|Doing the Locomotion Way
||[Feb. 8th, 2015|10:19 pm]
Yesterday was bright and sunny, and since today promised to be the same, I suggested to durham_rambler that we should go out; and since he had mentioned that the Council had created a new route called the Locomotion Way, which wasn't long and wasn't difficult, we thought we could probably manage that. (It is altogether too long since we have done any walking worth the name; even our lovely pre-Christmas walk in London was only a couple of miles, though we spent all afternoon over it).
The Locomotion Way runs alongside the railway between Shildon and Newton Aycliffe, and is being presented as primarily utilitarian: "The three-metre wide Locomotion Way is a fast track for commuters by bike or on foot to get to work or school being exactly half the distance of the road route between the two towns." We agreed that we'd park at the railway museum in Shildon, and see whether any of the paths on the map would be a practical alternative to walking the same route there and back. This is something on which we continually disagree: durham_rambler hates to turn round and retrace his steps, and I think that sometimes it's preferable to the alternative. Also, that a route looks entirely different when you are walking in the opposite direction. Noetheless, on this occasion he was right.
We found a footpath that ran along and above the railway, along the field edge:
It had been frosty enough overnight that what might have been mud was still frozen to firm walking, not icy but there were still very occasional patches of snow, and the puddles were crunchy. The path descended to the edge of a quarry (this was the slippery bit), then we turned up a lane where a few snowdrops were emerging, and so out into Newton Aycliffe. A brief walk along the road brought us to the point where by squeezing round a gate and ignoring a notice telling us that this was not a dedicated highway, we were able to pick up the Locomotion Way without going all the way to the station - and from there it was an easy but not very interesting walk back to Shildon.
durham_rambler calculates that we walked 7km or 4⅓ miles: he made a map.
We dropped in on the museum, mostly just for bacon sandwiches at the café, though we did admire the film star - an engine in fake livery, which had starred in The Railway Children. And we made a detour on the way home to get a better look at a sculpture we had once seen from the road and wondered "What is THAT?" - and discovered that since it stands in the middle of a thicket and is completely inaccessible, it must be the artist's intention that you see it from the road and wonder "What is THAT?"
So, going out: a success and we should do more of it.