We are happy with any excuse to visit Teesdale and explore this lovely valley a little bit more and so set off for Cotherstone (pronounced to rhyme with fun not phone) in a cheerful mood, looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones. Yes, this was the autumn get together of the Devon Owners group.
We were staying at the lovely and welcoming Doe Park Caravan Site just a ten minute walk from Cotherstone. For someone so hopeless remembering names there were so many Devon ‘vans [and their owners] at this meet it was hard to keep up with who was who, we kept the attendance list close by all weekend and apologise to everyone whose name we got wrong.
Our welcome was warm and very genial. Normally when we arrive on a campsite the first thing we do [being addicted to a cuppa] is put the kettle on and have a cup of tea. Parking on our pitch on Friday afternoon we managed to get the kettle on, but it was over an hour before we had a long enough break in neighbours popping over to say hello and could actually make that brew.
Of course, we did some walking and while many people walked or cycled into the delightful Barnard Castle, we decided to go the other way to Eggleston, which has a lovely hall and gardens, with a tea shop and a pretty garden trail that passes colourful borders, a ruined chapel and fruit trees laden with apples and plums. Autumn is settling in now and we walked high above the river, finding huge puffball mushrooms and picked blackberries from the hedgerows. We returned along the Tees Railway Path from Romaldkirk which is perfect for walking or cycling.
On the way home we stopped in Kirkby Stephen on the edge of the lovely Howgill Fells and walked up Smardale Fell. We were walking in blustery sunshine and could see showers flitting across the Pennines and watched rainbows briefly arching over the hills.