Langdon Beck Hotel : High Hurth Edge and the Upper Tees Valley

Circular walk passing by High Hurth Edge and the Upper Tees Valley.

Technical sheet
No. 4231831
A Forest and Frith walk posted on 22/10/20 by Aurelie-21. Update : 22/10/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h55[?]
Distance Distance : 8.95km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 135m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 136m
Highest point Highest point : 476m
Lowest point Lowest point : 352m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Forest and Frith
Starting point Starting point : N 54.675964° / W 2.229028°
Download : -


(D/A) Walk up to the junction with the Middleton to Alston Road. Turn left for a few yards and, opposite the hotel, take a narrow lane leading away from the main road. Walk up the lane, soon passing a waterfall on your right. Where the track swings right look carefully in the pasture on your left hand side. This is one of the sites for the famous Teesdale Spring Gentian which flowers in April or May . Continue on the track to arrive at the farm of Vallance Lodge. Keep straight on and take a gate on the right at the end. This leads you over a farm bridge over Langdon Beck. From here follow the track that leads up, soon curving left to a gate in the wall above.

(1) The gate leads onto rough pasture. Bear right, rising to a grassed over spoil heap of old mine workings, to find a stile in the fence beyond. Head across the field, slightly uphill, to a small metal gate with another gate immediately behind it. Pass through and head to the foot of the limestone scar of High Hurth Edge on the skyline. Within these scars you will see several caves. The biggest is Moking Hurth Cave in which were found a 3000 year old skeleton and the bones of wolves and lynx. Looking across the valley you will gain superb views of Cronkley Fell, with Mickle Fell, Meldon Hill and Cross Fell rising up behind.

(2) Just beneath the scars you’ll find a stile by a gate leading onto a clear green track which takes you down over the rough pasture. At its crossroad ignore the turns (turning right will lead you down to Hanging Shaw car park and provide a shorter route of 4 miles for those with limited time) and keep straight on, enjoying now the views of Holwick Scar and the area around Middleton. After several fields the track becomes a farm drive from Wool Pits Hill which you will see to your left. As you continue the track becomes surfaced. Follow it down to the Ettersgill Road.

(3) On joining this turn right and in a few yards take the stile on your right. Cross to another stile in the middle of the wall on the south side of the field and then in the next field take a gate 2/3 of the way down the wall to your right and, passing through, head across to the corner of Walker Hill Plantation and through a gateway. From here keep to the edge of the plantation and cross to a stile. Once over, this keeping the same direction, head across the next field.

(4) When you reach the wall turn left and follow the field right down to the road with the old chapel directly on your right. Turn right and enjoy the fine views, especially the close up Cronkley Scar to your left, as you follow this peaceful lane. Where, at the next farm, the lane swings down to the left keep straight on through a pedestrian gate beside a galvanised farm gate. Continue, with the farm buildings on your left, to a stile. Crossing it you join an old Green Lane with a wall to your left and the remains of another stone wall on your right. Continue, crossing a stile and soon reaching a tarmaced lane. Follow this until you reach the Forest-in-Teesdale school on your left. The lane now swings left to take you down to Hanging Shaw parking and picnic area (where the shortened walk joins in) and the main Middleton to Alston road beyond.

(5) Turn right along the road for a few yards and then cross over and follow the footpath sign down the drive to Birk Rigg. Before reaching the farm a clear footpath sign leads you around the right of the buildings and straight down the field to a stile. Crossing a marshy section the path rises to follow to the right of a stream, past some barns and a few yards later arrives at a gate on the right. Passing through the gate the path continues across the field to another gate and then left down a steep slope to a farm bridge over the RiverTees. Don’t cross the bridge. Instead turn upstream on the Pennine Way. The path sticks closely to the river bank, soon bringing you to the junction of the River Tees and Harwood Beck, with Haugh Hill to your right (another site of the famous Teesdale Spring Gentian). Continue up alongside Harwood Beck until you reach a wooden farm bridge with a Pennine way mileage sign.

(6) Cross the bridge and ignore the two farm drives which lead away, taking instead a path upstream by a gate directly alongside the beck. Continue on up the bank of the beck with the white buildings of Langdon Beck ahead and the Forest in Teesdale church of St James the Less to your right. At one point the path rises briefly to run alongside a wooden barrier before, just in front of a dry stone wall, returning to the beck side. From here it is forced close into the beck as you continue and soon becomes narrow and enclosed, leading you eventually into the farmyard of Intake Farm and then out of a gate on the far side. Continue along the beck for a few more yards to reach a bridge over the beck where Langdon Beck joins Harwood Beck. Turn right up the road and you will shortly arrive back at your car.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 388m - Langdon Beck Hotel
1 : km 0.69 - alt. 416m - Gate
2 : km 1.84 - alt. 468m - Scars
3 : km 3.6 - alt. 387m - Ettersgill Road
4 : km 4.35 - alt. 408m - Wall
5 : km 5.7 - alt. 374m - B6277
6 : km 7.73 - alt. 365m - Bridge
D/A : km 8.95 - alt. 388m - Langdon Beck Hotel

Useful Information

Parking : A few spaces opposite the Hotel on the Harwood and Cow Green road off the B6277, or if you are combining the walk with refreshments at the Hotel you may be able to use their car park - check with hotel staff before setting out.

Refreshments : Langdon Beck Hotel is open all day 7 days a week. Lunch is served from 12.00-2.00pm and dinner from 7.00-9.00pm. with a range of homemade main courses and puddings available, along with real ales (Langdon Beck is a Cask Marque pub), a selection of wines and non-alcoholic drinks. Tea, coffee and cake are served throughout the day. The pub benefits from a beer garden with spectacular views over Cronkley Scar, or on colder days 3 real fires ! Dogs are welcome.

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

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