Cotherstone started as an agricultural community from Anglo Saxon times, and during the 19th century developed more as a commuter settlement with the coming of the Tees Valley Railway. Many cottages were rebuilt, new houses constructed and shops opened in this period, and the village became a popular centre for exploring the surrounding countryside. Cotherstone cheese is still made locally.
From The Fox and Hounds pub in Cotherstone(1), walk eastwards along the main village street, past the Wesleyan Chapel, post office, and school, to the Village Green. Cross the stone bridge over a stream, and go ahead down a pathway between the houses lining the green. The pathway leads onto a back lane, which you cross to reach a gate into a field. Go through the gate, taking care to close it behind you, and follow the left edge of the field that leads to the Quaker Meeting House, one of the first in the country. Go over two stone stiles and continue across the next field that leads to a wooden gate slightly to the right at the end of the field. Go through into woods and follow the stream to a stone slab footbridge. Before crossing the footbridge, spend some time at the picturesque commemorative pond up a short inline to your left(2). Return to the foot-bridge, cross over and take the narrow rising path to a stile at the top of the bank. Cross over the stile then keep left through the next field to a narrow stile set in a stone wall, which you go through.
Keep straight ahead, and follow the edge of the woodland with the stream below on your left. Continue to the end of the woodland and go through a metal gate abutting the wall, ignoring the stone stile in the wall over to the right. Turn right and follow the edge of the field, past a magnificent Rowan tree(3) (which is one of the ten largest in the country and is fenced off to stop the farm animals eating the bark, which would kill it) to join a grassy track from the farm buildings of Cooper House. Turn right for a little way to join a grassy track from the farm buildings of Cooper House.
At this point turn left down a grass slope to a stile and footbridge over a stream, with lovely views of the River Tees to your right. Cross the footbridge and follow the right edge of a long field. Continue along the path to a stile into woodlands, where remains of a quarry can be seen on the left. Follow the path through the woods, over a stile, and up to join a farm track. Turn right to follow high above the River Tees.
When the track bends left continue ahead along a grassy path, through a wooden gate and then to a small metal gate. Go through and across a farm track, which leads to The Old Mill and river far below you on the right. Follow the path high above the river, going past the tombstone of Abraham Hilton(4), founder of several local charities, who died in 1902 aged 87 years.
Go over a stile into a field, and after passing a group of sheds, you will come to a metal gate. Go through and turn right down the steps through some trees, where in winter you will get a magnificent views of the River Tees at its confluence with the River Balder (in summer you have to go a bit further down). At a junction in the path keep right down the steps and slope to reach the lane, where you turn left and follow it through The Hagg, a public open space which used to be common pasture. High up on your left is Hallgarth Hill, the site of a 12th Century Castle, home of the Fitzhughs, the medieval lords of Cotherstone. Continue up the lane to join the village street opposite The Fox and Hounds where your walk began.
- Distance: 1-5 Miles
- Distance (0-5 Km)
- Grade (Easy)
- Time (1-2 hours)
- Walk Distance - 2 Miles