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Friday, 26 July 2013

Out on the BIke

A trip over to Thornley woods area with the bikes with the intention of cycling along the Derwent Way which takes you over the Nine Arches Viaduct and beyond never been any further than Far Pastures so it should be interesting. Bikes offloaded at Winlaton Mill we headed South you have to cross the river first then uphill to get onto the old railway track, and very soon over the Viaduct , a detour at Far Pastures so we went into the rather large hide there you need a key which can be obtained from the visitor centre which will also fit Shibdon, Clara Vale , Thornley Feeding Station , but as it happens the door was open and to my surprise about 8-9 Photographers all staring into space hoping for the Kingfisher to appear ,it probably would not stay long once 9 cameras set at machine gun mode all went off together personally although I have spent many an hour in a hide ,I couldn't see the point sitting there on a glorious day when there was nothing to see never mind photograph. Well we continued along the track which eventually petered out and we had to cross the road to rejoin it at a sign which said Shotley Bridge and Consett (route 14)its a very pleasant cycle with only  what seemed a slight gradient and eventually we arrived at the edge of Shotley Bridge  where lunch was finished off . There are many paths off to the sides which would be worth exploring with more information ,but we decided to head back and spend some time at the Arches looking for Red Kites, I was surprised at how fast we headed back seeming to go mostly down hill freewheeling a lot of the time ,till I got clever and tried to video with one hand and brake with the other  I left it to late and came off  having just switched off the video as I might have got £250 from YBF. We watched from the Arches for awhile you can if lucky see Purple Hairstreaks in the tops of the Oaks , only 3 Red Kites visible but two Juveniles in the trees was a nice surprise 
There must have been numerous bridges etc built to span the many gaps, this one just beside Gibside
 Giving views over the surrounding countryside far better than my phone camera can capture
 Not sure why this was so wide looks even wider than a double track
 Numerous bridges cross over the track giving the opportunity to go off and explore further

 A small station or halt platforms still visible with steps up to the road crossing over
 That's and impressive span such is the width of the well wooded steep sided valley not sure if theres a stream at the bottom

 Always amazes me at the finish on the stonework , it's built not just to last but look good to
 An old Loco shed which I had not seen on the way along as it's so overgrown

Juvenile Red Kite camera to the bins job

1 comment:

Stewart M said...

WOW! I used to be a Warden on this site! Many years ago, when there was still a coke works in the valley. I watched the chimneys of that factory being knocked down.

Used to watch dippers in the Derwent there.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne