Leader: Richard Harris Distance 9 miles
Mud mud, glorious mud. Yes, it was very muddy and nine peeps turned up to enjoy the mild weather and plenty of mud. We parked up in Low Coniscliffe village and walked down the lane to the bridge to cross the A1 which as usual was quite busy. From there we walked down through the fields to the river Tees. The river was not very high but it was still deep enough for anyone to swim in but no one took the plunge today. We then made our way to High Coniscliffe and the mud was now very sticky. We were all a little taller once we got to the road. However we soldiered on up to the church wall and took our first break. It was nice to see Emmie out with Michael and she enjoyed the walk.
Once we finished our break we walked down to the Spotted dog pub which is all closed with a For Sale sign outside. Then through the lane passing the tennis court where a few people were enjoying knocking a ball over the net. Then surprise, surprise the mud got worse and John Hall managed to slip over a few times but was still smiling so we plodded on to Arch Deacon Newton and had our lunch. Lunch over and we walked down towards te Branksome area of Darlington. The bridge under the A1 was flooded so we used the bridge just a few yards away, walking down the lane parallel to the A1 we got to Mowden path that is by the beck and had a good stroll down the path, eventually getting to a fallen tree across the path. None of us wanted to go under but Emmie managed to get under it with no trouble at all. While we bypassed it and joined Emmie back on the path, then across a bridge along the fields and back to Low Coniscliffe. We all then went to the Baydale Beck public house where we met up with Ian and Eaine for a well deserved drinky poohs. Upon checking we actually clocked up 9.5 miles.