search bars close map-marker arrow-right tags twitter facebook

Greta Gorge: a springtime riverside ramble

Twelve of us met at a convenient but attractive location just off the A66 near Barnard Castle for a very pleasant walk along the river Greta and its gorge.  After introductions we started off through fields and soon reached the riverbank, which we followed upstream.  The event description had warned us that the path might be muddy in places; some of us remembered a previous walk along here when underfoot had been really muddy and challenging.  Today was much improved.  The path was dry, the weather was warm and springlike, and we progressed in good spirits.

We passed the ruined old church of St Mary’s, which had been replaced by a newer structure a short distance away back in 1833.  On our previous visit we had paused here; a stone wall enclosed several ancient gravestones.  Beyond here the valley started to close in on both sides, and our path continued its increasingly rocky course.  The views remained good; the trees were not yet in full leaf, and we encountered profusions of colourful spring flowers and the occasional butterfly.  Occasionally fallen trees from the storms of earlier in the year needed a bit of clambering over or under.

We ascended to the edge of a field for our lunchtime sandwiches.  Going down again to a clearing with attractively located farm cottages, we crossed the river on a footbridge.  From here we started to follow the river back on the opposite bank, where we found the path to be a bit rockier and clambersome.  Some sections of the route were quite steep, but the views remained good.  Eventually we reached open fields and were able to follow a more level path past a couple of farm buildings.

On our next section we were on a quiet gently descending road for a while, but we soon turned in again to a path high above the river.  After that it was downhill and across a final flat field back to our starting point.

It was good to meet up with friends again to enjoy the spring weather.  We were all appreciative of the well-planned and interesting route, and thankful our boots were not as muddy at the end as feared.  Thanks are due to John who facilitated today’s event, and thanks once again to Ivor for his pictures.

Related posts

Join Now…