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|Barnard Castle and the River Tees|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 22 Jun 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|County Durham, Barnard Castle|
|A 4 mile circular walk from the market town of Barnard Castle in County Durham. At first glance the walk seems to be a simple stroll along the river and back, but in fact there’s plenty of extra interest. There are several old mills, churches, an enormous chateau, the ruins of an old abbey and Barnard Castle itself to enjoy along the way. |
The walk is relatively flat with just a few gentle slopes and one steeper but short slope up to the castle. The walk follows a mixture of tarmac pavements and riverside paths through grazing pastures and woodland. The latter can get fairly muddy and can be very uneven underfoot. There are some gates and kissing gates along the way plus two stiles and two stone squeeze gaps. The wooden stiles have gaps alongside suitable for most dogs to pass under, although the stone squeeze gaps are quite tight so broader dogs may struggle. Several of the large open pastures you cross are likely to be holding sheep (and possibly cattle). Approximate time 2 hours.
Barnard Castle is located on the north banks of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, and about 21 miles south-west of the county town of Durham. The walk starts and finishes from the Galgate pay and display car park which is alongside Morrisons supermarket and the library, and accessed from Galgate. The price is £2.50 for 4 hours (correct June 2014). Approximate post code DL12 8EJ.
|Start to Demesnes Park|
Start point: 54.5443 lat, -1.9231 long
Do NOT exit the car park into Galgate, instead make your way to the large area of car park at the side of Morrisons. Standing with the side wall of Morrisons on the right, head to the bottom left corner of the car park and take the small alley between stone shops, signed To Town Centre. You will emerge out a main shopping street, Market Place.
|Demesnes Park to Woodland|
Start point: 54.5399 lat, -1.9229 long
Keep ahead on the stone track through the centre of the park. The path leads you out through a tunnel of trees and here you will pass between the old stone buildings of Demesnes Mill. The former corn mill dates from the 1400s which continued to grind corn until the 1930s.
|Woodland to Egglestone Abbey|
Start point: 54.5313 lat, -1.9017 long
Follow the narrow path through the woodland. Take particular care on this stretch as the path is uneven with rocks and tree roots, and the slope down to the river on the right is fairly steep. You will emerge out via a squeeze gap in the stone wall, to a pavement alongside the road.
|Egglestone Abbey to Caravan Park|
Start point: 54.531 lat, -1.9053 long
When you’ve finished exploring the abbey, make your way back down to the road to the junction by the stone cottages. Turn left to continue on the lane with the river down to the right. The lane descends to cross Thorsgill Beck, then climbs and begins to swing left.
|Caravan Park to Footbridge|
Start point: 54.5349 lat, -1.9187 long
The path through the caravan park is not well-signed and twists and turns, so pay careful attention to this next bit. At the first fork, keep right. Follow this path swinging right and then take the first left. At the T-junction turn right and a few paces later you will see yellow arrows marking two paths. Ignore the path to the left, instead stay on the tarmac lane through the caravan park, swinging right. Turn sharp left at the junction and, immediately after the last caravan on the right, turn right onto the fenced stone footpath. Phew, you’ve made it!
|Footbridge to End|
Start point: 54.5388 lat, -1.9259 long
You will emerge out with Mill Court on the right, a woollen factory from the 1800s which has recently been converted to private housing. This was the heart of the industrial area of the town in the 1700s and 1800s with several weaver’s houses and woollen mills.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!