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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Over the Tops to Rookhope and a Message for Alfie

upper bit of middlehope burn
Me and the Dawg did the reccy for this DCC guided walk the other day and found some footpath issues detailed in the previous blog post. The County Council Rights of Way peeps replied to my email saying that they’re monitoring the path and that they’re planning some works. This is good.
superdawg on slit wood tramway
The reccy was done in windy sunshine which was quite nice if you got behind a wall out of the wind to eat the Lancashire cheese and pickled red cabbage butty wot I had to eat in a suntrap out of the wind at the top of Scarsike Head.
towards slit wood
On the day (yesterday), there were fourteen of us including me and the two stewards Janet and Steven – no compulsory Dave today, but instead, we had a small collie pup who liked sticks and trying to bite puddles.
highest point on the walk
We started from Westgate in fast improving weather and soon had blue skies and shelter from the howling gale inside Slit Wood. The collapsing footpath posed no problems and it wasn’t till we started climbing over the moor that the wind made itself felt – luckily, it was more or less behind us and so, a wind-assisted, slightly staggery ascent was made.
nearly at rookhope
And then it started raining a bit. By the time we’d squeezed as many people as possible into the bus shelter in Rookhope for lunch, the conditions were getting quite lively. And these got livelier as we passed High Bishop Seat and battered on towards Westgate. The driving rain turned to driving sleet and, basically, we got  very wet and quite muddy. The dog seemed to enjoy it, though.
high bishop seat
And so, a slightly ruffled and soggy fourteen-and-a-dog staggered back into Westgate.
Its not a bad walk – the pub at Rookhope seems to be closed – hopefully on a temporary basis. It’s nine miles and here’s a map for anybody who fancies it for a stroll.
and then we came to a fork in the road..
I’ll be giving this one a bit of a rest as far as Durham County guided walks is concerned – I’ve done it three or four times now – which means six or eight times with reccies – and that’s enough of that for a while.
Message for ?”Alfie” – We found your boots where you’d reversed your car over them. They should be at Northumbria House by now. If not – send me an email and I’ll investigate their whereabouts. They are safe, though! And if it’s any comfort, you’re not the only one to accidentally abandon kit on that same day. Prolly just a phase of the moon… I do this sort of thing all the time, in fact.
rookhope walk


Reifyn said...

It sounded like a real nice trip—all except not having a pub to go to after. It was bad enough some pub-guy wouldn't let a load of people in on one of your recent trips, but now this one has a 'shut' sign. What was that wee house I see in one of the pics? That would have been good shelter maybe. Also, I was wondering about the hay-fork in the wheel-rut. Maybe it was left as part of someone's kit too. I'll leave a message for the owner: HAY-FORK OWNER—your fork's in a wheel-rut on this one footpath; see map & pic. I wish I were on these trips instead of stuck in some wretched little city. Wish I'd seen that collie snap at the puddles.

Mike Knipe said...

It WAS a nice trip, Reifyn - and the dog - they all have their little special bit of behaviour that's individual to the dog - never quite repeated in another dog... which is what I like about dogs. Simples, really...
Farmer's picked up the fork by the way... it's not there now. I bet his Grandad made it..
Get out of that wretched city by the way...
And Bishop's Seat - the site of many a hunt-watching party in times gone past. Now an abandoned house in 1853, Jo Stephenson left Bishop Seat for this house to get shaved - just 150 yards away and perished in a blizzard on his way. Just sayin'...

AlanR said...

I see there used to be a railway between Westgate and Rookhope passing the old farm. I bet that was a lovely wee trip, although a bit bleak in winter i guess.

Dawn said...

Sounds a good 'un Mike. Looking at the fork I thought for a moment you where trying to encourage Bruno to take up gardening!!!