Wednesday, 1 July 2009

B-Walking: Memories of Langdon Beck

The North Pennines and Upper Teesdale are fantastic areas for walkers. It is therefore no surprise that these locations figure prominently in our walks programmes. Today's expedition (28-06-2009) took us from the B6277 road near Langdon Beck Youth Hostel {NY 860 304} (see the picture below) to the village of Dufton (in Cumbria) via Cauldron Snout and the Pennine Way.

Langdon Beck Youth Hostel
We set off from our drop-off point near the Youth Hostel at about 11.15 am. There were 15 people in the group: Angela-W, Janet & Fred, Jill-L, John-P, John-S, Lorna-W, Mike-C, Monica-C, Pauline-B, Pauline-K, Phil-B, Phil-J, Shaun-G, and Wendy-F.  Phil-B led the walk.

We headed in a south-westerly direction along a good track that passed New House Farm (on our right). We continued along this track to Saur Hill Bridge which we used to cross Harwood Beck at {NY 855 302}. Here, we joined the Pennine Way (PW) - whose route we were to follow (more or less) for the remainder of the walk.

From Sayer Hill {NY 853 303}, we followed the PW in a westerly direction to Widdy Bank Farm {NY 837 297}. We now had some excellent views of the River Tees as we followed its course upstream towards the very impressive Cauldron Snout waterfall {NY 815 286} (see the picture below). As we walked this section of the route, we had some superb views of Cronkley Fell (on our left) and Falcon Clints (on our right).

Photograph of Cauldron Snout
We had a good climb up from the relatively placid water near the confluence of the River Tees with Maize Beck - which comes into the Tees from the West. We climbed up the impressive rocks (see above picture) in the direction of Cow Green Dam which was built in order to hold back the water of the River Tees for domestic purposes. We had our lunch stop at the top of our climb - overlooking the waterfalls. Click this link to see a short video1 of Cauldron Snout. Be patient while it downloads!

From the cascading waterfalls, we followed the PW in a south-westerly direction to Birkdale and onwards to the footbridge that allowed us to cross Grain Beck {NY 801 277}. From here we continued on our SW bearing to Moss Shop {NY 796 273} - a ruined mine from bygone days. Passing by Rasp Hill on our right (the highest point on the walk), we arrived at the northern bank of Maize Beck {NY 775 268}. We followed the course of the beck in an upstream direction in order to get to the footbridge at Maizebeck Scar {NY 749 270}.

After spending a little time admiring the beautiful rock outcrops, we now moved in a SW direction across some rocky (but very flat) terrain in order to reach the next highlight of the walk: High Cup Nick {NY 745 262}. We really did have to 'tarry awhile' here in order to take in the impressive views of the scars - on either side of the valley. We had our tea break here, admiring the and watching High Cup Gill meandering away into the distance.

The 'Dufton Delights' button at the end of this posting will give access to the details of my previous expedition to this wonderful location - and the photographs that I took.

From High Cup Nick we made our way to Hannah's Well {NY 737 259} and then followed the PW to our final destination. This just involved a 'down-hill run' all the way to Dufton {NY 689 251} - see the picture below.

Photograph of Dufton village
We set off from the Langdon Beck Youth Hostel in quite misty conditions; these stayed with us until we reached Maize Beck {NY 773 268}. The weather then seemed to improve remarkably as we made our way down to Dufton. Indeed, it got so hot as we made our descent pass Dodd Hill {NY 712 251} that a cool pint of shandy in The Stag Inn at Dufton was both a welcome and wonderful experience. Click this link to see the pub's Web site.

Overall, we had a great day. Use the buttons below in order to see where we went and how we did. You can also access related weblog postings.


1Last summer I did a lovely video of Cauldron Snout using my digital camera (at 640 x 480). However, the file size of this clip is about 88 MB and takes 20-40 minutes to download - depending upon the Internet connection speed used. The short clip used in this posting was made during today's expedition and uses a smaller window size. It was produced using the 'compact video' mode setting on my camera. The resulting file size is under 2 MB and only takes a minute or two to download.



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