Sunday 15 May 2016. A dose of “man flu” has laid me low for a couple of days. It was particularly bad on Friday when I got through a box of tissues and many Lemsip drinks. My eyes were constantly watering and I had to spend the day in the caravan with all of the curtains drawn to reduce the intensity of the light.

I wasn’t quite 100% today so decided that a short 6 mile walk along the Simonside crags would be more than enough for me. Starting from the Lordenshaw car park there was a steady 300ft uphill pull to The Beacon, the first of a number of minor summits on the ridge heading west. There then followed an undulating walk of just over a mile taking in Dove Crag and Stell Crag before finishing on Simonside Crag (1,410ft). The last time I was here, just under 3 years ago, I did the ridge walk in the opposite direction which involved some scrambling to get to the top of Simonside. This came a something of a shock to Josephine who wasn’t used to climbing. I can report that there has been some footpath improvement work since then and the scramble is now a finely engineered set of steps making for much easier going both up and down.

Having descended from Simonside, I followed a forestry road at the foot of the crags before turning off through Joe’s Wood where I heard my first Cuckoo of the year. This brought me onto the Sandstone Way which, in turn, lead me across farmland and back on to the St Oswald’s Way to finish the walk.

Simonside – walk route



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