The Weardale Way – Section 02
Distance: 7.2 km (4.2 miles) | Profile: Flat | Going: Easy on sheltered trails, tracks and lanes
General Stores: Wearhead; St. John’s Chapel; Westgate
Section 2 of the Weardale Way is 7.2 km (4.2 miles) from Cowshill to Westgate in Weardale, County Durham. This section is relatively flat, sheltered and pastoral slightly untypical of the terrain normally experienced or sought at this point in the dale.
Leaving Burtreeford Bridge south on the farm track we can view or glimpse (depending on the season) the unsung Burtreeford Falls in the gorge under the bridge. After a pleasant walk along the river’s floodplain we arrive at Wearhead and Wearhead Bridge where as the title suggests, the River Wear begins in name. On leaving the bridge along the trail we immediately pass the site of the former Wearhead Station.
Crossing the river at West Blackdene we continue on road, track and trail to Coronation Bridge where, on the other side, we find the Weardale Museum, John Wesley’s outdoor pulpit and High House Chapel. A kilometre further down the road, St John’s Chapel has a store and a couple of pubs together with an unusually interesting war memorial.
Back on the riverside trail we pass the attractive ford at Bridge End Falls before a long trek across often muddy fields to join the road into Daddry Shield. Crossing the river once more we continue alongside the river then over fields on good trails to Haswicks Bridge before re-crossing the river into Westgate. Turning left along the front street brings us to the ‘candle house’ and the end of this section.
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