Sunday, 10 February 2013

Misty Baldersdale

It's been a long tough Winter up until now as far as walking and me are concerned. Every spare morning or day on a weekend has been taken up by work and studies and so I haven't been able to get out and about anywhere near as much as I would like to have. I did manage a quick escape on a long Sunday afternoon, jumping into the car and heading up into Teesdale.

I have explored the area around Baldersdale a couple of times already, walking up Goldsborough and nearby Hury reservoir. A couple of miles to the south near Bowes you have the spectacular God's Bridge which can be visited on the Bowes loop on the Pennine Way.

AW didn't have good things to say about the reservoirs here. I think over the years nature has reimposed itself on the area and for me the man made lakes can be seen as a thing of beauty. This is a remote part of Teesdale and away from the star attractions such as High Force and as such, it is a perfect place to get away from it all.

I only had a couple of hours of daylight left, so my intention was to park up near Blackton reservoir and have a quick walk up Shacklesborough. This is a limestone outcrop, similar to its twin Goldsborough, poking it's head up from the moors with a flat summit that reminds me of a miniature Ingleborough.

However the weather had other plans, and once I had made some headway along the Pennine Way and up past Balderhead reservoir, the mist closed in and the visibility was reduced dramatically. Although my GPS told me that Shacklesborough was just a short distance ahead, it was nowhere in sight! Furthermore the light was fading fast, so I decided the best thing to do would be to head back to the car, making a small detour to walk along the water. This was a bit of a mistake, as although the shoreline looked fairly straight and easy to follow there were in fact some sudden steep ravines, which meant I had to make long detours.

I bumped into one other person on the walk only and we had a chat about where we had been that day. Tim Laurie had a fascinating story to tell, as a member of the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group he had been up one of the ravines nearby to monitor the state of the juniper. You can follow his activities here:

I made it back to the car with very little daylight left and although I hadn't reached my intended target, this was a fun little walk and it was fantastic to be out and about in Teesdale again.

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