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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Gibraltar in Sunshine then in Rain

gibraltar reccy 009
This was a new (for me) County Durham guided walk which I thought was a really good idea when I submitted it to the Council last July…
gibraltar reccy 004
Me and Dawn and Lucky The Dog did the reccy last week in warmish sunshine, there being a bit of a temperature inversion on at the time. The reccy also had the best of the autumn woodland colours; the trees being substantially stripped during windy nights a week later.
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Gibraltar farm, now mainly derelict but still holding some furniture was abandoned in 1965 after the occupant – a single lady, died by the Beldon Burn whilst, apparently, on her way to the shops. There is no road to the building.

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We did get lost – that is to say, I got lost and Dawn followed me up hills and back down again, resulting in the nine mile walk turning into eleven.
gibralter 001

I was also a bit concerned about a steep and slippery descent to Beldon Burn which…steep and slippery, but with plenty of trees to hang on to. On the day, Jo and Diane (I think it was) had been this way before – inevitably somebody’s been there before – and located the path a bit to the side. This turned out to be steep and slippery too, but with less stuff to hang on to.
gibraltar reccy 008
gibralter 002

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On the reccy we managed to do the full route – as per the map below – without too much difficulty, and it was very nice too. The sun shone, the suckler cows more or less ignored us, the keepers were out in some force by the chimneys, but were friendly and, apparently, mere yoofs with guns.
graemes pic
gibralter 005
On the day, 23 people and 2 dogs turned up to a rain-slashed car park at Blanchland and, although the rain stopped for a bit, at lunchtime, it came back again and appeared to have settled in for the duration. The stiles were slippery, the dogs were wet, and there was an element of whingeing from some of the troops, so I called an end to the misery and took a more sheltered, if muddy route back to Blanchland through Deborah Wood.
This wasn’t much shorter than the advertised route, which was nine miles, but probably ten, really. And so we did about eight.
But its a good route, I think. I’ll put it in again for next summer, I expect.



Dawn Linney said...

Nice one Mike. We certainly had better weather on the reccy. Some lovely varied walking.

Geoff Crowther said...

You wanna be careful with that there rain Mike. Yo might dissolve ...

Marie Pretty Smith said...

Love your description and the photos. A lovely hike!

Anonymous said...

I was expecting Barbary apes but the reservoir was just as good.

christine hindle said...

Slippery stiles - hate them :(