Summer walk: Stanhope

13/10/18 Stanhope Circular  ‘A’ Ken Armstrong  ‘B’ Pat Gardner

It was a dark, misty wet morning as 35 members travelled into Weardale. Due to the inclement weather, the ‘A’ party leader decided to change the walk from a linear starting at Wolsingham and finishing at Stanhope to a Stanhope circular. The ‘A’ walk turned out to be the reverse route of the ‘B’ walk. 11 members went on the ‘A’ walk while 25 members did the ‘B’ walk. Both walks set off at the same time. The rain was falling but it wasn’t too bad as we walked along the road passing Stanhope Hall and a caravan park. We crossed fields and negotiated some tricky stiles. The rain became heavier and with being in open fields without any protection we were all soon dripping wet. At a farm, a field gate had been delibrately blocked to prevent access but we managed to squeeze through the tight gap. At the next farm, the farmer’s wife was just returning in her car and she thought we were all mad. As we descended towards Eastgate we met the ‘A’ party. We slid down a muddy track and when we reached Eastgate the leader contacted Brian our driver to come and collect us which meant the ‘B’ walk was only 3 miles today while the ‘A’ walk was 6 miles. Everyone was pleased to get into the dry. After a prolonged stop in Stanhope we travelled directly home. Not the best finish to the season! Flowers: hawkweed, ragwort, Welsh poppy. Other: apples, dead toad, rowan berries.

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