Last weekend we had the first proper snow this Winter. It wasn’t going to hang around for long, so we were out of the house by 8.30am. Our first proper Snow Day in our new home.
A short walk was in order, so we decided to head North taking in Roddymoor village and White Lea farm. About three miles. A doddle without all the white stuff to play in.
The views from the top of Crook are good in normal conditions, but in snow they are magical.
Although there was about three inches of snow, the footpaths had been muddy, so the going was a bit rough – what looked like a smooth track was actually made up of deep, frozen ruts. Not many humans had ventured out, but plenty of animals had. We found the imprints of wings where a blackbird had taken off, mouse and rabbit tracks, and what looked like weasel tracks. I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t take photos, but you’ll just have to believe me about the weasel.
We approached Roddymoor from the West. I think it typifies County Durham well. Built on coal (probably literally), there are two rows of stone terraces and a post-war housing estate. The only thing villagy about it is its size. But then, to my mind villages need a village pond, a shop and a pub, and a higgledy piggledy collection of old cottages (you can take the girl out of Kent, but you can’t take Kent out of the girl). In Durham villages are built around coal or minerals. Purpose built industrial housing.
Roddymoor is not just a housing estate surrounded by countryside however. It’s rural in a typically County Durham style. Any spare bit of land will have a horse grazing on it, as these next two photos show.
We continued Northwards and upwards through White Lea Farm. Until recently this hosted a racing yard. The yard is closed now, but that story is for another day. Roddymoor was built on coal, but coal hasn’t been cast into history here. There’s a ruddy great opencast coal mine above White Lea Farm. A dirty eyesore in my view, but it looked like just another hillside in the snow.
Our route home took us past Roddymoor again. We’d already seen a pony living in what was basically a garden. Our last surprise was a flock of geese in the allotments!
We enjoyed our walk in the snow. There’s a lot of history to Crook. I think I better start learning it.
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