The walk took us past a Victorian pumping station.
The leaves were near their end now, but there were still shades of yellows, light greens and orange as the autumn comes to a close. The first half of the walk is along the river Tees and across the occasional meadow. Here we saw a late Red Admiral having its last flight in the sun.
Shortly after 4 miles, standing on a low scar, High Coniscliffe comes into view.
Just below the church you can see the defences added in the 13th century, which made the church and vicarage area more secure from raiding Scots.
The church is St Edwin’s and is the only church dedicated to this Anglo-Saxon king, who aided the early Christian church in Northumberland. Built in 1170 it has been extended and has added defences. Locked because of vandalism, friendly walkers can get the key from a house opposite, details in the lychgate. It also has a wonderful blue clock in the tower dating from Victorian times.
We now walked through the village and to a pub called the Spotted Dog. It was named after a hound that won a 300 guineas bet for one of the local toffs in a race. The pub has been aptly decorated! Funnily enough it did not look out of place and I thought it looked great, but I am as mad as a hatter!
Onwards for us though and no sly pint here. We went over fields now and were greeted by about 80 Fieldfares flying down the Hawthorne hedges – winter is coming. There were some nice farmhouses set in enclosed land and some old hedges in places, horses, sheep and before we knew it we were back where we had parked the car.
Yep you all guessed it! Now it was into Barnard Castle for a fish and chip supper! Barnard Castle is a really interesting place and it deserves much more than this with its castle and the Bowes Museum. Lots on line about it, but here is what stuck my eye as we headed to the calorie emporium.
There are lots of old shops and I mean old with Victorian fronts and selling things like bicycles and antiques.
Oh and a petrol station on the main street, dating from who knows when, where you parked on the street and the pump had extensions to reach your car. About 3 years ago this place was still open, but now it seems to have closed.
Every pub looks to have a history worthy of investigation and so nothing left now but to have a pint of Marsdon’s Pedigree in the Golden Lion before we tackled the fish and chips!