Edmundbyers 2nd October 2016

Through sheer luck or just bad organisation (more likely) we ended up walking in an area very close to our last walk two weeks ago. That’s no bad thing when the landscape is so stunning as the Durham moors is and the weather was so good as it was on both of these walks.

Anyway, clumsy sentence building aside, this was a great walk on a lovely bright Autumn day. We started out from the village green of Edmundbyers and welcomed a new family along for the walk. Heading up and out of the top of the village we were soon out amongst the wiry, scratchy moorland grass with the sun blazing down on us.

With the valley floor below us we headed westwards across footpaths both well-worn and non-existent; in truth these rough heather moorlands can often disguise footpaths in a few weeks as bracken, grasses and the heather itself grows across any suitable gap. If the waymarkers aren’t there it can often mean relying on map reading skills and long distance vision to pick out the way.

Lunch was taken on a rocky outcrop peeping out through sheep-cropped turf and overlooking the purply-brown moors.

At about half-way we looped back on ourselves at the very spot we started the walk two weeks ago – a generously proportioned lay-by on Meadow’s Edge. This footpath took us close to the famous Murder House; the remote Belmount Farm where the farmer was brutally murdered and the culprit never found. It now stands as a jagged ruin with bracken encroaching into the house.

Further along a wide grassy path we came upon two dozen beehives, left up on the moors to collect delicious heather honey.

The walk back to the village brought us down a lovely old lane, lined with beech, hazel and sycamore peeping over a stone wall in the late afternoon sunshine.

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