13b. A circular walk to Cotherstone from Barnard Castle on the banks of the River Tees
Scenes of Teesdale, Co. Durham
This page illustrates Walk 9 "Cotherstone" in Paul Hannon's Walking Country "Teesdale"
You start at the top of the main high street of the market town of Barnard Castle
The walk starts opposite Galgate and you turn down towards the Castle at Scar Top and turn right down the path signposted Cotherstone and onto the Riverside Walk. Galgate is on the site of a Roman road which crossed the River Tees at a ford from what is now the Riverside Walk. In medieval times Galgate lead to the pastures for cattle grazing and the gallows, hence the name Galgate!
On the way down to the banks of the River Tees you pass The Castle on your left.
The Barnard Castle Weir and salmon leap in late Spring!
The first part of the walk follows the eastern bank of the Rive Tees, do not cross the 1893 Tees Aqueduct and footbridge.
Lots of wild garlic,
The route passes by the remains of the great railway viaduct built in 1861 that carried the railway line from Barnard Castle to Kirkby Stephen via Stainmore.
This is a beautiful river walk at any time of the year, in fact in the winter you see much more of the River Tees with all the leaves long gone in autumn.
Just occasionally you come right down the river's edge and then inland through woodland and farmland in the region of East Holme and West Holme.
East Holme House?
Still on the Teesdale Way en-route to Cotherstone
Looking down on the old (ex) Cotherstone Mill, late autumn and late spring at Cotherstone.
Just north-east of the village of Cotherstone you turn around via several footbridges over two rivers to head south-east on the western bank of the River Tees. This is the confluence of the River Tees (above) and River Balder (below)
You can miss out Cotherstone (as we did 1st time) and take a path nearer the river but you can see the spire of Cotherstone's St Cuthbert's Church built in 1881.
2nd time we went through Cotherstone for a cup of tea/coffee in the lovely Fox and Hounds pub in Cotherstone.
The Fox and Hounds on the West Green of Cotherstone
Cotherstone is an attractive, almost one street village in Teesdale, including some nice Georgian houses on the East Green of and the spire of St Cuthbert's Church, Cotherstone. Cotherstone cheese is a celebrated delicacy, and the village was famous for it by at least 1858.
After leaving the East Green, you cross fields to go past the Quaker's Society of Friends Meeting House (1797) and graveyard.
After a few glimpses of the River Tees through the trees, the Cotherstone village route eventually the path rejoins the route that by-passed Cotherstone near Cooper House Farm.
After passing an array of large stones beneath a sandstone cliff you head for Cooper House Farm.
After this there are wide ranging views of the River Tees before once again coming across the magnificent and impressive ruins of the railway viaduct, the former Deepdale Viaduct.
The ruins of the railway viaduct arch are now quite overgrown, pity in a way, but you can still admire the stonework of the masons who made such a wonderful construction. Note curvature and perfect fitting of all the stones!
Further on your return to the banks of the River Tees and in the distance you can see the aqueduct footbridge and beyond it Barnard Castle's walls and towers.
You can cross via the aqueduct-footbridge to make your way back up to the town centre, or, as we did, continue on the road to get a better view of Barnard Castle across on the opposite bank of the River Tees.
You can then cross over the Tees via the two span County Bridge and up into the Town. The stone bridge dates from 1569 and repaired and strengthened in 1771.
You then walk back up the High Street to the start of the walk.
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