This Nuttall above Teesdale is usually done as per the Nuttall’s book, there and back from the road over to Weardale, along with Chapelfell top and Fendrith Hill. We’d done the latter two, so planned a circular walk, half on paths. It has to be said that the “paths” were as bad if not worse than the off piste walking underfoot, not very rough, but not easy either, tussocky grass and rushes. The upside is perfect solitude: sheep, yes; grouse, some; buzzards, a few; stoats, one; hoomans, zero.
From Moor House, a mile and a half up the road from Newbiggin to Weardale, follow the “path”, diagonally up through two fields, then make a beeline for the ridge. Take the first gate left on the ridge, and follow “Weather Beds”, the ridge of Tussocky grass, which gives way later to peat groughy ground, which was easy to walk today as dry. When the fence appears the OS column will also. A made track then takes you west a little way, then drops south, but you must keep by the fence and later a wall, on a definite if thin path, the easiest walking of the round. The Nuttall’s book, edition 2008, suggests this is pathless heather. There isn’t a great deal of heather now, but there is a path.
At the road take a diagonal south-westerly course (not the line of the current signpost), as per the map, heading for the slight increase of slope on the obvious ridge, which indicates Black Law. When you see the low wall of Grey Folds that helps, then a post under Black Law. The going is not easy, why “A Pennine Journey” should care to take you this way is a mystery. At the wall a path appears, follow this down by Whinfield Sike, they like Sikes round here, (small beck, often dry in summer) then follow the bridleway southeast before the farm wall. This is unsigned but obvious. It passes to the other side of the wall soon, and after the second wall crossing from there head diagonally up the field to a gate at the top right corner. The path back to the start is not obvious still, but there are signs, arrows giving the directions, although non at Broadley Gate where we suspect there has been a path change, going round the farm and then due east to the bridges over a stile. Eight miles, 1300ft of ascent, perhaps a connoisseur’s walk, not for the pleasure seeker.
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