Northern Echo Walk
Shacklesborough, Baldersdale, North Pennines
4.75 miles / 3 hours.
Open Access Land (no dogs) - OS Explorer Map OL31
Cotherstone Moor is a vast expanse of predominantly grassy moorland, punctuated by small, rocky and very distinctive flat-topped hills, of which Shacklesborough is the most dramatic. This moorland rises up to the south of Baldersdale, and forms part of a much larger stretch of moorland that separates this tributary of Teesdale from Stainmore to the south; it is a wide, wild and windswept place! From Balderhead Reservoir, a stony track leads up to Water Knott (outdoor centre), from where a grassy quad bike track takes you across grassy moorland (Open Access Land) to the foot of the steep slopes of Shacklesborough via Galloway Rigg and a sheepfold. It is then a short, sharp and rocky climb to the top with its Trig Point and large cairn, from where there is a magnificent panorama across the North Pennines. From the Trig Point and cairn on this flat-topped tor of more resistant gritstone there are far-reaching views across the hills of the northern Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines and, on a clear day, the Lakeland mountains and the North York Moors on the horizon. This is a wonderful spot, a place to sit awhile and take in the wonderful views. In fact, Shacklesborough is a hill that I have wanted to climb for many years, and it did not disappoint.
There are two ways back from the top; either re-trace your steps along the quad bike track or strike north across the boggy tussock grass to pick up some small streams and quad bike tracks that take you back to Water Knott via Low Round Sheepfold and Gill Sike, albeit with wet feet and trousers! A memorable walk in the North Pennines.
Photos (copyright Mark Reid)