The valleys of County Durham are beautiful and yet amazingly quiet to enjoy some wonderful walks. Baldersdale is one such beautiful valley with the River Balder running down through three reservoirs, Balderhead, Blackton and Hury.
It is literally only a few miles from the lovely caravan park I stay at around here at Doe Park. So there was no excuse to head off for an afternoon of walking and taking it all in. Baldersdale is easy to get to and you can drive into the valley from the village of Cotherstone a few miles north of Barnard Castle.
For my walk around I parked up at the bottom front of Hury Reservoir, across the water from the village of Hury and decided to walk up the valley and around the first 2 reservoirs.
Straight away it was Durham Dale greenery combined with the blue of the sky and water. This was going to be a grand day indeed. I headed off along the shores of Hury Reservoir and it didn’t take long to realise how peaceful it all was. The only person I saw the whole way along was a fisherman. The reservoir is apparently stocked weekly with trout so the chances are you could always see fisherman enjoying their time here.
The pathways are easily followed, and keeping the water on your right there was absolutely no need for maps etc. This would make a perfect family walk as you can extend or cut shorter on the circuit depending on how many reservoirs you take in.
it is also one of those walks that would make for a great picnic stop on the way round. Plenty of places to sit with some amazing views across the reservoirs. Next time I come here will be Spring, as the meadows will be lit up with blossom and colour. This part of the world is special for that.
At the end of Hury Reservoir you can carry on around it clockwise, if starting where I did. Or you can carry on up the valley as immediately after, Blackton Reservoir starts. Then at the end of that reservoir the much larger Balderhead Reservoir awaits you. It sits like a gateway to the Durham Dales and beyond.
Looking out up the valley and down the valley from here I just knew I need to come back and explore this whole area properly. It is like a hidden paradise, surrounded by hils and stone walled meadows. Many more miles to be done here over the next visits to the area for sure.
From here I decided to walk back around on the other side of the 2 reservoirs I had walked up beside. I love a circular walk, it doubles the experience and add so much to variety, plus helps fill the day with so many more new feelings and thoughts.
Back around to the car with stops to enjoy the views and the weather. What a lovely day. Miles walked, new valley discovered, new beautiful valley experienced. Now I am ready for discovering a whole lot more, most definitely!
I will say, if you are ever in the Durham Dales then stepping away from the usual honeypots can be an amazing and wondrous thing. The peace and the beauty of these dales are something you should discover.