A leisurely walk, with one steep short hill, through the ever changing woods of Deepdale Wood Nature Reserve; through Lartington Estate with its large Hall; along open fields and finally back through the pine woods. These lead down towards the beck, which is heading for the River Tees, and takes you back to Barnard Castle.
The start of this walk as written is from Barnard Castle. However it can be used as a circular walk from the Caravan Club site at Barnard Castle, the Camping & Caravanning Club site at Lartington, and the private caravan site at Pecknell Farm. As written, the walk takes you through Deepdale Wood Nature Reserve; through the Lartington Estate and open fields; before entering woods again which lead back towards Barnard Castle and the start.
From the Scar Top (1), near the entrance to the castle in Barnard Castle, take the footpath which goes along the side of the Crazy Golf Course, down past the former Gamekeeper’s Cottage and into Flatts Wood, with the River Tees on your left. Cross over the footbridge on the left, which is an aqueduct built in 1893 by the Stockton and Middlesbrough Water Board and known locally as the Silver Bridge. Carefully cross over the road and go through the gate into Deepdale Woods. Continue along the path until just before a ford across a stream, take the right fork and over the footbridge (the narrow path on the right just before the bridge is the one down from the Caravan Club site). Over the bridge turn right and up the hill. Continue forward to the top of the wood, where you will find a gate into a field (2). Go straight ahead to another gate and on to Raygill Farm. On reaching the farmyard, turn left, follow the signpost and then left again into the lane. Follow this lane to a ‘T’ junction (3), with the Caravan & Camping Club site on your right. Turn left at the junction then follow the lane to the right. After about 100yds DO NOT turn left into the farm, but carry straight on through 6 gates (some close together) to a lane which is the route of the old railway line (4). Turn right along the lane and continue until you get to the main road in the village of Lartington. Carefully cross the road and turn right through the village.
At the bend at the bottom of the village keep left (5), then straight through the gap in the hedge. Turn left and you will see Lartington Hall on your right. Stay on this path and then bear left on the marked bridleway which goes over the foot bridge, NOT the path marked to Barnard Castle. You will pass Dairy Cottage on your right. After 25 metres turn right, as signposted, into a field. Keep to the hedge on your right, as you walk the length of this long field (although there is a rather boggy patch halfway along that you might want to avoid). The embankment on the left of this field carried the railway line, which until the 1960s ran from Barnard Castle to Lartington Station where it split into two. One line went to Cotherstone, then Middleton -in-Teesdale and the quarries beyond, and the other went up to Stainmore and over to Cumbria. That must have been an amazing trip.
Pass through a wooden gate and into the farm lane. You are now at Pecknell Farm and its caravan site (6), which is mainly to your left. Continue through two metal gates and you pass the farmhouse on your right. Continue straight ahead through three more gates. The house in front is Pecknell Cottage. You will pass it on your right. Go through the gate and keep straight on through the middle of the field with the telegraph poles. Take the gate into the wood and then the path to your right which leads down through the pine trees towards the beck. Stay on this path, following the beck then the river, until it meets a lane. There will be a house to the left, but turn right and you will soon notice the river Tees on your left. Follow this lane/bridleway to the main road, turn left then immediately left over the Silver Bridge back into the woods. Then up the hill to the right and back to the Scar Top.
- Distance (6-10 Km)
- Time (2-3 hours)
- Walk Distance - 5 miles.