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Keeping it Local - Bolt's Law & Horseshoe Hill

Keeping it Local - Bolt's Law & Horseshoe Hill


Postby Christo1979 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:31 am

Date walked: 21/05/2020

Time taken: 3.75

Distance: 17.3 km

Ascent: 370m

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While the glorious weather remained and restrictions continued to ease, it was off back to Weardale with a plan to complete the Durham Deweys - I had Bolt's Law and Horseshoe Hill still to climb. We parked at the end of the Waskerley Way, near Dursands Quarry, and followed the bridleway to the west for a short time - marked Wilkinson's Cut on the map. We'd planned a fairly lengthy circular rather than a there-and-back walk, so we took the feint path down Whiteley Rigg until we met Stanhope Burn. Losing height did of course mean that we had to plod back up the other side, and recent heather burnings meant the path wasn't clear, but luckily you can't really get lost and so we stomped straight up the hillside until we met the good track on Cot Hill (another quarry remnant, I think). From here the walking was easy, and we could enjoy the views over Stanhope Common towards Bolt's Law.

ImageStanhope Common by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

After passing an impressive shooting hut, the track winds its way around Long Law, before joining the Boltslaw Incline: yet another remnant of the area's industrial past, taking the form of a railway bed straight up the hillside. Once at the top, you're greeted by interesting ruins of the old engine house and workers' shelters. I find this kind of industrial architecture fascinating, and it serves as a reminder that these hills were once teeming with human life and industry. Today, however, I hardly saw a soul and could have heard a pin drop. Well, when the breeze let up, anyway.

ImageMining remnants by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

Continuing along past the ruins, the track levels out and ultimately veers right, leading back to the bridleway we started on. So it took a little detour over more burned heather to reach the summit of Bolt's Law. For such a modest hill, the views were fantastic and we took a lunch break at the currick (the trig point offers less impressive views), enjoying views all the way to Cross Fell and beyond. Stunning clear conditions lately!

ImageBolt's Law by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

We left Bolt's Law with some reluctance, and headed down over the heather to rejoin the track - making use of the scorched/clear ground to avoid disturbing nesting birds. It was a straightforward wander along past Dead Friars, and after leaving the track we made our way to the minor road and up the modest slope to reach the summit of the next Dewey, Horseshoe Hill. A much less impressive hill, complete with masts in a fenced compound, slightly boggier ground, but still some pleasant views from the trig.

ImageLooking towards Horseshoe Hill by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

After a brief rest, we took a pretty straight line down to rejoin the original track, rather than continue across the soft ground and on to the road again. From here it was a lazy stroll all the way back to the car park, stopping now and then to enjoy the views across Stanhope Common. It's an interesting circular, in that you can almost see the entire route open up before you no matter where you are (views only masked when you're on the Boltslaw Incline), and it felt great to be out for another substantial walk. If this continues, it might be time to cast my eyes a little further, to some Hewitts...
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Christo1979
Walker
 
Posts: 202
Munros:12   Corbetts:34
Grahams:31   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:94   Hewitts:134
Wainwrights:157   Islands:25
Joined: Oct 21, 2017
Location: Gateshead

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