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Cliffs beside the Tees near Greta Bridge
Cliffs beside the Tees near Greta Bridge

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Route No. 120 - Tuesday 28 December 2004
Teesdale Way, Whorlton,
Abbey Bridge circuit - 11km
Teesdale . . .

Maps: OS Explorer OL31 North Pennines &
Explorer 304 Darlington & Richmond at 1:25000
Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base


River Tees near Rokeby Park
River Tees near Rokeby Park
The weather forecast for today was bright and sunny to the east of us becoming more showery and unpredictable to the north and west so we decided to go to the north west hoping to keep just on the right side of the boundary. The reason for this perverse behaviour was a friend's purchase of a 19th century oil painting of part of the river Tees. Our mission today was to visit a cliff top near Whorlton and take a photo to compare with the painting. We drove to Greta Bridge on the A66 and turned off towards Barnard Castle. We parked in a lay-by at map ref. NZ 069147 next to the Teesdale Way on the south bank of the Tees. We followed the Teesdale Way for about 4.5km to the Whorlton suspension bridge. The original bridge only lasted a few years before being washed away in an exceptional flood. Despite the unusual nature of the flood the builder was blamed and ruined as a result.

There is a board by the bridge listing the charges for crossing the rebuilt bridge. The Tees here is fast flowing and boistrous with rocky cliffs rising over it. We crossed the bridge and continued on the Teesdale Way to map ref. NZ115145 to take our photo of the view over Wycliffe to compare with the recently aquired oil painting. Then we retraced our steps for a few hundred metres and turned to follow the path to the cross roads in Whorlton village. At the cross roads we turned left through the village to join the footpath on the north bank of the Tees at map ref. NZ 105147. We followed this path across farmland and through woods for about 5km to Abbey Bridge at map ref. NZ 066149. The cold squally showers were becoming more frequent now so we decided to cross the bridge and return along the Teesdale Way to the car, leaving out the final loop along the north bank of the river to Barnard Castle and back along the paths and lanes south of the river. The whole route had been about 11km and had taken us about 4 hours including our lunch stop on the cliff top to the west of Whorlton with a very pleasant view up the river Tees in the biting wind and squally rain. As you can see from the photos there were some very nice sunny spells in between

.tolls at Whorlton suspension bridge

Tolls at the Whorlton Suspension Bridge

(For a larger view click on the image)

River Tees near Rokeby Park
River Tees near Rokeby Park
River Greta just before it joins the Tees
River Greta just before it joins the Tees
Confluence of the Tees and Greta
Confluence of the Tees and Greta
A pair of Muscovy Ducks
A pair of Muscovy Ducks
Looking up the Tees Valley
Looking up the Tees Valley from map ref. NZ 093141
Willow with its orange winter bark
Willow with its orange winter bark
The Whorlton suspension bridge
The Whorlton suspension bridge
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Boisterous Tees below Whorlton
Boisterous Tees below Whorlton
Boisterous Tees below Whorlton
Boisterous Tees below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Teesdale Way below Whorlton
Looking upstream from the cliff west of Whorlton
Looking upstream from the cliff west of Whorlton
Century old oaks west of Whorlton
Above: Century old oaks west of Whorlton
Right: Rainbow where the winter sun
meets a squally shower
Rainbow where the winter sun meets a squally shower
Tees approaching Abbey bridge
Tees approaching Abbey Bridge
Abbey Bridge Abbey Bridge

Tees valley below Rokeby Park
Tees valley below Rokeby Park

Part of Whorlton village green
Part of Whorlton village green