Lunedale and Baldersdale

Circular walk passing by Lunedale and Baldersdale.

Technical sheet
No. 4267700
A Middleton in Teesdale walk posted on 27/10/20 by Aurelie-21. Update : 05/11/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 8h30[?]
Distance Distance : 15.68mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1503ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1503ft
Highest point Highest point : 1427ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 705ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Middleton in Teesdale
Starting point Starting point : N 54.623979° / W 2.083033°
Download : -


(D/A) From the market place turn down Bridge Street and cross the old county bridge over the River Tees. Built in 1811, it used to mark the boundary between the counties of Durham and Yorkshire. Immediately past the bridge take the footpath to the left. This leads down steep steps to a clear path that runs along the top of the river bank. Soon it reaches a farm drive and goes on to pass Steps End Farm on your right before becoming a rougher track. After crossing a stile by a gate the path soon leads away from the track and goes off to the right, slanting up a partly wooded bank to reach another stile. Cross this and follow a diagonal line across the fields ahead to reach the B6277.

(1) Here turn left and after a few yards take the path signed directly after a farm driveway. This path rises up through the field, passing a house to your left, to reach a tall wooden ladder stile onto the old Barnard Castle to Middleton railway line which was closed in 1965. Turn left and after about 600 yards you will reach the five arched viaduct over the River Lune (built in 1848). Continue on towards Mickleton. The disused line provides easy walking with excellent views of Eggleston Moor and Monks’ Moor to your left, Bail Hill to your right and Kirkcarrion and Crossthwaite Common on behind. About 600 yards after the viaduct the line is crossed by the Mickleton to Kelton road.

(2) Take the path up to leave the railway walk here and turn right towards Grassholme Reservoir and Kelton. Follow this for roughly another 600 yards, until, just after telephone wires cross the road, you reach a track marked ‘No Through Road’ off to the left up towards Stoop Hill.

(3) Where the lane swings left carry straight on through a small wooden gate and climb up the hill to a full size gate. Before passing through turn round to take advantage of the superb panoramic views of Lunedale and Teesdale below. Turn right on the track on the far side of the gate and follow it as it swings round in front of Swarthy Mere House. Cross a stile beside another wooden gate and advance until the main track swings away to the left. Here take a fainter track that bends off to the right and follow it beside a wall until the wall turns sharply right. Now head across the wet ground ahead and make for a stile on the skyline. On reaching the stile do not cross it, but follow the wall around to the left until you reach a ladder stile at the junction with another wall. Cross this stile onto Romaldkirk Moor. Follow the same line across this pasture to find a footpath sign beside a metal gate that leads onto a green lane. Go directly across the lane and cross the stile opposite.

Cross the pasture on a similar line to reach a stile with a small wooden gate in front of it which is about 50 yards to the right of the line of trees. Continue on this line to cross to a fence, in front of the remains of a wall near to where it turns at right angles. Here cross the a wooden stile and follow down the left hand side of the fence and the wall that follows it. A few yards down the wall climb a steep wooden ladder stile to your right. Now make your way down the next two fields to the road. Leave the field by a wooden gate by a footpath sign opposite the road down to Briscoe. Take this road towards Briscoe and follow it down into Baldersdale.

(4) Take the track to your right into the Hury Reservoir Picnic Site and at the far end of the site follow the permissive way along the reservoir. At the end of Hury Reservoir go through the metal gate and follow a clear green bridleway way straight on to a wooden gate marked public bridleway. Beyond this gate continue through a picnic site to another wooden gate on the far side and onto a clear path alongside Blackton Reservoir. Towards the end of the reservoir you pass through Blackton Nature Reservoir and exit by a gate to the right of a public bird hide. On going through the gate you find yourself on the Pennine Way just below Low Birk Hatt Farm which became famous in the 1980’s when its owner Hannah Hauxwell became a TV ‘celebrity’ for her tough and lonely lifestyle. the house is now much ‘modernised’ !

(5) Turn left down the Pennine Way towards Blackton Bridge. Soon after crossing the bridge look for a metal gate in the reservoir wall to your right and here leave the Pennine Way to follow the track up and between the buildings of Blackton Grange (the old Youth Hostel). Ignoring the path up to the left towards the beautiful valley below Hunter Rigg, continue on up the track to climb up to the dam of Balderhead Reservoir. Turn right and follow the reservoir road to the Mickleton to Balderhead road, taking advantage of the superb views to the right of the route that you have taken up Baldersdale and to your left of Balderhead Reservoir and the daunting hills of Stainmore beyond.

(6) At the junction turn left along this quiet ‘No Through Road’ and follow it for about a mile. Just past the drive down to East Carrigill to your left, turn right through a wooden gate with a footpath sign. Follow the path beside a wooden fence to a metal gate and beyond that continue up a well-marked track to another gate. Continue to flow the track onto the crest of a hill. From here look diagonally across and head to the junction of two walls at the start of a rise and with a large plantation in the background. Head for this wall junction and you will find a surprisingly solidly constructed stone stile, for such a remote site, over the wall to your left. Cross the stile and the views of Lunedale begin to reappear. Keeping a broken down stone wall on your right head down to the bottom right hand corner of the pasture. Go through a metal gate and continue on to arrive at and pass between the barns and farm of Lanehead. Coming out of the farm yard turn left and follow the drive all the way down to the Mickleton to Kelton Road. Here turn right and in a few yards, just before some bird hides overlooking Grassholme Nature Reserve, turn left through a way marked metal gate and follow the path down to the overflow channel from Selset Resrvoir. Cross the bridge and follow the track round the overflow before turning right to climb up the bank heading towards the corner of a partly derelict old stone farm building. To the left of this building is a well-marked stile in the stone wall into horse pasture (it can get very muddy). Once over it make your way around the near end of the barn crossing the pastures by wooden stiles to reach the road through a wooden gate.

(7) Turn right to follow the road downhill towards Grassholme Reservoir. You soon arrive at Grassholme Farm on your left. Here take the Pennine Way signed through the farm yard and out by the gate beyond. the track continues down the field (this too can be very muddy) and then curves round to the left to rise to a stile in the wall. Continue along a well marked path in they same direction for the next four fields to arrive at the Brough to Middleton Road. Cross the road and walk up the drive towards Wythes Hill Farm. Walk past the farm and the following house. The track now descends to a ford over Carl Beck. Once over the ford climb up the field to the top right hand corner. Climb over the stile and cross the next rough pasture diagonally left over along an undulating path to reach about 2/3 of the way up the wall on the far side of the field. Cross the stile and climb up to a farm track. Once on it turn left and and follow the track for about 50 yards to a way-marked gateway and continue with it briefly to the right before slanting off to a gate in the descending wall. Continue along the way marked route through the pastures,passing an old byre on your right and a few trees on your left to reach a galvanised gate with a stone stile beside it. As the path continues take advantage of the excellent views of both Selset and Grassholme Reservoirs. Pass by through a ruined wall with a fallen post with a way mark sign to reach a way marked wooden gate with a ruined byre to the left. Throughout keep well over to the left of a distinctive mound topped by a clump of pine trees. This is Kirkcarrion or Caryn’s Castle. It was named after after a Brigantean prince who was said to have been buried here in pre-Roman times, but it is thought much more likely that a Bronze-Age tribal chieftain was buried in the barrow. His or someone else’s ghost is still said to haunt the site on horseback. In 1804 a local farmer removed some stones from the mound and uncovered a cist burial, but unfortunately removed some of the stones to build some walls on Crossthwaite Common.

(8) Now head directly across the small field to a way marked metal gate directly opposite and going through you quickly descend a slope past a series of cairns soon coming close to a fence. The path here swings right, keeping parallel to the fence until it reaches a stile and a dog gate beside a metal gate in the fence. As you walk there are superb views down the hill of Middleton nestled into the valley of the Tees. Continue down on the track to a green metal gate and from here down to a gate leading onto the Holwick to Middleton road at a sign for the Pennine Way . Turn right and walk a few yards to the Middleton to Brough road where a left turn takes you back down to the County Bridge. Cross the bridge and walk up Bridge Street back into the village and welcome refreshments at one of the many cafes or pubs or at the fish and chip shop.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 758ft - Market place
1 : mi 0.14 - alt. 722ft - B6277
2 : mi 1.68 - alt. 810ft - West End
3 : mi 2.39 - alt. 1027ft - Small wooden gate
4 : mi 4.32 - alt. 866ft - Hury Reservoir
5 : mi 7.23 - alt. 948ft - Pennine Way
6 : mi 8.76 - alt. 1161ft - Junction
7 : mi 12.01 - alt. 1004ft - Lunedale
8 : mi 14.17 - alt. 1388ft - Small field
D/A : mi 15.68 - alt. 758ft - Market place

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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