Tuesday 29th September 2020
The other day I drove up to Eastgate, in Weardale, to walk up the Rookhope Burn and photograph a rock. Not any old rock though, this was an outcrop of the Little Whin Sill, an extensive intrusion of volcanic magma, the big brother of which underpins Hadrian’s Wall and is the backdrop to High Force and Cauldron Snout – at a location I’d only just learned about. On the map it looked easy to find but after the caravan park in Eastgate, I struggled to locate what turned out to be a footpath in dire need of maintenance (Durham County Council have been informed). Persistence paid off however and the result was definitely worth it.
Turn Wheel Linn is an enchanting spot where the Little Whin Sill sits neatly on top of a layer of sedimentary rock known as the Three Yard Limestone – like a steak on a plate. With water cascading picturesquely over the top and the mid-afternoon sun glinting through the thick tree cover, it’s so tranquil and photogenic that, after taking photographs, I used my phone to take some video footage simply because it seemed criminal not to.
Whatever my intention was then, after visiting another lovely part of the Rookhope Burn, a bit further upstream – 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.
Enthusiasm however, is a wonderful thing. Yes, I did waste a lot of time but on the whole, I think the result was worth it. It’s certainly inspired me to have another go and it would be a shame to let the effort go to waste. As I say in the video, even if you’re not into geology, you could relax with a cuppa or even meditate to it. It’s certainly proof – if it’s needed at all – that we have some beautiful countryside here in County Durham. It’s up to us to get out there and enjoy it. Happy walking.