Saturday, April 29, 2006


At 2.10 p.m. this afternoon, we heard the cuckoo, loud and clear, in Weardale near Stanhope. Spring is definitely here!

There were masses of primroses in the woodland, and a few violets on the banks.

Our path took us up by Stanhope Beck, up onto the moorland, past the seat placed in memory of W.O. Colin Wall, R.M.P., killed in Basra in 2003, and down the Crawleyside incline. There were grouse and lapwings, skylarks, and plenty of those SBBs.
We had our picnic above the valley, looking down over Stanhope, with the sculpted shapes of the old quarries just below us. (Dear readers, you shall be spared the sight of our little group having a nice lie-down after lunch!)

Further along, we followed Shittlehope Burn, where the banks were covered in wild garlic - just smell it!

Returning to the road, we took in an extra loop on part of the Weardale Way, which passes through an extremely tidy and well-manicured caravan park. In 1984, Hell was full of rats - in mine, it could well be full of caravan parks like this.

Again, dear readers, you shall be spared the sight of middle-aged backsides lined up putting their rucksacks back into the car, preparatory to repairing to the tea-shop.

This walk was a repeat of one we did in the winter of 2003, when it was my birthday walk. This time, a belated Happy Birthday to Peanut Yorkie, who will have his own version of the event.


Ruby in Bury said...

You live in a truly beautiful part of the country Stitchwort. I crave hills and dales here in Suffolk (probably cos I'm a Yorkshire lass) - and I love your pics. Shittlehope Burn???!! Glad it's only garlic you can smell ;-)

stitchwort said...

Ruby - thank you. As a Ham(p)shire Hog born and bred, exiled to the frozen North for over 20 years now, I still crave the hazel woods and chalk of where I grew up!
Some of us are never satisfied!

Jack said...

This is one of the nicest sites on the Internet. As I said before, it's a pleasure to read and I enjoy the photos. I'm going to pass it on to an ex-pat Brit friend of mine. She was my best man at our wedding 16 years ago.

stitchwort said...