DATE                                               28.03.11

WEATHER                                      Dry with bright spells

DISTANCE                                      About 8 miles

START /FINISH                             Train station car park (free)


Wolsingham to see the Elephant trees

Last time I was down this way (see Bollihope for info) I caught a glimpse of the elephant trees on some distant hill, now I know that they aren’t really trees made up of elephants but I had this thing that I should really go and pay them a visit, a sort of curtsy call (if you know what I mean).

A quick look at some old maps for a suitable route, proved very interesting  as one had the Weardale way following along the river Wear and an older map had the Weardale way running up from the river to “Sunny side edge” where these trees are then dropping back down to the river at Wolsingham . A quick look at mike’s pie blog soon showed me many other possibilities.

After one cup of coffee I quickly made my mind up to the route.:- which was parking up at the old train station car park at Wolsingham , picking up the new  or old Weardale way , heading up past Ashes house (farm) towdy potts farm up a couple of grassy meadows to sunny side edge here I joined a very well used track running along managed moorland which judging by the amount of grouse that where busy doing grousey things I should think that they do a fair bit of shooting up here , but I could be wrong , it’s just I have never seen so many grouse in one place , at one time I thought that they were getting ready to mug me or something. any way I made my way to the elephant trees, said hello, they didn’t answer but then I didn’t really expect them to, from this point I had to retrace my steps a couple of hundred meters or so and headed downhill on the Weardale way through West Biggine farm down to Harehope quarry and to the river where I re-joined the Weardale way (if I had even left it) which follows the river straight back to Wolsingham.

The weather was sunny with a cooling breeze which made it almost perfect for walking, the paths where all in excellent condition and very well way marked, and lots of stuff to see from old ruins to an abundance of animals, I really enjoyed this walk, not hard walking and I would say suitable for all abilities. I think it was about 8 miles (ish)

A few photos for your enjoyment

Sheep with their lambs


Approaching towdy potts farm (I think)


A couple of lambs (mum was close by keeping an eye on them or me for that matter)

Heading upwards slow but steadily (no steep hills on this walk)


Looking back & down towards Wolsingham


The remains of something (most likely sheep related)


 In one of the fields there was a sign on the gate “beware of the bull” I am very pleased to say that he was in the next field, with a solid wall between us


Grouse, I have never seen so many in one place the moors where crawling with them.


The track on sunny side edge again easy walking


My first sighting of the elephant trees


Getting closer, it was at this point that the Weardale way dropped down, (so it wasn’t much of a detour to see them)


The elephant trees up close



 A few views


 Heading down looking back up towards the trees (there must be a certain position where they look like elephants)


Further down looking back




Looking down towards what I think is frostily


Looking back up


Entering west biggin farm peacock


At hare hope quarry (I was here only a week ago) only this time I will be heading downstream rather than up.


A another photo of this quarry with shaggy cattle


Now walking along the river wear


At this point there is a small caravan site on the right (not shown ) I think that me and my better half will bring ours down here for a short visit , it really is a lovely peaceful area .


Last section of the walk was over these grassy fields that seemed to go on forever (looking back)


Looking forward


 Thank you















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