Bearpark to Lanchester Walk, County Durham
December 24, 2019
Winter Walking in County Durham
Preparation for the Walk in County Durham
In preparation for this I planned a route in OS Maps that was a circular route that would have taken me from Ushaw Moor around Bearpark, back into the Deerness Valley and then back to Ushaw Moor.
Total distance 10.3miles – time just over 5 hours. I decided to start this walk early for two reasons. One was to practice navigating in the dark. I don’t have any experience of night navigation so I thought that practice earlier in the morning meant that if I got hopelessly lost, I could just wait until it got light to re-oriantate myself. Two, so I could do other things with my day as well, after I had walked.
The weather was cold, but not freezing. When I get my thermometer I will be able to measure this better. There were several short rain showers. I’m so glad I bought myself a new waterproof jacket.
This was tricky. Lowland navigation is difficult as there are so many paths and so few obvious signs and waymarkers to see if you are not on a designated route. I managed pretty well with the navigation, I didn’t get lost but I did take a lot longer to find things like field boundaries and buildings in the dark. I could not have completed this walk without my OLight Headtorch.
Change of Plan
I changed my plans as I ended up walking to my sister-in-laws house to meet my wife and family. This was fine and I was able to do that no problem. Thanks to having a OutXE Power bank (see here for the reason why I needed this!) I was able to organise this on the go and change plans easily.
Early start to practice some trickier navigation in the dark (5-7am) then simpler navigation in the daylight (8-10:30am). Starting from Ushaw Moor headed to the ruins of Beaurepaire Priory, then back behind Bearpark Village, and toward Langley Park. Alongside Langley Park using public footpaths through a local nature reserve. Along the disused railway paths from Langley Park to the village center in Lanchester, County Durham.
- Navigation takes a lot longer in the dark! Not being able to see things like field boundaries easily, really slowed me down with lots of checking and double checking my location.
- Bring better food – I brought some chocolate bars and coffee. I think next time I need a more substantial snack maybe some trail mix or porridge bars.
- Buy a Buff to protect your neck in the cold!
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