Crimdon Dene – 5th September 2020

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Crimdon Dene is a new walk, suggested by one of our walkers. It is one of the longest walks that we have done, but takes in some of the best bits of County Durham.

The Start

We all met up outside the Castle Eden Inn. This is situated adjacent to the Haswell to Hart Railway Path. After a quick warm up we set off down the railway path.

Martin set off at a fast pace but the track was good, which made for easy walking.

There were plenty of dog walkers out with their dogs, so Julie was happy.

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The Haswell to Hart Railway Path

When the railway path reached the outskirts of Hart Station we crossed the footbridge. Julie and Anne had been looking at mushrooms and listening to birds, so were a bit behind the rest.

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From the footbridge at Hart

Whilst we had been able to see the sea earlier, it was now that we got a proper view. The weather was gorgeous and the view could have been anywhere in the Mediterranean.

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The sea

Crimdon Dene – Beach

Soon we were at the beach. The Coastal Path follow the top of the cliffs but Nordic Walkers don’t pass up the chance of walking on the beach. It’s a wonderful beach but we could only walk a little part of it before it gets a bit rocky. We ascended the steep stairs to the top of the cliff and took some time to get our breath back.

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Us on the beach

The path along the top of the cliff to Denemouth only covers a short distance but the path weaves around several gills, making it much longer. Half way along, at Blackhall Rocks, we stopped for lunch. The views are panoramic here. We were able to see the coast from Sunderland to the north round to Saltburn.

We set off towards Blackhall Colliery after lunch. Remnants of the once iconic colliery are still visible, if you look. By Blue House Gill, Martin spotted some Sea Buckthorn. It is quite distinctive, with its orange berries. He tried to pick some of the berries but they are very soft. We did get to smell the strong bitter orange from the berries. Several of the ladies on the walk remarked how good that would be with a gin.

Castle Eden Dene

When we reached Denemouth, the scenery changed. The coastal shrubs gave way to a verdant valley. We descended to the bottom of the valley. The viaduct carrying the railway to Hartlepool is impressive as it crosses the Dene.

We followed the path towards the viaduct and under it.

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Viaduct over Castle Eden Dene

Soon after the rail viaduct we reached the A1086 and had two choices. Go up and cross the road or go down and through the tunnel. Obviously, down was much more attractive proposition. The only trouble was finding the path. After a couple of false starts and searching, we found it.

When we last did this walk the stream running through the Dene was very high and covered the path through the tunnel, making it impassable. This time it was the complete opposite. The stream was just a trickle and off we went through the tunnel.

Safely out of the tunnel, we continued on, through the beautiful Castle Eden Dene. This walk appeared to be a bit longer than advertised and some noticed. The map calculation was 12 miles but we had just about reached that. It was looking more like over 13 miles. Nevertheless, we continued on, mainly as we had no choice.

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Nearing the end

Back to the start

Before long we reached the Castle. Knowing that we were within spitting distance of the end we experienced a new found vigour and headed off across the fields and back up the railway path to the Castle Eden Inn. After refreshments, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

Hope you enjoyed it. See you at the next one.

Julie and Martin x

If you enjoyed the Crimdon Dene walk, why not take a look at our other walks.

Gallery – Crimdon Dene

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