Middleton-in-Teesdale

For those who seek adventure in the wild and remote North Pennines. 

Start. War Memorial Chapel Row Middleton in Teesdale DL12 0SN

 

 

Distance: 9 miles 15k

Time: 4 - 6 hours
 

Grade: Strenuous

Map: OS OL31 North Pennines

 

Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

Directions.

1. From the war memorial walk west towards the junction with the B6277 and turn right. Pass the tourist information office and then the Teesdale Hotel then bear right where the road divides passing the parish church on the right. Here at Town Head the road climbs steeply out of the town. 250yds after the church bear left onto a wooded lane

 

which follows the course of the Hudeshope Beck ¾ mile. Soon the lane dips down to beck level as it heads northwards. When the road turns left to cross the stream bear right

 

on an upward track talking you above an ancient limekiln. The track passes a large quarry

 

and then enters dense woodland. Where the track divides take the upward path to the right which climbs through the trees to reach a ladder stile

 

that crosses a wall into pastureland. The route crosses a succession of fields passing a handsome field barn to the left.

 

At a wall corner keep ahead go through a wooden gate

 

to descend to an open area with old lead mining operations much in evidence marked "Skears Hushes" on the OS map.

 

The now grassy track takes you past ruins and old farm buildings to a wooden gate.

 

Keep ahead through bracken and after the next gate dip down to ford Marl Beck. After a wooden kissing gate

 

turn right to walk up to a farm road.

2. This may strike you as a fairly remote spot and indeed it is but the nearby spoil heaps attest to the fact that this area was once the site of heavy duty industrial activity.

 

Turn right cross a cattle grid and follow the road to where it bends sharply right towards Middleton - an easy option if you want to take it. At the corner take a footpath on the left that leads up steeply through an area on more mine workings. Where the path intercepts a track follow it right to a wall. Through a gate keep ahead to pass a substantial shooting hut.

 

The track becomes grassy and continues to follow the fence line

 

to the right albeit at a distance of 100-150yds. After crossing the watershed the way deteriorates so it is less easy to follow as it descends towards the valley of Great Eggles Hope. Threading your way through old mine workings bear left when in doubt to follow a spur through heather to really the valley floor. It is hard to believe that this spot so isolated and remote was once busy with men extracting lead from the surrounding hills. Turn right cross a wooden stile next to a gate

 

and walk besides the beck on a broad peaty track. After 250yds the track fords the beck

 

and continues to head downstream. When it joins a substantial track turn right

 

over the beck to reach two farm buildings to the right of the route.

3. If you have made it so far on these directions hopefully you will have built up a degree of trust in them. The next part of the walk will test that trust to a considerable extent. Just beyond the first building a barn turn right picking your way up as best you can up the steep slope

 

aiming for a wall which appears on the skyline as you reach the brow. There are two access points 100yds apart. Yours is the one to the left.

 

Once across head in a south westerly direction on a "path" that soon disappears in the heather. Persistence is the key even when the path runs out. At length after 30 minutes of toil the distinctive outcrop of Monk's Moor with a stone shelter marked Monk's Carrick will herald the end of the ascent.

 

Descent on the south side is easier. After passing the ruins of a shooting hut on the right

 

still continuing south west drop down to a wall corner. Follow the wall on your right to the next corner.

 

Through the wall turn left and after crossing Snaisgill Sike

 

bear right to the far corner just above a conifer plantation. After a wooden gate turn right to cross a large boggy field

 

bearing left to a field corner. To the left go through a metal gate cross two fields to reach a road close to Blunt House.

 

Turn right After 400yds turn left on a footpath keeping to the left of the pasture. After the next wall descend to Stanhope Gate passing beneath a bridge

 

to follow a treeline path to the next corner. Through this

 

go left to reach the edge of the town.