From Rookhope you can take the exciting but demanding off-road section which climbs steeply past ruins and heads along the edge of Edmundbyers Common, leading down to the Waskerley Way either by road or across a track – the choice is yours.
The second choice is to go via Stanhope, one of Weardale’s more important and historic little market towns. But if you go this way, remember that you’l be facing a swine of a climb up the B6278 to the Waskerley Way, aptly called Crawley Side.
Sleepy backwater that reaped the rail reward
Originally a Bronze Age settlement, it was a tiny village around a cobbled market square until the Stanhope & Tyne Railway was built to transport the industrial produce to Consett and Cleveland along the Waskerley Way. Before the railways, all raw materials were transported by pack horses. Teams of tough little Galloway horses would pick their way over the Pennines and then down into the valleys, the lead horse often having a bell attached to its harness to guide the following horses across the mist-cloaked moors.
The Bike Shop, Terry & Lorraine Turnbull at Mile Post 100 at the start of the Waskerley Way, 5km from Stanhope. 01388 526434.
Durham Dales Visitor Centre
Castle Gardens. Delightful café. 01388 527 650.
Fossilised tree at St Thomas’s Church 350 mil ion years old, found in 1914 in an Edmundbyers mine.
St Thomas’s Church 12th century origins complete with Roman altar and Saxon font.