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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Simonside–A Guided Walk

simonside reccy 004

Me and Dawn, plus LTD, did the reccy for this severalteen days ago in cool and cloudy but ultimately sunny conditions. Yer actual walk was for the Wednesday Walkers, a splintering kind of group of Durham County Council punters , stewards and walk leaders who do longer walks on Wednesdays when the Durham County Council programme has no walk. And Saturdays. They walk on Saturdays too.

And this was Wednesday Walkers Walking on a Saturday and Not In County Durham At All.

wednesday walkers (on a saturdaay) peer over the edge

Me and Dawn (plus LTD) had a pleasant trundle around the 12 mile route and nothing much happened apart from LTD suddenly discovering that he can detect mice and voles and other small carbon-based life forms, probably by some combination of smell, sound and predicting the kind of places such carbon-based life-forms are likely to be and then pouncing on them and eating them, or, if prevented, just killing them or maiming them in a cruel but otherwise playful manner.

I must get a large supply of worming tablets.

simonside 002

On the day, thirteen people and an additional dog turned up (I’m allowed a dog when leading these walks as they’re not Durham CC walks) and we progressed around the circuit in a safe and dignified manner with no significant death toll or the involvement of any air ambulances or anything like that.

simonside reccy 007

simonside reccy 012

simonside reccy 010

The route, for those interested in such things, leaves Lordenshaws car park, with the additional option of the bagging of Garleigh Hill if you’ve turned up a bit early. This adds a mile. The walk progresses along the fine and bouldery Simonside ridge, with cracking views of the Cheviots and Pennines, steeply down to collect Tosson Hill then across the moor (watch out for small carbon-based life-forms) and through the forest, returning along St Oswald’s Way back to the start. St Cuthbert is often depicted as having St Oswald’s Head under his arm, in fact, although he’s definitely not been heard to sing “Oh Ganny Goy” whilst drinking a glass of water whilst carrying this head. “Gottle of Gear” as St Oswald once remarked.

simonside reccy 013

The Simonside ridge is an easy trundle, mainly on hard surfaces with superb views at a distance and lots of rocky interest close by. Anybody who enjoys a bit of a scramble would enjoy a bit of a scramble on all those rocks. The forestry bit is slightly dull, but the return over the moor is fast and easy and wide-open enjoyable rambling. People who hate skylarks and meadow-pipits will be in hell. Everybody else will be having a fab time.




Quinn said...

That Lucky is a talented fellow! I have never known a dog that could find and catch and eat tiny rodents. But a friend's labrador retriever is never happier than when he is prancing around with an unfortunate snake dangling from his jaws. My friend rescues the snakes and gives them a chance to vanish into the labradorless crannies of a stone wall.
My own dog expects her dinner in a bowl, thank you, and the sooner the better.

Dawn Linney said...

That was a cracking walk Mike, enjoyable.

christine hindle said...

Is that somewhere over near that Gibbet place you mentioned? Think we've wild camped with the van around there...

Mike Knipe said...

Quinn - I've been trying to keep LTD away from snakes - at least one adder was spotted over by Garliegh Hill..
Dawn - Serpently was (see previous reply!)
Chrissie - Its probably about ten miles away - the gibbet is at the Western end of this ridge, I think - but we only went half way along. There's another great swathe of heather after this.