The start for Tunstall Reservoir is in Wolsingham. So, we arrived early, only to find Sharon was there already. Along with Sharon, we welcomed several others back.
We started out walking along the side of Waskerley Beck. There are several twists and turns before the path opens up onto fields. This is where we were able to get a bit of pace on. Of course we had to wait when Julie met a dog on its morning walk. They all need to be petted.
We followed the path up road and tracks and through the woods before tackling the first stile. This stile is the biggest ladder stile we’ve seen. It’s twice the height on the far side. We prepared for difficulty but everyone managed it easily.
Continuing on, we got our first sight of Tunstall Reservoir. John mentioned that he had had some salmon out of that reservoir and it was delicious. From here it’s simple walking through fields and over stiles. However, the most innocuous stone stile proved to be the difficult one. Apparently, it’s no good for short legs and one of our crew almost didn’t make it. Eventually, we all made it over and headed for the reservoir.
Part of the walk is around the reservoir and it’s best to start by taking a stroll along the dam. This gives you a great view of the entire reservoir. For the bird watchers, the house martins nesting in the eves of the nearby houses, are a nice sideshow.
The path follows the West side of the reservoir, past the anglers on the bank. Before long the lunch stop is at hand. There are some very inviting benches on a grassy slope at the far end. Luckily, at this point the sun chose to come out.
As soon as we got our lunch out, the ducks and ducklings decided to swim over and join us. Most of them chose to root around in the grass for their lunch but one particularly determined duckling kept coming right up to us, hoping for a free lunch. No chance!
The way back
When we finished lunch, and the ducks had departed, we headed off. Passing the nature reserve, John spotted a great crested grebe sitting on a nest. We then followed the path through Backstone Bank Wood, down the East side of the reservoir.
At the end of the wood there is a little surprise. The last hill of the walk and it’s a steep one. It took a while to get everyone up there but that was it for the hills. All downhill from here.
The rest of the walk is through fields. It’s easy walking but the animals are the hazard. We had to negotiate a field with some young cattle, and a bull. The bull was interested in other things, so wasn’t a problem but the young cattle were flighty and ran about in a herd. Wise to avoid. The net encounter was with a cow with some very young calves. A dangerous situation but Maggie handled it with ease, as she is a dairy farmer’s daughter.
With the tea shop closing time approaching rapidly, we needed to get a step on and before long we were back into Wolsingham and in Peggotty’s.
Thank you all for coming along and great to see some faces returning.
Julie and Martin x
If you liked our Tunstall Reservoir walk why not take a look at our other walks.
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