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The Teesdale Way – Section 06

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Distance: 6.7 km (4.2 miles) | Profile: Gently undulating | Going: Generally good though muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through woodlands, parkland and farmland | General Stores: Barnard Castle

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Section 6 of the Teesdale Way is 6.7 km (4.2 miles) from Barnard Castle to Whorlton Bridge in County Durham. It is relatively short and sheltered with few inclines of any significance and reasonably good surfaces in most conditions.

From the car park at Demesnes on the southern outskirts of Barnard Castle we continue east along the trail following the river past Demesnes Mill Farm to the road at Abbey Bridge opposite the ruins of the premonstratensian monastery of Egglestone Abbey; Abbey Mill and Bow Bridge lie close to it. Just to the north of the trail, close to Barnard Castle, is the Bowes Museum. The quarries along this part of the river have exploited a type of limestone known as Egglestone Marble that is similar to the Frosterley Marble found in Weardale and which also decorates many religious buildings around the country.

Further east along the river we arrive at the country estate of Rokeby Park; together with Greta Bridge further south this is the part of Teesdale that is so profoundly associated with the artists Turner and Cotman and the poet Sir Walter Scott. In the 14th century the estate belonged to Sir Thomas de Rokeby, one of the victors of the Battle of Neville’s Cross.

On crossing Dairy Bridge with its Prospect House we can look a short way downstream to see the much eulogised ‘meeting of the waters’ of the River Tees and River Greta; many of the huge boulders lying in the water were left here by the great flood of 1771. Shortly after, we get a fine view of Mortham Tower before the final stretch to Whorlton Bridge that provides an impressive finale to this section of the Teesdale Way.