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Stainton - Langleydale Common - Eggleston Walk

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Stainton is a quiet village with neither pubs nor shops, lying a little over a mile north east of Barnard Castle just off the A688. 

This day long walk includes a nice balance of contrasting terrain types, in the form of fields and moors in an area of Lower Teesdale on the eastern fringe of the rugged North Pennines National Park designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

With the exception of ½ mile of downhill road walking, the first four miles after leaving Stainton are almost entirely through undulating grassy fields that rise quite appreciably as they approach the Open Access Land of Langleydale Common. A little off-track moorland walking follows to intersect the B6282 Eggleston to Woodland road before the route starts the long gently rising bridleway track up onto the open moorland of Langleydale Common. 

On the way the track passes through "Ark on the Edge" Animal Rescue Sanctuary and Wildlife Education Centre based at Woolley Hill farm. The facility operates a commendable policy of never needing to destroy animals, instead they offer a lifetime home to those that cannot be re-homed elsewhere.   

From Woolley Hill the walk across the moor is initially easy to follow on a wide stony farm track that ends quite abruptly at a gate. The ensuing narrower track through the heather up to the highest point of the walk follows a line of marker posts and is fairly firm underfoot along most of the track even during wet conditions. There are glorious views from the highest point of the walk especially looking up the valley of Upper Teesdale towards the high Pennine peaks of Mickle Fell, Meldon Hill, Great Dunn Fell with its large golf ball shaped radar station and in the far distance the mighty Crossfell the highest point on the Pennine chain. Where the track leaves the moor to descend a sunken lane there are good views across Lower Teesdale looking over Mickleton village up to the reservoirs of Grassholme and Selset located in the picturesque side valley of Lunedale. 

The track descends quite steeply from the moor through grassy fields to arrive at the ancient village of Eggleston in the Teesdale valley. As this is roughly the half way point of the walk it makes a pleasant stop for pub refreshments or to enjoy a packed lunch on one of the seats around the village green. Eggleston was once the smelting centre for the prolific North Pennines lead industry but very little evidence of this activity remains today. The village was mentioned in the "Domesday Book" published in 1086 under the former name of Eghiston.  

The return leg of the walk utilises a section of the Teesdale Way as it passes along relatively level farm tracks and grassy fields on the high northern side of the valley before the route intersects a caravan park from where the track descends steeply to the banks of the River Tees. A brief riverside walk is followed by a steep ascent up from river where the track once again passes through grassy fields high above and parallel to the river to eventually emerge at West Holme House farm. The route from the farm follows a long flat semi-surfaced farm road that eventually runs along the edge of Barnard Castle golf course before emerging onto the B6278 Barnard Castle to Eggleston road. 

The final lap includes a short stretch of road walking combined with a little field and lane walking to return back to Stainton village.

Try the Stainton - Langleydale Common - Eggleston walk out on the FREE WalkExplorer app for iPhone. This walk will be on the Android app soon.

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