There's something about quiet streets and no aircraft that reminds me of the streets of Earby on a Sunday afternoon in July when most of the town had gone off to Morecambe and Blackpool for a week when all the mills closed down for holiday week. There's no actual restriction on walking at the moment, although dark clouds of disapproval may be gathering just over the horizon. But, to stay off the ventilator, it seems a good idea to either retain some lung fitness, or, if you haven't really got lung fitness, you might decide that with all this spare time, you could go out and get some. This might well involve following your pet dog up some steep contours for a while. Having experienced the Foot and Moth crisis in 2001 when all rights of way were closed and an enforced lay-off for several months due to me having a dicky ticker, I understand just how easy it is for an old fart like me to lose fitness. So, you gotta keep it up, innit?
I know it says two walks in the title of this blogpost, but I actually did three. Its just that I did one twice.... Providing I can keep this up and, bearing in mind that LTD is very keen, I'm hoping to do a different route every day for as long as it takes to run out of routes. The first two are both 5 miles and 500 feet of lovely, brown uphill contours. (Downhill contours are also brown by the way, it's just that they don't count)
I am commending these trundles to anybody who might like to try them. There's plenty of space to spread out although they're a lot more popular than they were a week ago when people had to go to work and the sprogs were at school. It seems that walking about , usually solo, sometimes in pairs, and sometimes with kids and dogs in tow is now the Thing To Do. As secretary of Crook and Weardale Ramblers, I think this is brilliant.
Both of these two routes would start at the Health Centre car park on Hope Street and there's maps at the end of this post should anybody want to try to follow them. They're both relatively easy, very low on risk (take care crossing the roads) and have friendly ponies, spring flowers, skylarks, curlews and chiff-chaffs and all that kinda stuff. And they're doggy friendly.
And on Dowfold Hill , which, be warned, has a short but brutal uphill struggle to the stile at the top rewarded by a fine view of Crook and the North Pennines and North Yorks Moors, PLUS four fabby-whizz new stiles installed quite recently by Groundworks (but it was our idea!)
Maps below: I went clockwise, but this is not compulsory.
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