The scenery and history of Weardale and Teesdale
owe everything to geology, from the granite
bedrock, through the sandstones, shales and limestone
of the Carboniferous period to the dolerite
intrusions of the Great Whin Sill. The North
Pennines lead mining industry was once the most
productive in the world, accounting for one-third of
Britainís output, in this most industrialised region in
the country. Its legacy remains in countless shafts,
drifts, quarries and ruins that impart a unique
strength of beauty to an already wildly beautiful
As industry dominated the valley floors, agriculture
was forced onto the hillsides, leading to the
evolution of an ecology, favoured by damp, cool
conditions, that is now rare in Europe.The resulting
hay meadows are the colourful spring and summer
glory of the Durham Dales.
Most of the walks, of
between 3 and 7Ĺ miles, follow valley tracks and
public rights-of-way, with a few venturing onto the
more open moorlands, and are generally suitable for
families. They are ideal for visitors who wish to
acquaint themselves with the Durham Dales, either
on a short trip or a more extended holiday to the
region. Together, they paint a comprehensive picture,
yet will tempt the walker into wanting to see more.
The ten walks are: Baal HillWood; Frosterley and
Harehope Quarry; Rookhope and Boltís Law;
St Johnís Chapel and Ireshopeburn; Killhope Law;
Monkís Moor and Hudeshope Valley; Coldberry
Gutter; High Force and Holwick Scars;The Circuit
of Widdybank Fell; Blackton Reservoir, Baldersdale.
Halsgroveís new-format guidebook, containing maps,
photographs and useful information will ensure a
great walking experience. Packed with colour, the
book is an ideal reminder of a visit to the area.
Anthony Toole lives in Newcastle
upon Tyne, and spends much of his
time walking in and writing about the
hills of the north-east. He contributes
walk descriptions regularly to BBC
Countryfile Magazine and also contributed
to the AA publication, 50
Walks in Durham and Northumberland.
He writes outdoor features for The
Northumbrian, The Countryman and
North-East Life magazines. He is a
prizewinning member of Outdoor
Writers' and Photographers' Guild
and Writers and Photographers
Unlimited. He has also written A Boot
Up the Northumberland National Park
and A Boot Up the Northumberland
Coast, also for Halsgrove.
Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 0 85710 031 3, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published March 2011.