God’s Bridge and Bowes Moor – 16 February 2017

Posted by Pat Kassell on 2017-02-21

God’s Bridge and Bowes Moor – 16 February 2017

There was a large turnout of 18 members for a prompt 10.30am start from Bowes village hall car park.   As we set off along Back Lane we were startled by two green, unmarked, military aircraft flying very low over Bowes heading east.  We then explored the remains of Bowes Castle where those who had not started off with waterproofs took the opportunity to don theirs.  The shower was short lived and replaced by a brisk headwind as we crossed fields and reached the confluence of the River Greta with Sleightholme Bridge where we crossed Cardwell Bridge (named after Stan Cardwell MBE of Darlington).  The path then took us alongside the River Greta where we found a sheltered spot in the sunshine on the bank for our coffee stop. 

We continued along the path as far as God’s Bridge: a natural table of limestone spanning the River Greta and also the route of the Pennine Way.  After exploration of this natural feature we followed the Pennine Way footpath across Bowes Moor in the direction of Tan Hill and managed to find shelter from the wind on a hillside overlooking Sleightholme Beck for our picnic lunch. 

After lunch we crossed a couple of soggy fields and reached the road where we turned left to head back towards Bowes.  The wind was finally behind us but now it had begun to rain again too.  Bowes Castle soon came into view demonstrating why it was built there in the first place.  After a couple of miles along the beautifully surfaced lane we took to the (soggy) fields to return to Bowes via Gilmonby.  We finished the day with a visit to the Ancient Unicorn Hotel in Bowes where we received a warm welcome from the landlord and indulged variously in beer, tea, coffee and cake.

Pat Kassell

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