North Pennine Walks
Date: 2nd February 2007
Distance: 9 miles
Ascent: 1282 feet
Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY946257
A nice little walk to Harter Fell, one of the lower summits in the North Pennines, with a fine descent along the Pennine Way.
Route Summary: Middleton-in-Teesdale - Tees Railway Path - Grassholme Reservoir - Pennine Way - Harter Fell - Pennine Way - Middleton-in-Teesdale
1. Looking down at the River Lune
2. Grassholme Reservoir
3. The western end of Grassholme Reservoir
4. Hungry sheep
5. Grassholme Reservoir from Harter Fell
6. The trig point on Harter Fell
7. Monk's Moor and Middleton-in-Teesdale
8. Looking back to Harter Fell from the Pennine Way
9. Teesdale from the Pennine Way
Walk Detail: This was my first walk in Teesdale and the first time I'd been in the North Pennines for nearly two years.
It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed the first section of the walk part of which included a section along the former Tees railway line that goes over the Lune Viaduct.
The waters of Grassholme Reservoir were bright blue and again I enjoyed the pleasant stretch along the southern shore. While it was a bit muddy in places I was very surprised not to see any people and was even more surprised when I nearly got ambushed by hungry sheep just as I approached the bridge crossing the western end of the reservoir.
From the reservoir I joined on to the Pennine Way which I followed through a number of farm fields until I got to access land from where I struck off to the summit of Harter Fell.
While the view to the Cross Fell group to the west was blocked by closer fells there was still an excellent panorama in the other three directions. North was the wide sweep of Teesdale, to the east the moors above Middleton and to the south a distant prospect of the northern Dales. Quite prominent in the earlier part of the climb was Shacklesborough which I made a mental note of to climb sometime.
As there was quite a cold wind at the top and the trig was insufficient shelter I ate my lunch south east of the summit in a small hollow before heading back to the Pennine Way. The final section across Crossthwaite Common was as good as Hannon claimed in his Teesdale walking guide. It was a nice easy descent on a fine path with excellent views.
While Harter Fell is one of the lesser summits in the area I enjoyed this enough for it to spark a flurry of walks in the area over the following month.