Hard to resist a little known walk which inspired poetry:
O, BRIGNALL banks are wild and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there,
Would grace a summer queen (Sir Walter Scott, ‘Rokeby’ 1813)
The hamlet of Greta Bridge was once a major stop for travellers arriving by horse and carriage. In 1838 the author Charles Dickens spent his first night in Teesdale lodging at Greta Bridge and in 1805 the watercolourist John Sell Cotman ensured the location’s fame when he sketched the local beauty spot.
A public footpath close to the Morritt Arms hotel leads towards Scotchman’s Stone and the woodlands beyond. Walk as far as Brignall Banks or, to extend the walk, continue to Rutherford Bridge where the River Greta can be safely crossed and return on the south bank. A short stretch of road walking is required near Wilson House to reach Greta Bridge starting point.
Location: Greta Bridge (on the A66 approx 2 miles south east of Barnard Castle)
OS Map OL 31