This route is relatively short but can quite tricky in places. It isn’t recommend for walkers to follow it when there’s snow or ice as some stretches of the path are very irregular and rocky. The same applies for when there has been a lot of recent wet weather. A lot of the walk takes place right next to the River Greta and there are also several stream crossings where walkers will need to hop across rocks.
Circular | 12km (7.5 miles) | Difficulty: Medium
|Please note that the route given is a rough guide and should not be relied upon solely when planning a walk. Remember to plan ahead, get a proper map and ensure you have the right equipment.|
Along this route in some places streams cascade across the path, in addition to this the route can become really muddy in places so the best time to do this is when its dry. Summer may seem like the obvious season to walk this in, however with the trees having full foliage a lot of the great views along this walk will be blocked. A dry day in either spring or autumn is recomended.
1: The walk starts outside the Morritt Arms just off the A66. Walkers can get drinks and food here when they’ve finished the walk. From here the route sets off towards Greta bridge. Walkers should hop over a wall before they reach the bridge at the footpath sign. Walkers could carry on over the bridge and do the walk anti-clockwise which does allow for getting the steep and boring road sections out of the way first. Going clockwise the route first crosses a few fields and skirts around the edges of the woodland in the Greta River’s valley.
2: Soon the route descends to river level and after a while walkers will see the ruins of St. Mary’s church. From here the path is clearly defined and follows the river. Along this stretch the route reaches Greta Falls. Here a few streams run down the valley side and across the path.
3: The route starts heading up the valley side and through a gate before crossing a field. At the top of the slope walkers will need to turn and follow a tarmacked drive downwards.
4: Walkers will see footpath markers on the gate to a self catering property. The route follows these signs which diverts walkers around the building and to the bridge which crosses the Greta. The route now starts to follow the Greta again but now downstream. Along this stretch the route crosses a few small streams. The largest of these streams, Gregory Beck, has a bridge so there’s nothing too difficult along here. The next stage features a lot of up hill climbing. The footing here can be tricky due to all the rocks and tree roots. Along the top walkers will catch glimpses of the South side of the Tees valley.
5: Walkers will now pass a post with route pointers. One points downwards while the other points along the current path. The paths along both directions rejoin after some time but the higher path has a steeper descent at the end.
6: At the bottom of this slope the route crosses Gillbeck, a fairly large stream with no bridge. If the water is too high walkers will need to follow the stream up to a road and cross here. The rocks here are extremely worn and slippery so care should be taken. After the stream the route immediately uphill again till it starts skirting the edge of the woodland. Along this section are some great views across the Tees valley in both directions including sights such as The Stang, a forest to the south.
7: The route now be heads towards some farm buildings and head left. Walkers will eventually spot a route marker and will find themselves on a track. The route follows the track to the road which it then follows the road to the left. After passing another farm the road soon connects to another road. Walkers should keep left on this road and follow it for a while. The route heads downhill and passes the entrance to Eastwood Hall.
8: Walkers will soon spot a signpost. The route follow where it points back to the Greta. Following the path leads walkers back towards the bridge. Before reaching the village buildings (an old coach house) the route goes around them by cutting through the first gate to the right. From here walkers simply cross Greta Bridge and head back to the Morritt Arms.
Despite containing a few elements of walking some would rather avoid (unaided stream crossings, field walking, road walking and strong farmyard smells) this is a really enjoyable route. Its very rewarding with the amazing range of views along the way. There’s also an abundance of wildlife – rabbits and endless pheasants amongst other things.
Route adapted from the Teesdale Way