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North Pennines Walk
Kirkcarrion from Middleton-in-Teesdale

Region - North Pennines

County/Area - Durham

Author - Steven Wallace

Length - 3.5 miles / 5.7 km

Ascent - 600 feet / 182 metres

Time - 2 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference NY947254
Lat 54.623713 // Long -2.083601
Postcode DL12 0SH (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Kirkcarrion from Middleton-in-Teesdale Photo from the walk - Kirkcarrion from Middleton-in-Teesdale Photo from the walk - Kirkcarrion from Middleton-in-Teesdale
Click thumbnails for larger images.

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. Walk up the hill until you come to the first road off to the right (signposted Holwick). Turn right and walk to the end of the house on the corner. To your left you will see a footpath sign for the Pennine Way through a wooden gate. Follow the track up the hill, keeping near the wall on the left. Reaching a green metal gate pass through and continue on the track curving round, keeping to the left when the track splits. Continue up the hill keeping Kirkcarrion in front of you and slightly to the right.

Kirkcarrion was named 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.

Go over a stile beside a metal gate at the fence ahead. By now there are superb views back down the hill over Middleton and a good chance of seeing lapwings, curlews and hearing the skylarks up above. Once over the stile continue slightly left, still keeping Kirkcarrion to your right. Continue on the track, heading for the wall, which climbs up to Kirkcarrion. When you meet the wall you will see a metal gate, go through this and follow the farm track round the side of Kirkcarrion. Follow the track until you meet the road where there is a Bridleway sign by the gate.

Go through the metal gate, turning right and follow the road for 500 metres until you see a farm track on your right with a green metal gate and walls on both sides. This is Greengates Farm. Turn into the track and go through the farm yard, through another green gate. Take the right hand fork when the track forks, then through another green gate into a field. Follow the path, with the wall on your right for 200 metres until it curves round to the left. There is an old quarry above on your left, views of Grassholme Reservoir on your right and Kirkcarrion is now below you and slightly to the right.

As the path curves to the left there is a small hillock ahead of you. Look to the left of this and in the dip you will see a stone wall with a stile. Cross the field to the stile and go over it.

Now you go straight ahead meandering down the valley of Rams Gill with Middleton showing in front of you and Kirkcarrion behind. You will need to keep to sheep tracks at times since the centre of the dip can get boggy after wet weather. Continue straight ahead over a small rise until you can see the fence you crossed on the way up again. Now take the stile with dog gate next to the metal gate and follow the path down to the next metal gate, go through this keeping to the left hand path when the paths split.

Down to the wooden gate in the bottom right hand corner of the field and you are back on Holwick Road. Turn right, then left after the house on the corner and down the road to the bridge and back into Middleton.

This is one of a series of walks which form the Teesdale Challenge Walks Programme - there are many other excellent walks to choose from. Click here for full details of this walk

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