Tuesday, 12 April 2016

May the Force(s) be with you.......April  8th (North Pennines)
    I have missed the gadgie walk again as the gadgette and I went to Greater Manchester to visit family but Brian has recorded the day's events....

May The Force(s) Be With You.

Today we are in Teesdale.  The Bolgmeister is still unavailable but there are a magnificent seven gadgies donning their boots today.  The 3 Johns, Dave, Harry, Ben and Brian.

The start of the walk is at the Bowlees Visitor Centre and car park (for which there is a voluntary charge).  The visitor centre is in a renovated chapel and provides pleasant surroundings and an excellent bacon sandwich.

Car Parking

Walk straight out of the centre to the main road and follow the sign post down to the river.  You are immediately at the very attractive Low Force waterfalls.

Low Force
We cross the bridge and turn right, now following the Pennine Way.  The path follows the river and at one point passes through a large stand of Juniper bushes.  There were a couple of kayakers at the water’s edge struggling with their craft in the strong flowing current.

It is about 1.5 miles upstream to High Force waterfall.  It may not be quite the highest waterfall in England but it does have the largest volume of water falling over an unbroken drop when in full spate.

High Force

It is also popular with gadgie snappers .

On leaving High Force we were asked to clean and disinfect our boots to help combat the spread of some deadly killer tree disease which we duly did.  The feel of the landscape is now more remote; until about 0.5 miles past the waterfall you come upon this blot on the landscape.

It’s an eyesore but people do have to work.

The route continues along the Pennine Way but now much more undulating. There are wide views of the valley and now the almost continuous sight and sound of Lapwings performing their aerial acrobatics.  We pass Cronkley and come to a bridge across the river where it is decided that, behind a sheltering wall, to call a Herbie spot.

Herbie Spot

Today’s feast includes; banana and ginger cake from the oven of Mrs Hall, Ben’s ginger biscuits, Mrs A’s cheese scones, carrot cake and a chocolate bar.  From our lunch spot we can see oyster catchers, grey lag geese.

After lunch we cross the bridge and turn immediately left and along the river bank.  As with most river banks this year the signs of erosion are obvious.

A real photographer in action

At the next bridge we turn inland, following the sign for Langdon Beck YHA.  It is a short distance to the main road, which we cross and up towards Underhearth.  A steady but muddy climb leads us to some caves, which Dave and Ben explore.

The path is now at a higher level and quite muddy in places.  We go through the farms of Wool Pit Hill, where lambing was obviously in full swing, High Berk Head and Scar End.

These lambs were no more than a few minutes old.

John C now employed his GPS tracking device to guide us over the couple of miles to the Flushlemere Beck, into the woodland and back to the car park.

There was a short spur, for those who wished, to see Gibsons Cave and the waterfalls.  So here are the photos for those who didn’t

The waterfall

Inside the cave

Looking out through the waterfall

We stopped for Harry’s birthday beer round at the The Punch Bowl in Edmundbyers.  Sadly Harry (and John C) was driving so overdosed on coffee.  The rest of us had Wainwrights and Bombardier – very nice.

The walk was judged to be about 10.5 miles with 1150ft of ascent.

(Next week “Walking with Fairies” with Norman “Two Sheds” Johnsen)

Looks like a good gadgie day. It was also my birthday but they won't let me get away with it next week.
Dave has sent his pedometer readings:

                                                                        steps                                  miles
LIDL3D                                                        24867                                   11.19
LIDLUSB                                                     23934                                   10.95
NAKOSITE                                                  23611                                   10.8
Walk of 11 miles I reckon