Tuesday, 29th September 2020
Today I drove up to Eastgate, in Weardale, to walk up the Rookhope Burn and photograph a rock. Not any old rock though, this was one of the few outcrops of the Little Whin Sill in Weardale. The Whin Sill itself is a massive intrusion of volcanic magma which underpins Hadrian’s Wall and is the backdrop to some of England’s most spectacular waterfalls at High Force and Cauldron Snout. On the map it looked easy to find but hardly had I left Eastgate than I was struggling on a footpath in dire need of maintenance. Persistence paid off though and the result was definitely worth it.
Turn Wheel Linn is an enchanting spot where the Little Whin Sill pops out on top of a layer of sedimentary rock known as the Three Yard Limestone – a bit like a steak on a plate. It’s so tranquil that, after taking photographs, I used my phone to get some video of the picturesque falls lit gently by what little sunshine managed to make its way through the thick tree cover- simply because it seemed criminal not to.
Somewhat inspired, I continued up the burn to a location where it flows over a layer of sedimentary rock known as the Four Fathom Limestone – I’d decided that a video would have to be made and was already wondering how much time I’d waste polishing my extremely rudimentary video editing skills. I think the result was worth it though; it’s certainly inspired me to have another go. As I note in the video, even if you’re not into geology, you could relax with a cuppa or even meditate to it. We have some beautiful countryside here in County Durham: all we need to do is get out and enjoy it. Happy walking.