Whorlton - Egglestone Abbey

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Whorlton is a pleasant picturesque village nestling on the overhanging cliffs high above the River Tees between Barnard Castle and Winston. The village is sandwiched between the main roads of the A67 to the north and the A66 to the south.

The walk starts with a steep descent from Whorlton down to the River Tees to cross the old suspension bridge. Initially a toll-bridge when it was erected in 1831, it is now the oldest suspension bridge in the country still supported by its original chains. The old tollhouse on the north side of the bridge displays a list of the original tolls when the crossing cost for a pedestrian was one penny.

Field-walking follows before the route passes Mortham Tower, the most southerly of the border pele-towers built at the end of the 15th Century as a refuge by the Rokeby family after their family seat was destroyed by Scottish raiders. The building is one of the best-preserved medieval fortified manor-houses in the North of England.

Just past Mortham Tower the route crosses Dairy Bridge, under which the turbulent River Greta flows to merge with the Tees at the confluence known as the Meeting of the Waters, made famous from a painting by the great English landscape artist Joseph Turner. From here the walk tracks the River Tees along a delightful wooded, riverside path as the river narrows through a rocky, steep-sided gorge approaching the castellated Abbey Bridge.

A short but rewarding detour then takes you to the ruins of Egglestone Abbey, founded in the late 12th Century by a group of monks from Easby Abbey at Richmond. The abbey suffered extensive damage, originally at the hands of both English and Scottish marauding armies, followed later by the added devastation inflicted during the period of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the mid-16th Century.

The route crosses the River Tees at Abbey Bridge and completes the return leg of the walk through fields and woods, parallel to but high above the river on its return to Whorlton.

England - North England - Durham - Teesdale


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Mostly Flat, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
04/04/2017 - Thomas Greig

We undertook this walk in April 2017 when the new lambs were gambolling about in the fields; delightful. Probably not suitable for dogs at this time however. A very pleasant, varied walk with the section immediately beside the Tees being the highlight. Easy to follow directions with the only update being at Wayleave 13 where the Teesdale Way fingerboard and path are now immediately on the right upon crossing the bridge.

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