Teesdale Way Section 7 (Whorlton to Gainford)
Section 7 of the Teesdale Way links Whorlton Bridge, just south of the village of Whorlton, to the much bigger village of Gainford further down the dale. The trail sticks fairly close to the river for much of the journey, undulating steeply before the village of Winston and thereafter flirting at river level. The quirky medieval field systems synonymous with the middle dale are exchanged for expansive, gently rolling, arable fields with occasional riparian woodland.
THERE IS A GPS ROUTE FILE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SECTION AS A FREE DOWNLOAD FROM THE SHOP.
Stats at a Glance
Distance 9.2 km (5.7 miles) | Height Gain 137 m/450 ft | Maximum Elevation 133 m/436 ft | Profile Undulating | Going Generally good though muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through woodlands and farmland | Supplies Gainford
From the toll house at the end of Whorlton Bridge, the trail heads briefly uphill before turning off to the right at the distinctive hairpin bend. After descending to cross Whorlton Beck via the stepping stones, it continues past Whorlton Lido and the Ferryman’s Cottage before making a sharp turn opposite Waterside Cottages on the other side of the river, to climb steeply into the fields above. Staying along the escarpment it passes Wycliffe Hall, again on the other side of the river, followed by the impressive landmark of Howbury Scar ever in danger of donating more of itself to the river below. Stubb House stands dignified and aloof across the fields to the north.
After all that excitement it’s a reasonably gentle, undulating walk through more fields and a bit of woodland to the road at the northern end of Winston Bridge. On the other side, the trail passes below the village of Winston and with the exception of a short, steep, ‘up-and-down’, continues at river level on a good trail, through quiet riparian woodland. Steps lead onto the embankment at West Tees Railway Bridge which in turn leads to the road. After a few hundred metres on the footpath alongside the fast and busy A67, there’s a short, woodland detour to enjoy the sulphurous delights of Gainford Spa on the at a quiet little spot on the banks of the river.
Back on the road, the final approach to Gainford village offers a grand view of Gainford Hall. Across the river, in the distance, is a medieval dovecote much like the one you pass on entering the village. The distant one is located in front of the Chapel of St Lawrence which served the deserted medieval village of Old Richmond. The village cross – across the green from St Mary’s Church – marks the end of Section 7 of the Teesdale Way.