|Wolsingham Wsyfarers Waving|
Whenever you intend to lead a walk, it's always a good idea to do a reccy first, probably about a week in advance and not very much longer - things change, innit?
So, last Thursday, I think it was, me and LTD borrowed the wife's car and went off to Bowlees in Teesdale to do such a reccy. We only got lost twice. And, proof that a reccy is a Good Idea came quite quickly in the pastures above Newbiggin in Teesdale (lovely hamlet by the way) - in the form of a stile that was clearly past it's prime and in dire need of a stile MOT.
After that, and, following some minor acrobatics involving the complete collapse of the far side of the stile when I tried to cross it and some scrambling over low wall, it all went swimmingly well. We wandered up the Gutter - in this case, Coldberry Gutter, visited the nearby trig pillar and the also nearby dam and then down through the pastures and woods to Middleton to follow the Pennine Way back to the start, where, the wife's car was still parked.
On the day (in this case, Sunday) , 8 people turned up at the car park, plus Hollie The Dog and another two had set off early and were waiting at the top of the Gutter, making eleven of us plus two dogs in all.
Coldberry Gutter is the Gutter mentioned above. This is a double-sided hush meaning that it's gully runs down both sides of the hill. A hush, for those still puzzled by the term, is a man-made feature created by the use of water, often under pressure, to strip off an overburden to reveal a vein of minerals beneath. In this case, it seems that lead was the main target and also, maybe, coincidentally, quite a bit of ironstone.
Thus a deep gully has been formed and this forms a relatively easy passage up the hill and down the other side. In our case, I included a short, steep and grassy scramble in order to rendez-vous with the peeps who had set off early.
All in all the walk is just about ten of the Queen's miles and about 1800 feet of up and involves, in order of appearance, some pastures, a bit of quiet road walking, some snowdrops, pastures, the gull and moorland, some more pastures, Raby Estates woodlands and waterfalls, the outer suburbs of Middleton in Teesdale and yet more pastures along the Pennine Way, some with pregnant sheep and others empty save a few rabbits.
Lucky is specially fond of rabbits by the way and likes to try to get into rabbit holes but, he's too fat.
No idea why one of the pics should be aligned different from all the rest by the way. Blogger is very temperamental when it comes to pictures. I've had a real struggle with this....