Saturday, 29 April 2017

On the rails again. (Durham/Yorks) April 28th.
Back in the UK after my trip to Czechia I am out with the lads again.( Last week they walked from Blanchland,  see We're Going to Blanchland 10/11/12) Reduced to a team of four, we gadgies have opted for a railway walk along the River Tees from Middleton in Teesdale to Barnard Castle.
The four are: Harry, Dave, John H, and me and to get to Barnard Castle we are taking A69 west, A68 south at Corbridge and the A668 from West Auckland.
The map to use is OS OL 31 The North Pennines. The good burghers of Barnard Castle have provided a long stay car park in the town for a mere £1.50. It is down the main street, turn left at the ancient market cross and turn left after about 200 yards.
We caught a bus to Middleton in Teesdale, the number 95 or 96 from a stop near the market cross, at 10.56, they run once an hour with friendly drivers and other walkers. using bus passes makes this a real gadgie walk even though we never saw a heron.

All day car park, and for a mere £1.50.
                           Barnard Castle's Market Cross
                             No more of these in the future. Barnard Castle has many blue plaques telling visitors what went on in the town. Charles John Huffam Dickens stayed there researching for Nicholas Nickleby
 Look out for the book near the bus stop
Middleton is a pretty dales town, church with 13th century origins and buildings connected with the lead industry; the metal was mined in several of the northern valleys.

                         Middleton in Teesdale
                              Follow the sign
We walked down the road and crossed the Tees, turning almost immediately through a gate and into a field on the left side of the road. A few fields later, at Lonton, we climbed the steps up to the old railway line that is now the Tees Railway Path and headed east.
                         Difficult to go wrong once you have found this.

                                            A good firm track, all the way back to Barnard Castle, nearly
    This part of the walk has beautiful views over the upper end of the Tees Valley, many of the farm buildings and cottages are painted white and there are field barns too, although most of them are in ruins now. The Durham County Council has kindly supplied benches at regular intervals, convenient for stops to admire the scenery or for a Herbie Spot. The trail is high above the river and passes close to but not through the village of Mickleton.
At Romaldkirk (in Yorkshire) the village station has been converted into a house and the path leaves the track and wanders through the village, but it is very well sign posted and soon leads back to the trail.
The village takes its name from Rumoldescherce, he being a saint, and there is evidence of metal working in the 12th century.
The village of Romaldskirk and the old station, complete with old signal.

Beyond the village and back on the path we paused for Herbie, sharing Snickers, Czech chocolate from my recent visit and Pork Pies! Somebody does not join in this exchange of gadgie goodies in case you were counting.                                                                                                          
The scenery changes a little, more woodland but still plenty of fields with lambs doing what they do, gambol.
The path is popular with dog walkers   and horse riders. Just beyond Cotherstone it leaves the old railway line, crosses fields and joins another dismantled railway near Lartington. A large sign tells walkers that this is private land and not a right of way. A lady, walking her dog, told us it really didn't matter so, expecting an ASBO we continued. It was a well worn path anyway, and there were four of us.

One end of a dismantled bridge across the Tees as we approached Barnard Castle. The structure, which was part of a mineral railway I believe, was dismantled for its metal when the line was closed.

                                         Almost back in Barnard Castle.
By the bridge the path descends steeply to the Teesdale way., follows a metalled road to a footbridge across the river and up the bank, past the crazy golf course and children's playground to the high street.
We went to the Golden Lion for refreshment, several ales on offer for the non drivers and coffee for the loser. The pub claims to be probably the oldest in County Durham, probably Dickens did his drinking there.
This is another good walk, probably the best railway walk in the County, although I thyink the great Waskerley Way wander takes some beating. But for scenery Teesdale surpasses that one. We agreed it would make an  excellent winter walk too, the path is firm and there are only a few soggy bits.

The Matrix MMXVII NN
                                                                                         steps                               miles
NAK                                                                               27765                                10.5
iPhone                                                                             22179                                10
Dave's 3D                                                                       20785                                 9.77
  ""       USB                                                                    20050                                10.12
  ""       NAK                                                                   19873                                 10.03
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                                           9,74
etrek                                                                                                                            9.9
walking time 3 hours 18 minute talking time 53 minutes


Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2017
Pictures for the day