A damp and misty walk

Slow Ways Route – Shidar one – Darlington to Shildon

Distance 20km / 12mi

I made use of the coffee making facilities as I packed up this morning. The first part of my walk was through the town.

It was very quiet, not just because it was early but also because it was a Sunday. I hadn’t considered the nice bits of the town but as I crossed the river I thought this was a nice natural moment.

My main priority was breakfast of course and thankfully there was a handy Wetherspoons on my route. While I was there I checked my phone to discover I had just reached my fund raising target. It was a great boost at the beginning of my day. I walked out of town and the surroundings opened up with more greenspace.

I came to the edge of the town then I walked beside then under the A1

It was a mixture of tracks, fields and pasture until I reached Shildon. There was a fair bit when I transformed into intrepid explorer mode to find my way along overgrown sections. My main impression was how beautiful the countryside was though distant views were spoilt by the dull and damp weather. I had another moment beside still waters.

I then passed through the site of a medieval village at Walworth. If it hadn’t been marked on the map it would have just been more humps and bumps in the field.

It was all up and down which highlighted how different Co Durham is.

There was a final bit of overgrown path then into Shildon.

I had booked an Airbnb here and there was a bit of delay and toing and froing to get checked in. When I did get it I was surprised and pleased to discover I had the place to myself. I had heard from the vicar here and even though I had already booked accommodation I did get invited for a meal that evening. They insisted they pick me up and drop me off which was wonderful but weird too when I was walking every day.

I very much enjoyed the relaxed hospitality, conversation and meal. They were having a short ‘Zoom’ service that evening which I was pleased to be a part of. It was a wonderful way of ending the day.