’s a map.