Friday, 8 March 2013

Stanhope and a bit of the Weardale Way

Good morning, only just, it's nearly lunchtime. Uploaded the pics from yesterday. The weather wasn't quite as bad as the day before, at least I could see my hand in front of my face, ha ha. After another filling breakfast I said goodbye to my landlady for the past two nights, Hazel runs a very nice B & B. The Fossil Tree is located in the Market Place, ample free parking. I can recommend this for a very convenient stopover, it's very popular for the Coast to Coast cycle ride. Just behind it is Stanhope Castle, this view is taken from the Market Place, it is privately owned and protected by high walls.
So, where did I walk to today. I decided to do an anticlockwise walk south of the river, and crossed it over these stepping stones. There is a ford here, cars could cross as the water is only a few inches deep, but there is a barrier at one end preventing access. It's a two minute drive by road around it.  
Down a tarmac track, past a farm, and I came across a shepherdess taking her flock for a walkies. A trail of tasty treats and they were happy to follow, the stragglers being kept in order by a happy border collie. She parked them in a field, closed the gate, and went off to collect some more.
A bit further along the railway line crosses the river. This is part of the Weardale Railway, it's a summer only tourist attraction. Here is a link to the website if you want to explore more.
Leaving the river, I followed the Weardale Way, as it veered off to the right towards a disused quarry. There are quite a lot of remains of the old quarries in these parts. As you can see the fog isn't quite as thick as yesterday.
It was while I was skirting around the edge of this quarry that I came a cropper. I carefully climbed a ladder stile over a wall, and lowered myself down the other side. At the bottom was a bog, but no matter, with my left foot on the bottom step, I stepped out over the top of the mud hoping to make a patch of grass. The distance was doable, trouble was, I hadn't taken the slippery wood into consideration. You would have laughed your socks off if you had seen me. Left leg went sideways and I toppled splat into the mud. Oh heck, I was blathered, all up my trousers, my bottom, and my jacket. Yuk. Luckily I had my waterproof trousers with me so I was able to change into those. I had to wipe the mud off my jacket with some tissues the best I could. Oh well, these things happen, ha ha.
This must have been quite a big quarry when it was working.
This was interesting, Bishopley Limekilns. I couldn't get any closer, there was fencing all around it.
A little bit of the history, you might be able to read it if you click on it.
There are plenty of little stone bridges, with fast flowing waters.
This is Harehope Quarry. I walked around the bottom side of it.
Then I arrived at the entrance and found this unusual quirky wooden bench.
The old quarry has been transformed into an outdoor pursuits and educational centre. Here is a little blurb taken from their web site.
Sustainable living in a wonderfully natural environment
The Harehope Quarry Project is located on the edge of the village of Frosterley in Weardale, Co.Durham. We are a workers co-operative offering environmental education, field studies, rural skills training, community development, and community arts.
Based in a former limestone quarry in the North Pennines the project presents a unique environment for study, relaxing, volunteering opportunities, community events and a meeting place with a difference.
Harehope Quarry is a multi-faceted project. Our aim is to practically demonstrate a more sustainable way of living. We promote integrated and sustainable rural development through a range of social, economic and environmental activities.
If you want to read more, here is the link.

Another river crossing, now I am heading towards Frosterley.
Very quiet at Frosterley Station.
I walked through Frosterley on the main road, then crossed the river to take a minor road back to Stanhope. The river and the train line ran alongside on my right. A quick peek at Stanhope Station. There was a little bit of activity, I think they are getting ready for the opening. Maybe the trains will be running for Easter in a couple of weeks time. 
I arrived back at my car at 4.30pm and went to the public lavvy to change into a decent, clean pair of trousers. A quick sandwich and I was on my way back, only stopping when I got to my big Tesco to pick up some food. Not many yellow stickers because I was too early, didn't want to hang around waiting.

Here is a little map taken from 10 miles walked, a very interesting and pleasant walk, apart from the falling down bit that is.
Catch you later, I'm hungry, my stomach thinks my throat has been cut, ha ha. Must eat. Toodle pip.


  1. I really enjoy these walks, and I love some of the place names!
    Jane x

  2. That was a good walk. Thank you.

  3. Love your walks! I hope those stepping stones across that river were bigger than they look in the picture. I probably would have lost my balance and fell into the river. Sounds like you found a really nice B&B to stay at. So no yellow stickers? Like you said, too early I guess. Well, I always enjoy "walking" along with you from my chair in front of the computer.

  4. Thanks for sharing your lovely walk Ilona...happy border collie and all...

  5. Granny G here.

    As always an interesting, fun walk.

    Arent't we lucky to live in 'Great' Britain?

  6. I think this is my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Another brilliant walk. I love old industrial sites - the ingenuity of humans! I'd love to live for a year in the UK and do some of the walks you have shared with us. Probably nacker me but as it's only a dream, I can also dream I am as fit as you, Ilona.

  8. The ford was closed to vehicles fairly recently as there have beena number ofvpeple drown and hurt wen tje river levels have ben toohigh. I know where you have been walking. Glad the, day went

  9. Loved this walk with you Ilona. Glad that your tumble was not too serious, and that you were able to laugh at yourself, that always makes it better.


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