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Stanhope, Stanhope Burn, Parkhead Station, Collier Law, Fatherley Hill, Crawley Edge, Co Durham.
[19.5 km] Wed 02 Aug 2015

OS Grid Ref: NY 99347 40787
Lat/Long: 56.911405, -02.910297

After a pleasant drive via the M6, A66, Barnard Castle, B6278 I reached Stanhope then drove up the steep hill to the north to a large parking area by the road at Crawleyside Bank. I headed west along a farm track then joined the path north by the wall to Heathery Burn. Across the burn I turned left at a track then downhill towards the Fluorspar Mine area in the valley bottom.

Near the Fluorspar Mine area

Before reaching it I took a path to the north, past a large stone hush gulley and along the valley side. The map shows the path crossing the river at a ford and as the river was relatively low I could have crossed. I decided to stay on the same side as I would have had to cross the river again.

Large (900mm?) pipeline in the river

There was no path but it was easy underfoot. On Whiteley Rigg I turned right to follow a very indistinct path up the hill towards Wilkinson’s Cut. Near the top the path vanished and I had to find the best route I could. I reached Wilkinson’s Cut, which is now a cycle track on the route of an old railway that used to service the mines.

View up the valley

I turned right to follow it to the road. I was on an embankment and originally the road went under a bridge, which is now long gone. Across the road I returned to the top of the embankment for a while then down to a group of buildings called Parkhead Station. This used to be a railway station but that went with the railway.

Closed to cyclists

Line of old railway


Mine bogey at Parkhead

The main house was quite well maintained but I didn’t see anyone around. I headed south through the Dursand Quarry area and joined a track to Collier Law where the map shows a radio mast.

Dursand Quarry

There was no sign of a mast now so after checking out the trig post over the fence I continued south along the east side of the fence. It was wet and boggy underfoot to Fatherley Hill and the currick.

Collier Law Trig Post

There was now a vehicle track and I could see what looked like grouse beaters to the east. As I walked a couple of land rovers drove by carrying the beaters in the back.

Fatherley Hill Currick

They stopped near the radio mast at Rogerley Plantaion, got out and the vehicles returned the way they’d come. I continued down the track then road to the main A689.

Along the track

Mast and beaters

Arquiva mast

Stone chambers behind the ivy

I had to follow this for a while which wasn’t nice due to lots of traffic. Across the road I noticed an interesting dry stone structure of three chambers almost covered in ivy. They weren’t kilns so I have no idea what they could be other than a folly. I reached Shittlehope and thankfully left the road. The path route has been diverted round a group of new buildings then I re-joined it by the bank of Shittlehope Burn. It had started to rain hard so I was thankful of the dense tree cover above.

Path by Shittlehope Burn

I crossed the Burn by the footbridge then up a steep bank to Jollybody Farm. The map shows a cave by the burn but I missed it. I then followed a pleasant track above Crawley Edge where I stopped for a while to take in the views of the large patterned spoil heaps below. Then it started raining again so I began to speed up on the final stretch back to the road, car park and my car.

View from Crawley Edge

View from Crawley Edge