Hownsgill 21st September

Weird & Wonderful is the theme and to prove a point we started this walk off at Morrison’s car park in Consett! Actually, it’s not as daft as it sounds because if you’ve forgotten your sandwiches or need a bottle of water then a supermarket is a great start point.

This walk followed one of the many superb Sustrans trails around our region and provided good easy walking with fantastic early Autumn scenery. Our first port of call on this walk was the utterly magnificent Theodolites; quite a sight and looking superb on this bright day. The walk continued down the track until we met an intersection of three rail lines – alas no longer active but a great illustration of how the industry of our region has defined the landscape. The walk continued down to another track and out into the County Durham countryside near Knitsley.

We chanced upon a great blackberry lane and we all filled whatever containers we had with black gold! The walk continued beneath the famous Hownsgill Viaduct and through the fascinating vehicle graveyard at Middle Gap farm – a dozen or so 1950s and 1960s vehicles quietly rusting away partly hidden by vegetation. Passing the black swans at Middle Heads we rejoined the Sustrans path and headed back towards the viaduct itself, climbing for a brief visit and some fine views before heading back to Morrisons.

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