Barningham to Gill Beck

This walk starts in the Teesdale village of Barningham off the A66.  The route gets a medium difficulty because of the river crossings it requires and ill-marked paths.  Some sections of the route involve crossing moorlands which may be difficult in wet weather.

Circular  |  8.5km (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.

The route traverses moorland, roads, fields and woodland.  On a good day the route offers views up Teesdale all the way to Eden valley.  Those travelling by car can choose to park in the village or off the track near point 2 on the map.

1: The route begins heading uphill from the village towards the moors.  You can choose to follow this route in either direction, this guide discusses following the route clockwise.  Eventually the route leaves the village road and follows a track onto the moors.

2: The track which the route follows off the road coming out of the village crosses a Beck then heads uphill.  The route follows the track across the beck but then leaves it before ghe uphill climb.  Instead, the route follows the foot of the hill and slowly climbs it.

3: Once the route reaches the top of the hill the faint path it follows disappears.  Following along the edge of the hill eventually leads the route to a beck.  By the beck-side is a faint path, the route follows this downhill.  In places the path here disappears but as long as you’re heading downhill towards the road you’re heading the right way.

4: Upon reaching the road the route turns left and follow it.  The road heads up and downhill repeatedly and can be tricky to traverse on an icy day.

5: The road eventually stops and is replaced by a bridleway.  There is a footpath sign here pointing across the moor, this seems to have been turned around the wrong way as there is no path where it points.  The route continues along the bridleway.

6: Eventually there is a stile on the rightsie of the bridleway.  The route crosses this stile and heads towards the North East corner of the field.  There is no visible path here so spotting where to head can be difficult.  There is a gate at the far side of the field but finding it may involve having to cross a small tributary.

7: The route heads through the gate here and crosses a river  Unfortunately there’s no bridge here so you’ll have to make an unaided crossing.  The river is shallow and there are rocks you can hop across.  Be careful here if its icy.  Once across the river head up hill and follow the edges of the fields downstream.  Again, the path here is ill-defined but sticking to the top of the hill where you can see the river should keep you on course.

8: After passing through a few gates along the field edges the route reaches a stile.  The route crosses the stile and heads downhill into Gill Wood.  The route follows the path here by the river.  The route crosses the river several times along the way.  Luckily there are bridges along here to make it easy (there’s a sign saying to cross the bridges at your own risk but they seemed more than stable enough).

9: Eventually the path reaches a road.  The route turns right here and follows the road all the way back to Barningham.

Barningham is a great little village with a nice pub (check opening times beforehand if planning to visit).  It is fairly easy to lose the path on this route so make sure you have a map with you (as always) to double check the way.  Its recommended that this route should be followed when its dry as some sections could be incredibly boggy on wet days.  We followed this route in the middle of winter when a lot of the ground had been frozen solid which made things a lot easier.


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