Sunday, 22 August 2010
To the North Pennines.
Our celebratory outing today was, as usual, to The North Pennines. For a time we were going to go through the moors to the North Sea, but in the end we felt there would be less traffic in the Pennines. How right we were - there was little or no traffic for the whole day; even the notorious A66 trans-Pennine route was clear.
We set off into Swaledale, then over the tops through Arkengarthdale and into Teesdale, through the wild and wonderful big scenery of Teesdale and over into Weardale. All of this was lead mining country a couple of centuries ago and the villages reflect that in their huddles of old stone dwellings - and also in their names, which all seem to have a bit of a bleak sound to them. St. John's Chapel, Nenthead, Ireshopeburn, Crowhill, Burnhope, Garrigill.
We stopped for Sunday lunch in Ireshopeburn at the same pub on the banks of the River Wear where we always stop. We paused and had a walk near the little station in Alston, where a tiny steam train chugs across to Haltwhistle. We had a smile because the crossing gates closed and several people stood with cameras poised to photograph the little train crossing - but the gates had closed for a man with a trolley on wheels, who was pushing a load of stone across!
We stood on the banks of the Rivers Swale, Arkle, Tees, Wear and South Tyne - all of them so picturesque. On our return we stopped in Reeth in Swaledale for an ice cream and sat in the square and ate it. The sun shone, the skies were magnificent, a lovely day was had by the three of us (farmer, Tess and me). Enjoy the photographs.
##The two butter crosses that you see are at Barnard Castle (where there is also a street shot of the town) and at Alston, which I believe is about the highest town in England.