Walks from Romaldkirk
Hector C. Parr
1. PRIMROSE LANE AND EGGLESTON BRIDGE
From the far end of Low Green, a "Teesdale Way" signpost directs you along the narrow track known as "Primrose Lane". At the bottom of the lane an old stone footbridge takes you over Beer Beck, and fifty yards further on you cross a stone stile on the left. Climb almost to the top of the field, and over a stile just beyond a gate in the wall. Continue along the same straight line and you will reach a wooden stile near a corner of the concrete block wall.
2. OLD RAILWAY LINE TO COTHERSTONE
Take the road towards Barnard Castle, and quite soon turn right along the Hunderthwaite road. Three hundred yards further on you will see a gate on the left taking you onto the old railway.
The whole walk is enjoyable, but if you find the interest flagging momentarily when the view is hidden by the sides of a cutting, why not imagine yourself on the footplate of one of the little engines which plied the line for almost a century? Sound your whistle at each farm crossing, and urge your fireman to throw on more coal as you approach each gradient.
3. OLD RAILWAY LINE TO MIDDLETON
Walk up the Fell Lane (see below) to a point just beyond the old station, and you will see steps leading to the railway track. You can follow this most of the way to Middleton (about three and a half miles each way), but there are several places along the route where you can exit, and return by road.
4. FELL LANE
This walk offers numerous alternatives, and as it lies wholly on roadways you can wear whatever clothing and footwear suit the weather.
On the other hand, if you have a whole morning or afternoon to spare, after ascending Fell Lane you can go straight on, to the old farm at Botany. Here you may either turn left, and left again onto the Baldersdale road, and back by Hunderthwaite (total journey time two and a half hours), or you can turn right, and right again, and home via Mickleton (about three hours in all). Whichever route you choose there are splendid views to enjoy.
5. SENNINGS LANE and the FAIRY CUPBOARDS
This is a delightful walk, but parts of it are quite difficult. You should attempt it only if you have a good pair of walking boots.
In the South West corner of Low Green you will see a "Teesdale Way" signpost pointing South. Follow this along the shady Sennings Lane, and when you reach the gate at the end, keep on the track through three fields as indicated by the yellow Teesdale Way markers. After passing the derelict Low Garth farm follow the left hand way-marker, which takes you down into the wood, and eventually right down to the river.
You may then either return to Romaldkirk (total journey time about an hour), or continue for another mile along the Teesdale Way, passing in front of Woden Croft farm, and on to Cotherstone.
6. TO COTHERSTONE AND BACK
This splendid walk takes you to Cotherstone along the North bank of the Tees, and brings you back along the South bank. You will need almost four hours, and you should wear a stout pair of boots.
Here, if thirst or fatigue so dictate, you could turn left, over another footbridge, and up into Cotherstone, where there are two pubs (and, let it be whispered, a bus service back to Romaldkirk). But the true walker will turn right along the riverside path. When this emerges from the wood keep alongside the fence, and cross it again at the stile. Stepping stones will take you safely over Wilden Beck, after which you strike off up the field, pass a stone enclosure on your left, and up to Woden Croft, reputed to have been in the nineteenth century a school like Dickens' notorious "Dotheboys Hall". After passing in front of the house, take the gate on the right and proceed between the farm buildings. After skirting the next field you may, if you wish, take the lane on the right down to the Fairy Cupboards, which are described in Walk No.5, but the direct route inclines left, and past an old barn. Then you follow the waymarkers back to Romaldkirk, tracing in reverse the walk described in No.5.