Esh-Quebec circular walk, near Durham

I set out with my friends Tom and Terry for one of our country walks. Today we headed for the Esh, Quebec and Langley park area which is located about six miles west of Durham. The walk is a circlular route and is published on the Esh Parish Council web site at

Terry had printed off their map. The day started in typical fashion for us; we failed to find the car park at the start of the walk. Eventually Terry stopped the car and asked an extremely helpful couple for directions, which they proceeded to give in some considerable detail and a great deal of confidence. The upshot of this was that we found the car park. We also met them again and got some further advice in terms of how to set off on the walk. After 10 or 15 minutes, we began to doubt the soundness of the advice that we had just been given. True, we were walking in some pretty countryside, but where the hell were we?

A young woman approached us on horseback, and Terry asked her the way. I noticed that she was deeply engrossed in a mobile phone conversation and I had never before seen an instance of that. Tom has just produced a book of photographs of people talking and texting on mobile phones. We both felt that she would have been a good subject for him. I wonder if this practice is widespread. Anyway, she interrupted the flow of her chat to tell us that we had obviously lost our way; she advised that we turn immediately and retrace our steps, setting off in the opposite direction, altogether.

Horsewoman in mobile phone conversation

I don’t think any of us get too upset about these little hiccoughs. Getting lost is all part of the fun of these rambles. As we were walking back, I noticed a field that had a delightfully curvy line to it.

Curvy field

Early in the morning, the weather was a little chilly for a summer’s day. I’m not sure whether Tom felt cold or weather he was making a fashion statement, but he treated us to a view of his hat, which he plonked firmly on his head. I have to say it is a mighty fine hat, although Terry seemed to think he should have some of those dangling corks bouncing from the brim.

Tom and his HAT

Walking through the woods we saw plenty of clumps of willow herbs. I think this one is called rosebay. I very much like the purple flowers, and I have some growing in my garden. Terry and I had a discussion as to whether it should be regarded as a garden weed or not. I prefer to think of it as a wild flower. I suppose it would not be at home in a very formal, cultivated English garden but I can’t see anything wrong with letting it grow in amongst the more haphazard plantings of a cottage garden.

Clump of rosebay willowherb

Wind farms have now become a familiar sight in the countryside. I quite like them but Terry thinks they spoil the view.

Rural wind power

When we got to Esh, we met up with some ostriches on a farm and I must admit I was rather surprised to see them.

The ostrich

Walking on beyond we found some benches to sit on and have our lunch, just by the church. Tom had bought some excellent pork pies from a shop he had visited in Hexham. I handed round some rather unimaginative ham and tomato baguettes I had put together when I got up this morning. We pushed on to Quebec village and by this time we had several long straight sections to the public footpath. Here are Tom and Terry striding out.

Tom and Terry step out along the straight path

We passed through several farms and had frequent close encounters with the cows in the fields. The final leg of the walk back to the start followed a disused rail track along the Lanchester Valley line. The sun had come out, and Terry put the roof of his car down. Although I had sat in the front coming, I sat in the back going home. Here are a couple of pictures I took on the return journey. One is of Terry, at the wheel.

Terry at the wheel, on our way home

The other picture I want to show you is a slightly surprising shot of me and Tom caught in the wing mirror as we sped along in the car.

John snaps himself snapping Tom

As usual, we all enjoyed our day out. Talk to you later, my dear blogophiles.

One Response to “Esh-Quebec circular walk, near Durham”

  1. Linda Turnbull Says:

    I quite like the wind turbines on the hill but I do understand what Terry means. Paul and Gillian also like the turbines.

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