Landmark In Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne And Wear
A distinguished weather radar station that can be seen for miles.
I always wondered what the golf ball was that I could see near where I live, so I went to find out. On my first excursion, I didn't use sat nav or maps and tried to follow roads and spot it as it can be seen for quite a distance around the area. I didn't get near it!
So next time I used an ordnance survey map and bingo! I parked down the hill in a layby and, went off to explore. I passed a covered reservoir and there it was. It is High Moorsley Weather Radar Station.
It opened in 2009 and was the first weather radar station in the North East, which is where we get our forecast from. It cost £10 million and is one of 15 that covers the UK. Its range is up to 150 miles.
How does it work? I'm glad you asked. It uses microwaves and compares measurements, (There is more on the Met Office website for real enthusiasts). For those that like a bit of geometry the 'golf ball' shape is called a truncated icosahedron. Remember that for your next pub quiz!
At the site, there is an Ordnance Survey triangulation point (163). It is the highest point in this Sunderland area. Yes, it is higher than the Penshaw Monument (trig point 136), which you can see, along with Durham Cathedral and the Angel Of The North
Be sure to admire the view on the north side of Moorsley Road too, and remember to take your binoculars!
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From parking, head up the hill to the footpath which is approx 40 metres in a westerly direction and on the same side as parking. From the footpath gate, you head southerly for approx 500 metres, You should start to see the radar station on your right. The track forks, so take the right fork towards the radar station.
Place contributed by Rosalind Parker
Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.
Nature Reserve near Houghton-le-Spring run by Durham Wildlife Trust.
A plaque marking the site of a gibbet where Michael Curry was chained for murder.
The largest timber structure in Europe, built in 1893.