Perhaps we should have had the theme of this programme as ‘Muddy’ rather than ‘Borders & Barriers’ as this was another ankle deep squelch-fest that tested the waterproof nature of plenty of boots.
We had done this walk in ankle deep snow about 5 years ago on a bitterly cold day but today was pretty mild for January and a fantastic turn-out of 18 completed the five miles through fields, woodland and urban landscape.
The first loop of the walk took us down into the steep, wooded slopes of the Pikewell Burn with a pretty treacherous footpath that had many of us slipping and slithering on the mud. Saying that, it was fun for most of us and as long as you stayed upright it was a lovely walk through thick hazel and hawthorn. Mind you, a steep walk downhill can only mean one thing – a matching walk uphill at some point!
Our climb was right up to Pontop Pike and went through the muddiest farmers field imaginable; well not all mud, there was plenty of cow content as well, if you know what I mean! Nonetheless we made our way up to the hill that is home to County Durham’s tallest piece of metalwork and the source of many a radio and TV signal.
Descending back to Dipton village we completed a final muddy mile before heading back to our cars.