Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Darlington Delights

Had our coach not been cancelled due to the inclement weather conditions, this Sunday's expedition (10th January, 2010) would have set off from Darlington {NZ 313 141}. Our trek would then have taken us to Piercebridge via Neasham Springs, Hurworth-on-Tees, Croft and Stapleton.

In order not to miss the delights of Darlington in the snow, I decided to make my way to where we would have started our trek - at the round-about on the B6280 road (Yarm Road) on the eastern approach to Darlington (see the picture below).

From here I headed south down Salters Lane; this took me across Firth Moor to the railway bridge {NZ 312 123} and then the A66(T) road {NZ 312 128}. Just after crossing the road I turned east across some snowy fields in order to make my way over Hurworth Moor to East Flat Plantation {NZ 323 124}. I now took a south-south-easterly bearing in order to reach Low Maidendale Farm {NZ 325 121}.

Leaving the farm on a south-westerly trek, I made my way to Neasham Springs {NZ 321 113}. Continuing on a south-westerly bearing, my route now took me to the minor road near Spring Cottage {NZ 317 107}. Turning left, I followed the road in a south-easterly direction to a road junction on the west side of Neasham {NZ 323 101}. From the road junction, I picked up the route of the Teesdale Way long-distance footpath and followed this along the road in a westerly direction to reach Hurworth-on-Tees {NZ 311 101}.

As I reached 'The Otter and Fish' hostelry in the east-end of Hurworth, I turned left and crossed the River Tees using the bridge at {NZ 311 101}. I now followed a very snowy and icy farm track to Low Hail Farm {NZ 309 097} and onwards to the deserted farm house at {NZ 312 094} - see the picture below.

Farm house
From the deserted farm-house I now back-tracked to the bridge at Hurworth-on-Tees. I passed through the village in a westerly direction to find a north-going minor road (Roundhill Road) at {NZ 303 102}. I followed this to Ashfield Farm {NZ 304 112}, Holdforth Grange {NZ 302 122} and the round-about at {NZ 303 125} near Darlington Football Stadium (also known as 'Darlington Arena') - see the picture below.

Darlington Football Stadium
Keeping the stadium/arena on my right, I took a north-westerly road (Neasham Road) in the direction of the railway bridge at {NZ 299 130}. Passing under this, I continued to the round-about at {NZ 298 133} where I took the easterly-going exit - along Geneva Road. This took me pass East Cemetry (on my right) and on to the traffic lights at its junction with the B6280 road (Yarm Road) in Eastbourne {NZ 306 143}. Turning right, I followed the B6280 back to my starting point in the car park at the shopping centre at {NZ 314 142}.

I arrived back at my car thinking what I tremendous afternoon I had had. I experienced some exciting snow walking and had some wonderful photographic opportunities. My route today had been 'optimised' so as to visit as many different grid-squares as was possible in the time available - in order maximise the number of new geographs I could collect for this area.




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