Bearpark to Lanchester Walk, County Durham

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.

Early Morning County Durham

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.

Route Description

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.

Lessons learned

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Buy a Buff to protect your neck in the cold!

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