A walk around Penshaw Monument; 11th December

This had to be the shortest drive to a walk we’d ever had. It took all of twelve minutes to drive to the Start Point at Herrington Country Park. Once or twice we’ve driven over an hour and a half to get to a walk – once even two hours I think. That’s not a problem before the walk but it can be a bit of a tough ask afterwards; quite often I can feel myself nodding off and intense concentration is required.

Back at #Penshaw this wouldn’t be a problem. There seemed to be an English Bull Terrier convention happening on this particular day as well over twenty of them were dragging their owners around the car park as we set off on our walk. The first leg took us into the Park, around the Lake and up to the viewing mound from where there is a fine view of this corner of the world.

After an uneventful descent we headed towards #Penshaw Monument, taking a muddy track round to the left of the hill and onto a farm track This led us to the outskirts of the village before cutting down and across farmland and then across a minor road to the disused wagon way that once took coal down to the port at Hendon.

After a mile or so we found ourselves in a wooded valley with fine views of the Victoria Viaduct. Perfect for a lunch stop.

After sandwiches and a cup of tea we continued on into the woodland, emerging at the tiny hamlet of Cox Green on the River Wear. Once a bustling ferry terminal it is now a quiet backwater albeit with a decent pub. Onwards, along the river banks we enjoyed the last rays of sunshine as the temperature fell and hats and scarves were donned.

The final stretch was a steep, steep climb up from Wearside Golf Club that brought us up to the rear of the monument. We posed here for a few pictures and took in the fine views as darkness fell.

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