With late summer at its height we drove deep into the border lands between Northumberland, Weardale and County Durham for this walk. The sun was out. The Family Ramblers were out.
The Start Point was a simple parking space\lay-by in an area known as Old Man’s Grave on the Baybridge to Stanhope road atop the moors. I needn’t have worried about finding it as there were about ten cars parked there when we found it.
The first leg of the walk took us past (and into) old chimneys on top of the moors –past Sikehead Mine and the small, almost hidden, reservoir at Sikehead Dams. After recent restoration the chimney at Sikehead Mine is an impressively robust looking piece of stonework. It withstands some pretty unkindly weather up where it stands and is impressive in its symmetry and verticality.
With the sun beating down on us we progressed across tussocky grass and heather, enjoying the wide open skies and balmy temperatures. After a mile or two we stopped for lunch and ate on top of grassed over spoil heaps in perfectly calm weather. Beautiful.
To be honest my main memory of this walk is the bright golden sunshine and I can hardly remember the second leg that brought us back to our boiling hot cars. The last bit was a bit of a an uphill slog on the road – never good after 6 miles.