Tunstall Reservoir Thursday 6 May 2021

Posted by Trevor Thurlow on 2021-05-08

Tunstall Reservoir Thursday 6 May 2021

Nine walkers joined Graham and me for a walk from Wolsingham taking in the scenic delights of Weardale - an area seldom visited by the section.

Splitting into 2 groups of 6 and 5 respectively we set off, on what was initially a bright but cool morning, for our 9 mile walk.  Within minutes we were leaving the confines of the village and enjoying wide-ranging views, over Weardale and down to Hollywood, as we made our way to the bridge over the beck at Mayfield, before rising gently, on good field paths and farm tracks, to Park Wall Plantation.  Turning North East we were rewarded by the breeze dropping and making our mid-morning coffee stop at the ruined farm of Park Wall even more enjoyable.

After a group photograph on and by what is possibly the largest ladder stile in the North of England, we descended through pleasant pastureland down to Northumbrian Water’s Tunstall Reservoir.  A change of terrain and scenery now being in store as we walked through what was in places a very muddy Backstone Bank Wood, before climbing reasonably steeply up to our lunch stop at Salters Gate.  Good views, over lunch, back down our morning route  were made even better by the sight of Graham’s group making their way slowly up the fell towards us.  Obviously dejected, though they hid it well, having lost out on the best perches for lunch they made their way off to find alternative facilities on a nearby fell side.

It was the kind of day where we could have endured a very heavy downpour at any time.  Luckily, the rainstorm that seemed to be heading our way at lunchtime turned off and headed down the valley to soak the good folk of Wolsingham instead.  Still dry and with the weather getting warmer, we set off back towards Wolsingham along the disused railway track before dropping down to Backstone Bank and a superb balcony path taking us all the way to Baal Hill House with ever improving views across Weardale.

Picking up the road which led us past Hollywood, a development of very grand and expensive houses, it was just a matter now of negotiating a gaggle of singing infants in their matching waterproofs, before following Waskerley Beck back to our start point.  An excellent walk enjoyed by all.

It poured down 15 minutes after we got back. The sun shines on ……

Trevor Thurlow




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