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Teesdale (B6277), River Tees, Moor House, Tynehead, Co Durham.
[ 17.4 km] Tue 26 Jun 2012

NY 7841 3534
Todayís walk is totally across pastures new. Itís an area that I havenít even seen from a distance so I was a bit apprehensive as I set off as there was to be a wide unseen river crossing. I drove from Cumbria in to Co Durham and found a small area by the road B6277 road to leave my car behind some boundary posts. I was below Yad Moss and the Ski-Tows which Iíd seen on the approach drive. A good track headed south which heads towards Cow Green Reservoir.

View of Great Dun Fell Radar Station to the SW

Crossing the River Tees

After just over a mile I had to leave the track as my route was towards Moor House. I headed down to Smithy Sike and came across a couple of spoil heaps and mine level entrances. Looking to the south there were even more substantial remains of mine workings. Ahead was the wide River Tees and I had no idea if Iíd be able to get across it. There is no bridge nearby so I knew Iíd have to wade across. When I reached it I could tell it was OK as the water level wasnít high neither running too fast. Iíd brought a spare pair of socks so took my boots off and waded across. The socks protected my feet and gave better grip on slimy boulders, which bare feet donít.

Socks for grip

Once safely across I climbed over some rough and difficult ground to Great Dodgem Pot Sike. A small plantation of pines were ahead, looking totally out of place. Across the stream I came to a track and an area of old spoil heaps. It seemed a nice quiet place to stop for lunch but the peace soon ended as a truck trundled towards me. It drove past and stopped. Then a couple got out and wandered over to the stream. I continued along the track and just after I left the track the vehicle drove back again and the couple waved as they passed. I came to the perimeter fence of Moor House and followed it round to the point shown as a Tower on the map.

Tower Hut

I came to a small building with the remains of the base of what looked like a radio mast. I descended to Moor House which is two buildings in the middle of nowhere.

Moor House

One was locked but the other had one of the doors unlocked and an emergency telephone inside. In an adjacent enclosure was an array of weather recording equipment and in another a wooden frame holding some plastic sheets to test the effects of the weather on them. Iím not sure what the buildings are for.

Emergency Phone

Trout Beck waterfall

To the north I could see the old mine workings of Nether Hearth. I passed them as I walked along the improving access track then crossed Trout Beck by the vehicle bridge and stopped to photograph the low waterfall. The track then passed through a large area of ruined mine workings and crossed the River Tees by another vehicle bridge. The track began to rise in level as it swung to the north. Over the summit was a gentle descent and then a large sculpted marker stone saying this was the source of the River South Tyne but I wouldnít say it had formed as a river yet.

Source of the River South Tyne

Source of the River South Tyne

Source of the River South Tyne

Being in a valley there wasnít much to see for a while then the views opened up as I reached the empty farmhouse of Dorthgill. The roof was still on but it was totally dilapidated.


Further on I met the road but didnít continue along it as my next objective was the house of Tynehead. I turned sharp right and down a rough track. At the bottom a bridge crossed the River South Tyne then a the track continued up to the house of Tynehead Farm. It is a substantial building but nobody about and doesnít look lived in. It has the look of a youth hostel.

Tynehead Farm

The track went through a gate and on to rough ground. As I climbed up along the side of Clargill Burn I met two walkers coming down. Across the burn I saw some ruined buildings and a substantial mine entrance. I crossed the bridge to investigate and found the steel grill that had blocked the mine had been removed leaving the entrance open.

Clargill Burn mine entrance

Continuing up the path I came to a ruined hut then a short way on came to the B6277 road. It was surprisingly quiet as I walked the last mile back to my car. Itís as well there was little traffic as there is no path by the road.

Ruin above Cargill Burn

Back in to Co Durham and Teesdale

Birds seen on the walk