Romaldkirk - Baldersdale - Lunedale - Romaldkirk

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The walk starts at the attractive medieval Romaldkirk, a village that has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th Century. St Romald's Church, situated in the centre of the village after which it takes its name, is known as the Cathedral of the Dales.

From Romaldkirk the walk passes along a short section of the 6.5-mile long Tees Railway Walk that was originally part of the Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway. From the railway path the walk heads west through the pleasant farming country of Baldersdale, with views of the flat-topped Goldsborough and Shacklesborough Crags on the Cotherstone Moor ahead and to the left.

The route eventually arrives at the Baldersdale reservoirs and follows the shoreline along the full lengths of both Hury and Blackton Reservoirs, with the exception of a three-quarter-mile detour from the Hury shoreline near the spot where the outfall from the subterranean water pipe that connects the Balderdale with Lunedale Reservoirs. Approaching the end of Blackton Reservoir beneath the imposing earth Dam of Balderhead Reservoir, the route intersects the Pennine Way in the area known as Hannah's Meadow.

Hannah's Meadow is named after Hannah Hauxwell, who farmed Low Birk Hat Farm alone without the benefit of electricity and running water. She retired from the farm in 1988 and sold the land to the Durham Wildlife Trust, who now manage the pastures as a nature reserve. The Trust continues to maintain the old hay meadows using traditional farming methods that benefit the local ecology. The site is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The stone barn in the corner of the field next to High Birk Hat Farm is a Grade 2 listed building and serves as a visitor information centre for the nature reserve.

From Hannah's Meadow there follows a gentle ascent to the summit ridge of Hunderthwaite Moor dividing Baldersdale from Lunedale. An equally gentle descent of the northern slopes of the moor delivers you to the equally picturesque Grassholme Reservoir lying downstream of the mighty Selset Reservoir in the pastoral Lunedale Valley. A walk along the north shoreline of Grassholme Reservoir, passing over the dam and arriving at the well-equipped visitor centre, completes the tour of the reservoirs.

From the visitor centre there follows a little road- and field-walking before the route once again intersects the Tees Railway Walk for a flat, easy stroll back to Romaldkirk.

England - North England - Durham - Teesdale

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport
08/06/2015 - Joyce Hindhaugh

Did this walk on 07.06.15. Lovely walk! Distance accurate and directions easy to follow. Struggled to find the white corrugated barn as it's now been painted black. All in all a lovely day. Thanks Alan Anderson

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16.2 Miles
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20.5 Miles