The Teesdale Way – Section 11
Distance: 10 km (6.2 km) | Profile: Gently undulating | Going: Generally good, muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through farmland and woodlands | General Stores: Middleton One Row
Section 11 of the Teesdale Way is 10 km (6.2 km) from Middleton One Row (NZ 352122) to Aislaby (NZ 410122). Leaving The Front at Middleton One Row we continue east along the top of the village green then descend on the trail through privately owned gardens to join the River Tees. The walking now is flat and easy along the edge of several large arable fields that populate the river’s wide floodplain at this point.
In the distance appears the striking form of Low Middleton’s octagonal 19th century dovecote that is our next objective. However before we reach it and depending on the time of year, we may have to negotiate several dense patches of giant hogweed. The sap of this plant creates photo-sensitivity in any skin it comes into contact with, resulting in blistering hours or days later – so take care. Once there (on the embankment near the dovecote), looking across the river we can see the isolated cabin that is the Environment Agency’s gauging station at Low Moor.
The route now turns inland to cross the low ridge of the river terrace at New Grange Farm (this constitutes our climbing for the day). After rejoining the river we pass quite close to, though out of sight of, the vestigial remains of the medieval village of Newsham. The trail through Newsham Wood itself is eroding and has had to be shored-up and duck-boarded in places. Despite this it can still be muddy and is well populated with nettles in the summer months.
Out of the wood we encounter the first of a series of unobtrusively carved ‘Sail to the Sea’ stiles that recur at intervals as the trail faithfully traces the northern bank of the river passing the village of Low Worsall on the south side until it arrives at the finish on the access road past the riverside cabins at Aislaby.