The Teesdale Way – Section 12
Distance: 8.5 km (5.3 miles) | Profile: Gently undulating | Going: Generally good, muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through farmland, woodlands and parkland | General Stores: Yarm
Section 12 of the Teesdale Way is 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from Aislaby (NZ 410122) to Preston Park, Eaglescliffe (NZ 430156). From the access road to the riverbank at Aislaby we continue downstream on the trail alongside the river still overlooked by the flat terrace that has been with us since Section 11 and which shows quite clearly just how the river might have run long ago.
Soon the town of Yarm appears on the opposite bank together with the church of St Mary Magdalene and just a few of the 43 arches of the viaduct that runs the length of the old town. After reaching an access road the previously flat trail then pulls upwards under the viaduct to meet the A67 at the northern end of Yarm bridge that has crossed the river here since 1400. Across the bridge, the old part of the town is crowded onto a narrow spit of land around which the river flows.
The trail stays on the north side of the river and crosses the road, passing through the beer garden of the pub opposite to follow what used to be a tidal river at this point but which is now regulated by the barrage at Stockton.
Pleasure craft use this part of the river giving it a distinctly different feel although the trail itself remains as flat as it was when we started. This changes shortly afterwards however when it turns inland and makes a short detour into Egglescliffe to avoid the golf course, before dropping back to the river to the finish of the section at Preston Park.