Coldberry And Low Force
Barnard Castle, Middleton-in-Teesdale
Type of walk
Hilly, Flat, Forest
Free Parking, Off Lead Areas, On Lead Areas, Pathed Routes, Animals On Route, Picnic Areas, Water On Route, Toilets
About this walk
From the Tourist Information Centre walk along Market Place towards Alston. Almost immediately take the road that turns off to the right. It passes the Teesdale Hotel and is signposted ‘Stanhope’. This road leads you past the Victorian parish church of St Mary’s and rises steeply up Town Head, but you leave it fairly soon by taking the road with a no through road sign that runs off to the left (Beck Road). The road leads into the attractive Hudeshope Woods and quickly drops down to Hudeshope Beck. As you walk you pass several small waterfalls and a picnic area. After just over 1/2 a mile you reach Snaisgill Beck running down from your right, immediately followed by a small stone building and then an old quarry on the same side. Continue on until a track swings off to the right up to and around behind the impressive Parker’s Kilns. Built in 1840, there are three sets of twin kilns, the third pair being semi-circular. The limestone was brought down from Skears quarry and burned here to produce lime to spread on the fields to neutralise acidic soils. Continue straight on up a steep slope, passing the quarry on your right and passing back into woodland. Where the path swings right and up a steep flight of steps climb up the steps and ignore the ‘path’ that goes straight on. At the top continue along the top of the wood, ignoring a footpath off to the right, until you reach a wooden stile in a wall ahead, close to a field corner.
Cross the stile into the field and with the wall on your left, follow the wood edge to the next stile (stone) into another field. Again keep close to the wall on your left, but above the mud ! Continue on through a broken down wall, past a stone byre in the field to your left, to arrive at another stone stile in the corner of the field. Cross and continue on the same line, the views of Coldberry now becoming ever clearer, to a wooden gate at the bottom of a wooded gully. Here a pleasant green track leads you down through the lead mines of High Skears. Continue along the track through the old mining remains and two metal gates to reach a wooden gate with an ‘Open Access’ sign alongside it, just above the beck. The track continues along a beautiful section above the tumbling beck, perfect for a short break, and, after passing an old stone building with a corrugated roof, crosses over an arched tunnel just to the right of the building. Continue on to a wooden gate in the stone wall in front and the straight on through two more wooden gates before dropping down to cross Marl Beck. On the far side rise to a wooden stile gate. From here the path is much fainter. Follow the arrow on the gate and head for the wooden finger post footpath sign in the distance, coming out onto the road just to the right of a road sign and a telephone pole.
Turn left and walk down the road towards Hudeshope Beck. Before reaching the beck (unless you wish to explore the extensive remains of Coldberry Mine on the hillside ahead) turn right along a track at a footpath sign. Continue approx 200 yards until you come across a faint path on the left that cuts down to cross Hudeshope Beck on a foot bridge. Once over the bridge turn immediately right over a wooden stile (difficult for dogs) and continue up the right side of first a fence and then a wall and then from the end of the wall straight on up the hilltop, keeping Pikestone Brow farm directly behind you.
At this point you will need to use a compass and map or gps device to follow the path in a westerly direction over rough boggy ground for about 1500 yards. At roughly the highest point on the path you will see a reservoir to your left and soon cross a fence via a stile. You now have views over Teesdale with the two white farmhouses ahead of you – the first being Moor House, your next destination. Cross the rough field for about ½ mile down to a stile in the wall (well hidden) then another field and another stile in wall (between 2 yellow poles). Cross this field to a metal gate then up to the farm house. Cross through two further gates round the left hand side to reach the Newbiggin to Westgate road. Turn right and take this road for 500 yards then turn left to follow the track to Broadley’s Gate farm.
Go through a gate to the left of the farm buildings and round the back, there take the wooden gate ahead. Follow the track first with the wall on your left then cut across the field and then steeply down to a fence. There is a stile but you are safer to go through the metal gate on your right, then cut down to the beck. Cross the beck and follow the track up to a tree plantation follow the track round with the trees on your left until you reach a stile into the plantation. Here you drop down to your right to a stile in the left hand corner of the field. Again cross a beck and up the other side, following the track, through a farm gate next to the plantation and down the farm track through another gate and down to Bowlees Visitor Centre. Here you can get refreshments before turning right at the centre to go down the road to the B6277. Crossing the road take the footpath through two small fields to a stile and gate leading down to Low Force and Wynch Bridge.
After enjoying the waterfalls, cross Wynch Bridge and take the path directly on your left. From here the path continues closely along the Tees (on your left) for about a mile and a half, until, with Park Fell Wood to your right, it cuts across two meanders. It is well marked throughout this section and for part of it follows a sunken lane., before rejoining the river bank briefly. Finally near East Crossthwaite it leaves the riverside for the last time, passes a stone barn on the left and continues as a clear track to the end of the field and on through the next two until it takes you out onto the road at Middleton. Turn left, crossing the bridge and climbing back up the hill into the village until you reach the Market Place where you can find refreshments in one of the many cafes or pubs
The author provided the following links to more information
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Coldberry And Low Force, Barnard Castle, Middleton-in-Teesdale
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