Scroll down to see a brief writeup of some of our walks
Hartburn Glebe Woods Stanhope Neasham via Girsby Barnard Castle Whitby
Gordon's walk with Worcester Ramblers
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Sunday 21st Sept. 2014
A coach walk lead by Mr. G Lindsley.
This was the usual coach meeting point at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4DN and the coach leaves at 08:30 prompt.
End of walk drink.
Arranged on the day.
The walk commenced at Robin Hood's Bay after a short time to look around the loverly seaside town.
The walk followed the Cleeveland Way along the cliffe top passing some strangely named area of the coast such as Ness Ruck, Castle Chamber, Craze Naze, Clock Case Nab, Far Jetticks, Pursglove Style, Maw Wyke Hole & Widdy Head to name but a few.
It also passed Whitby Fog Signal and the National Trust Lighthouse.
Below are three view of the walk taken when some of our members did the reccy.
On arrival in Whitby there wasl be time to explore the town or sample the local delicacy at the well know (if not famous) pie, mash & mushy peas restaurant.
Whitby has ample watering holes where you can get some liquid refreshment.
The walk is approx. 7.5 miles.
The walk was be led by Mr Gordon Lindsley.
Gordon Lindsley's walk with Worcester Ramblers
While on holiday in Worcester I had the pleasure of joining up with Worcester Ramblers. The walk started near Napleton (Kempsey Common) and took us under the M5 Motorway to The Nash, A privately owned Elizabethan Manor House Hotel.
We continued walking along the banks of the river Severn to the charming little village of Kempsey where we had lunch in the churchyard.
The churchyard and part of the village is in an area prone to flooding from the river Severn. A £1.5 million flood defence system which had just been completed & officially unveiled in July, failed late November 2012. Ironically this was due to sensors getting waterlogged in the heavy rain. The two pumps failed to start resulting in a number of properties being flooded & 30 homes needing to be evacuated.
Neasham via Girsby
Walk started from Neasham NZ 326 102. We encounted Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazziaum ). The sap of this plant is harmful to humans & can cause blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes so take care if you encounter any on your walks.
Lunch was at the church on the hill at Girsby.
After lunch we followed the Teesdale way to St John The Baptist Church in Low Dinsdale when we stopped for a cup of tea.
On the Buttress of the church tower there are two dates 1843 when the tower was built, & 1876 when it extended to its present height.
Can you spot the join?
When we arrived to the road leading to Neasham, we found that the Neasham Hill farm sold eggs with a honesty box at the gate. A lady was in the garden, and gave us all a much welcomed ice lolly as the day had turned out to be a hot & humid one.
We thanked her and continued down to the Fox & Hounds to sample the waters!
We set off along the riverside and cross the river via the stepping stones beside the ford, through Unthank Park and up the woods above Crookley Crag. Turning left we circle round back across the River Wear to Shittlehope Burn. Following the burn on our left we head up by Hill Crest to Crawley Edge.
After lunch we headed toward the disused fluor-spar mine beside Stanhope burn, following Stanhope burn we headed downstream awhile before bearing left onto Crawley Side bank.
After a short walk uphill we turned right along the top of the disused quarry and then followed the path through the quarry and back into Stanhope.
Stanhope is surrounded by the remains of it's industrial past which nature has reclaimed and is now home to a viarity of fauna & flora, one of which is the wild strawberry, which despite being smaller than your little fingernail, has a deliciously strong taste.
Unfortunately we were there too early in the season to sample it’s delights.
I have spent many enjoyable days at Stanhope starting when I was a 'babe in arms'.
For as long as I can remember these quarries have not been worked.
I hope you enjoyed the walk as much as I did.
Our lunch stop was on Crawley edge, from this vantage point we got a fabulous view of Stanhope nestled in the Wear valley.
The walk is approx. 8 miles.
The photo to the left was taken in May 2006, as you can see it was nice weather and normally the ford & stepping stones would be full of kids having fun & parents stressing out, I mean eating ice creams & joining in the fun.
Roll forward a few years to December 2011 when the photo to the right was taken, probably not the best time to cross using the stepping stones.
You can see by the height board the river level is above the 6ft mark.
I sat 3 mile down river & watched the level rise approx. 1 ft in 30 minutes before driving up to the ford and taking photos. The sheer power of the water was awesome to watch.
The next day the stones were again visible.
The water level must have been just short of max. point before serious flooding would occur, I have seen it higher once.
As you can see in that photo barriers have been installed and were supposed to be closed in flood conditions only. Unfortunatly the council have decided to close them permanently, in my opinion a poor & shortsighted viewn as many visitors would go to Stanhope just to drive through the ford on a nice day.
The enjoyment of many spoilt be the few idiots who would attempt to drive across when the river was in spate and by the council.
Hartburn Glebe Walk
This was a short but very scenic route through Hartburn Glebe woods, part of a walk from Middleton.
The path passes through woodland alongside the burn.
Along the way we came across Hartburn Glebe Grotto (now a grade II listed grotto), though none of us knew at the time what it was called or what is was for, it looked almost like a church built into a cleft in the rocks.
We later found out that it was cut into a partial natural cave by Dr John Sharpe who was vicar of Hartburn 1746—1796.
It has two compartments, the first contains a fireplace (and two modern plastic chairs provided by locals for
the weary travellers.
Above the entrance are two niches which once held statues of Adam and Eve.
The grotto was built as a changing area for ladies wanting to bathe in the river, a short slab roofed tunnel
leads from the grotto which allowed ladies to discreetly reach the river.
Further downstream, in a deep pool, local folklore has it that the village baker hid his money in a chest, the pool became known as 'The Bakers Chest'.
We didnt go to that part so we will never know if there's a fortune hidden still! somehow I doubt it.
We queried the meaning of the word 'Glebe' and found it means clod, land, soil and was a piece of land serving a part of a clergymans benefice to
provide income either by farming it or letting it out.
Walk Leader: Dennis Borley
Write up: Margaret Waugh
Photos: © John Conder
Barnard Castle - Cotherstone.
We met at the Blue Bell (just off A67, bottom of The Bank, Barnard Castle, 275 yards before bridge over the river Tees). On our return we had our end of walk drink in Blue Bell, a market town pub with plenty of characture and a large warm open fire.
We headed off along the metalled road, over the bridge below the castle and along to the Deepdale aqueduct where we joined the Teesdale Way. After a short walk we turn left into Pecknell Wood and following Scur Beck to Pecknell Farm where we crossed the beck and entered Lartington Hall park.
At the hall we turned right where, a short distance down the track we pass the small cemetery where we in which we found this unusual grave.
The cemetery was well worth a short visit before following the path NNW, under the dismantled railway to Cotherstone where we had lunch on the village green.
After lunch we headed toward the remains of Cotherstone Castle where we crossed the River
Balder & River Tees then turned east and followed the river to Cotherstone Crag downstream of the footbridge and rejoined the Teesdale Way back towards Barnard Castle.
Shortly after passing East Holme farm we follow the path down to the riverside. This would be an ideal spot for a short ‘coffee stop’ before continuing the Teesdale Way through Flatts Wood, past the remains of the viaduct, over Percy Beck and returning to the ‘car park’.
The walk is approx. 7.5 miles.
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