Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 22, 2012

A Day Trip to Darlington

Well, with a day in hand due to last weeks unseasonal weather, we decided to use the day for a cycle trip but not too far from home in case the weather turned foul. We departed at 10.00am complete with our day trip kit – flask, frying pan,kettle, small gas stove and cheese sandwiches ready made in  individual toaster bags.

We bought the Three Rivers cycle map a few weeks ago and decided to use it , so that we could explore roads we hadn’t used before despite cycling in our home area for many years. We set off through Hemlington and around the lake into Stainton. All the while, the temperature was at about 10C with a brisk easterly wind, as we continued along on NCN route 65 through Thornton and Maltby before riding into Hutton Rudby. Here we were able to pick up NCN route 52 through the villages of Crathorne, Appleton Wiske, Lower Dinsdale and on the Neasham.  Despite all the bad weather , the wild flowers are still blooming.

cowslips and bluebells

It had warmed slightly at 12C but the wind also seemed to pick up. We stopped in the shelter on the corner at Nesham  and made our first lunch. A  couple who were getting the bus, didn’t believe we were making cheese toasties until they saw the evidence. They had a chat about where we were going and even though our next destination was only about 6 miles away, they had never heard of the village. Once fed and watered we were off following NCN52 through to Cleasby. As we climbed up to the village we were able to see and hear the A1M and the A66M  but were off the beaten track into this small village.

Once through we turned east towards Darlington going through Stapleton before getting to the main road. It can be a bit tricky crossing the road but once across, the cycle tracks and signage are good. We headed for the town centre and picked up NCN route 14 which uses an old rail track to take you back through the Whinnies nature reserve and along to Long Newton. We intended to stop in another bus shelter, but they were all being painted, so it was on to Elton.

the two of us in Elton

Again another toastie stop before heading off through Stockton and along the river into an even stiffer breeze. The sun did try to break through the clouds and the temperature rose to 15C but unfortunately the wind chill still made it feel cold.

We cycled 55 miles which is only 20miles less than our total for the Scottish trip. A good day. Interestingly, it was 35miles to Cleasby following the cycle routes 65 and 52 but only 20 miles using route 14 for the return journey.

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