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Becks and Burns

Killhope Burn at Wearhead in Weardale © Metaforz Photography 2013

The terms ‘beck’ (Norse) and ‘burn’ (old English) both mean ‘stream’ and both are encountered prolifically in County Durham. Interestingly ALL of the major tributaries that flow into the River Wear west of the dales market town of Wolsingham are known as ‘burns’. Pictured is the Killhope Burn; this meets the Burnhope Burn (outflowing from Burnhope Reservoir) at Wearhead where they combine to become the River Wear which goes on to flow across the entire county towards Sunderland and the North Sea. The short walk from the picturesque bridge and waterfall at Burtreeford through the intake fields to Wearhead is particularly pleasant and forms part of the long-distance trail known as the Weardale Way.

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