Walk Day 41 – Middleton-in-Teesdale to Langdon Beck

Day 41 – May 19 Middleton-in-Teesdale to Langdon Beck
 Weather: Sun and Cloud  B&B: Langdon Beck Hotel (£40)
 Departed: 11:00 Arrived: 15:00  Walked: 3h 11m Rested: 0 hr 45m
 Distance Today: 9.62 mi / 15.48 km  Total Distance: 646.52 mi / 1040.47 km
 % Complete: ~ 56.42%  Pint of the Day: Black Sheep Bitter
 GPS Track for: Day 41

Today’s walk to Langdon Beck is just under 10 miles and so I decided to spend the morning writing up yesterday’s blog, answering emails and booking more accommodation. I’ve now booked my last b&b in England and have sorted out a few in Scotland as well.

I was back on the Pennine Way at 11am and making my way west and north along the Tees valley. There was quite a bit of cloud around but it was warm and there were large patches of blue sky starting to open up. The first few miles were dead easy as they followed the river through farmland and small woodlands. As I moved up the valley the wind picked up and this was a good thing as it kept the swarms of pesky flies at bay.

The River Tees meandered along at a fairly gentle pace, through small sets of rapids, until the valley began to narrow. At this point the water became deeper and faster and larger rapids began to appear. Before long I found myself at Low Force, a set of two small yet impressive waterfalls. The area surrounding it is in a National Nature Reserve and so there were quite a few visitors about for a Wednesday afternoon. I crossed a small suspension bridge and took a break on the rocks overlooking the falls. Shortly thereafter a group of 8 to 10 adventure seekers, fully kitted out in wet suits and helmets, proceeded to jump off the cliffs and into the River Tees. I’m not sure if they were “canyoning” or just jumping off the cliffs but they were definitely having fun.

The trail then climbed up above the river and tracked through an area known for its “Arctic / Alpine” flora. Within a mile or so I found a fantastic lookout point to observe High Force as it thundered over the rocks. I must say this was one of the more impressive waterfalls I’ve seen in England and I assume it’s even more so when the water levels are high.

The next surprise was in the form of an active stone quarry just up river from High Force. Not something I expected to see directly adjacent to a nature reserve but then again I suspect the former has been there longer than the latter. At this point the Pennine Way temporarily leaves the River Tees and climbs to cross a hill and several fields before descending steeply to a bridge near Forest-in-Teesdale. After a short walk along the river I left the PW and headed along a track to the main road and into the hamlet of Langdon Beck.

The Langdon Beck hotel is a very friendly place and a CAMRA recommended pub as well. My room overlooks the valley that I will be walking up tomorrow as I make my way to Dufton and one of the most spectacular sights of the entire trip: High Cup.

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