Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A walk from Westgate to Rookhope

There is a distinct lack of photo's on this post, because unfortunately there wasn't very much to see on the walk. There was a bit of mist first thing this morning when we met up, but as we climbed higher we disappeared into heavy fog. My new walking friends told me that the views are usually spectacular around here, but today was a real pea souper, there were no nice views.
After a hearty breakfast I drove the five miles to Westgate to meet up with Mike Knipe and his gang, all 36 of them. He never knows how many are coming, today was a good turn out. I was instantly relieved of £4, this being the fee to join the walk. Here is everyone getting ready for the off.  
I didn't bother to take a map with me, so it's an easy day for me. All I have to do is follow the leader,  I wasn't taking much notice of where exactly we were. We set off alongside a river and headed for Rookhope.
There are remains of a lot of old mines around here, Mike gave us a little talk, telling us about the history of the place. 
We were all given a map and a description of the route. I saw that it says we pass through a nature reserve which is a bit soggy in places. Ha ha, I like Mike's sense of humour, soggy, it was a quagmire. I was hopping across big clumps of grass, hoping to avoid the soggy bits, which didn't work and my right foot got wet because my boot leaks.
Time for lunch at Rookhope.   
There are relics of old mines lying around all over the place. Not much in bloom at the moment.
Making our way up a muddy bank.
We got back to the cars at 3.30pm. Nine miles was covered, reaching a height of 1770 feet above sea level. It was a shame about the fog, would have been nice to see some good views. Never mind, the company was excellent, they're a friendly lot up north, and made me feel very welcome. If anyone lives around the Durham area and wants to go out on a walk, check out the council web site for the dates and places to meet. Thanks Mike, see you in blogland.  
I had an hour or so to kill, so I took a ride a few miles up the road, and down memory lane, to Wearhead. It's about 25 years since I was last in this area, driving my tanker lorry to the Water Treatment Works. I thought some of the place names were a bit strange, Daddry Shield and Ireshopeburn. Just before you get into Wearhead, before the bridge, there is a house on the left close to the road. It was a tight turn into the lane up the side of the house with an articulated truck. I found it without too much bother, and the memories came back. I loved it up here in the hills.

It was getting foggier so I thought it best to get back to Stanhope and have a little tootle around there, before I go back to the B & B. I parked in the Market Place and saw that the church was open for visitors, a good opportunity to call in for quiet reflection and to give thanks. Two ladies were inside, and I had a wander around admiring the stained glass windows. I found myself invited into their converstaion, and I mentioned that being in church made me think of my mother and my brother. I feel that I can talk to them in a church, and they might hear me, and they will know I am thinking of them. March the 4th was mothers birthday, March the 20th was when she died, and March the 29th was my brothers birthday. I hadn't realised at first, but one of the ladies was the vicar, she was very kind. I was there for quite a while, and when I came out it was too dark to go anywhere else, so I came back to my room.
I was hoping to go for a walk tomorrow, I'll see what the weather is like when I get up.
Toodle pip.      


  1. It was a pea-souper here on the coast too. Nice you had some company on your walk.

  2. Nice to meet you today Llona - Have a nice break up here in pieland. I put some pics of the views we couldn't see today on the northernpies blog.
    Apparently its going to snow next!

  3. Yes , the haa never lifted all day and its raining now. Have you got a brolly? Maybe have a wander around Durham where there is a lot to see.

  4. Love your walks! Great that you had some company. That chateau on previous post was pretty darn beautiful!
    Cheers Judy xx

  5. I'm glad that you enjoyed your walk with the group, and now having done it, you can explore the path again on your own when the weather is better.
    Anniversaries of our loved ones deaths always have a way of making us a bit sad, we miss them and we will always have them in our hearts.


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