North Pennine Walks
Date: 26th October 2008
Distance: 10.3 miles
Ascent: 1489 feet
Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY991394
A good walk to Horseshoe Hill and Collier Law, two of the main summits in the Weardale section of the North Pennines.
Route Summary: Stanhope - Wythwaite - Stanhope Burn - Steward Shield Meadow - Horseshoe Hill - Wilkinson's Cut - Fell Haven - Collier Law - Bashaw Rigg - Crawleyside - Stanhope
1. Above some mine workings at Stanhope Burn
2. Horseshoe Hill from Stanhope Burn
3. The upper reaches of Stanhope Burn
4. Looking south along Stanhope Burn
5. On the top of Horseshoe Hill
6. The trig point on Horseshoe Hill
7. Bolt's Law from the road on Meadow's Edge
8. Collier Law from Wilkinson's Cut
9. Looking back along Wilkinson's Cut
10. The trig point on Collier Law
11. The mast and trig point on Collier Law
Walk Detail: After numerous trips to the Lakes this year I decided I really should go somewhere else and my mind was made up when I realised I hadn't been to the North Pennines since January. Having decided on the North Pennines I plumped for this walk as I hadn't really done much walking in the Weardale area.
The forecast was good but I was a bit worried when I parked the car up in Stanhope as it began to rain. As it turned out it did not last long and apart from a five minute shower just below Horseshoe Hill the weather was very good.
After an initial wrong turn at a caravan site I set off along Stanhope Burn whose banks, both wooded and moorland proved to be lovely. In fact visually the latter stages of the Burn proved to be one of the highlights of the walk. I nearly had a soaking while fording East Whiteley Burn but fortunately managed to throw my weight back to the bank when I slipped.
The walk from Horseshoe Hill to Collier Law was for the first half made exceptionally easy by the fantastic path that is Wilkinson's Cut. The latter stages of the climb was a bit rougher, though it was not until I had almost reached the summit that the heather got too deep.
There was not much to choose from in terms of the view from either summit. I think overall Horseshoe Hill’s view of Bolt Law to the west and Derwent Reservoir to the north east just shaded Collier Law’s view of the north east.
The return was fairly easy, again making use of good tracks and eventually the road through Crawleyside. In fact I managed the walk much quicker than I expected.
Not a classic but still a fine walk and a nice reminder of the wild beauty of the North Pennines.