Summer walk: Kirby Stephen

29/09/18 Kirkby Stephen  ‘A’ Bill Sillitoe  ‘B’ Gary O’Hagan

It was dry but with a cooling wind as 38 members travelled today stopping for coffee in Barnard Castle. We parked in the mart behind the front street in Kirkby Stephen and 14 members set out on the ‘A’ walk. 22 members then went on the ‘B’ walk going through the back streets to a minor road and field paths passing the earth works of Croglam Castle. We crossed fields and stiles to reach the A685 and ascended a steep track then followed a lane where we sat for lunch sheltering from the wind among the trees. We passed a farm with a magnificient old 15thcentury tower house called Wharton Hall. We couldn’t go right up to it as the footpath skirted to one side but it was still an impressive sight to look at. We crossed fields and a couple of viaducts: Podgill and Merry Gill to reach Nateby and enjoyed a pleasant walk alongside the River Eden back into Kirkby Stephen. From the top of Podgill viaduct some of us watched a red squirrel run along the ground and then under the viaduct and across a field to trees.  The evening stop was in Barnard Castle. Flowers: convolvulus, feverfew, harebell, herb robert, meadow cranesbill, mimulus, tufted vetch, yarrow, yellow poppy. Other: elderberries, guelder rose berries, holly berries, red squirrel.

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