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The following systems will be unavailable from 2.00pm on Thursday 29 February until 7.30am on Tuesday 5 March: our online Council Tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Guided countryside walks


County Durham's beautiful countryside is home to a wide variety of plants and animals and the area has a fascinating historical and geological heritage.

All are welcome to come and explore with us as we have walks to suit everyone including short, easy walks and long, hard hikes. Unless stated, simply turn up as there is no need to book.

Useful information about our walks

  • Estimated timings: The duration of the walk is a guide only. The pace depends on numbers and fitness of the group and weather conditions. The leader will adapt the walk to suit the pace of the slowest participant. All walks are circular unless otherwise stated.
  • Severe weather: In severe weather conditions, contact us by phone to see if the walk is going ahead.
  • Cost: The guided walks are £4 per person.
  • Clothing and smoking: Boots and waterproofs are advisable on all walks. Jeans are not appropriate. Walks are non-smoking.
  • Lunch: A packed lunch is required where stated. Please bring this with you. Please also make sure you have enough drinks for the duration of the walk.
  • Dogs: Well behaved dogs kept on a lead are allowed on walks, unless otherwise stated. Routes may be long and over steep ground with stiles to cross. Dogs remain the responsibility of the owner. We reserve the right to refuse your dog onto the walk.

Getting there

  • Postcodes: The nearest postcodes are included, but they may not be the exact start location. Some locations are remote and the postcode given may be some distance away, so please consult a map.
  • Map references: Six figure references indicate the starting point of the walk. They can be used to find a place on a 1:50 000 or 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey map. For instructions on reading grid references (GR) see map or go to Ordnance Survey. Lr = Landranger, OL = Outdoor Leisure, Ex = Explorer.
  • Public transport: Some walk start locations can be accessed by public transport. Please check available services at Traveline North East.
  • Car parking: Ensure parking does not create a hazard and does not obstruct entrances or other traffic. Please car share or use public transport wherever possible.

Walk gradings

  • Very Easy: The walk is suitable for most levels of fitness. There are good paths, relatively flat, possibly a few stiles. Stout shoes are needed.
  • Easy: The walk is  suitable for people with reasonable levels of fitness. It covers uneven ground, streams, inclines and stiles. Boots are essential.
  • Moderate: The walk requires a good level of fitness. Walks are through some rough moorland with steep or strenuous climbs. Boots are essential.
  • Hard: The walk requires a very good level of fitness and previous walking experience. Stiles, steep and strenuous climbs on rough and variable track surfaces. Strong boots are essential.

Walks

February

DateName of walkDetails

Friday 23 February

In and Out of Durham 

10.00am (4.5 hours), 9 miles, easy. Dianne Hannaby
Start: Low Newton Junction Nature Reserve, turn right near end of Brasside between Low Newton Remand Centre and Frankland Prison drive through car park and carry on down lane. DH1 5SQ. GR NZ 288452. OS Map Lr88, Ex308.
Exercise, views, history, packed lunch required.

Sunday 25 FebruaryIce and Coal10.00am (5 hours), 9.5 miles, moderate. David Butler
Start: Millennium Bridge (west end), Frankland Lane, Durham City, DH1 5TA. GR NZ 273429. OS maps Lr88, Ex308.
Local history, packed lunch required.
Wednesday 28 FebruaryUp the junction -  makes the mind boggle10.00am (5.5 hours), 11.5 miles, easy. Jo Davies
Start: East Castle (Private Car Park beside house) off A693, DH9 8PH. GR NZ 149520. OS map Ex307.
Packed lunch required.

March

DateName of walkDetails

Sunday 3 March

To Pinnock Hill and Croxdale Wood

10.30am (4 hours), 7 miles, moderate. Steven and Janet Hutchinson
Start: Sunderland Bridge Old Road over River Wear, Croxdale off B6300, DH6 5JL. GR NZ 265377. OS Maps Lr93, Ex308.
Local history, nature, packed lunch required.

Friday 8 MarchSnaw's Green and Stinky Burn10.00am (4.5 hours), 7.5 miles, easy. Jo Davies
Start: Ebchester Station picnic area, Ebchester, off B6309, DH8 0SU. GR NZ 107548. OS map Ex307.
Local history, packed lunch required.
Wednesday 13 MarchStockley with Brancepeth10.30am (5 hours), 10 miles, easy. David and Fiona Eltringham
Start: Lane to Hundred Acre plantation near Oakenshaw, off Stockley Lane between Brancepeth and Stanley Crook, DL15 0TR. GR NZ 206370. OS Maps EX OL31, Lr92. 
Local history, packed lunch required.
Friday 15 MarchA Day at the Races10.00am (5 hours), 9.5 miles, easy. Yvonne Andrews
Start: Park roadside at Station Road, Hesleden, park with consideration, TS27 4PJ. GR NZ 441379. OS map Ex306.
Nature, local history, views, exercise, social, packed lunch required.
Wednesday 20 MarchTow Law to Helme Park10.00am (5 hours), 9 miles, moderate. Dianne Hannaby
Start: Lay-by on B6297 just West of junction with A68, Tow Law, DL13 4ED. GR NZ 116386. OS maps Ex305, Lr92.
Exercise, views, packed lunch required.
Friday 22 MarchForty pence to visit Bambi and Pooh (new)10.00am (5 hours), 8.5 miles, easy. Jo Davies
Start: Deerness Valley picnic area, between Ushaw Moor and Esh Winning, off B6302, DH7 7PP. GR NZ 218428. OS map Ex308.
Local history, packed lunch required.
Sunday 24 MarchWigside and Towdy Potts10.30am (3.5 hours), 6 miles, moderate. David Butler
Start: Demesne Mill picnic area, Uppertown, Wolsingham, B6296, DL13 3DB. GR NZ 076375. OS Maps Lr92, ExOL31
Local history, packed lunch required.
Wednesday 27 MarchCausey Arch (shorter version)10.00am (4.5 hours), 8 miles, moderate. Peter Weighill
Start: Eden Place car park, Beamish, A693, DH9 0RE. GR NZ 220536. OS map Ex308.
Packed lunch required.
Friday 29 MarchThe Farms north of Waskerley Station10.00am (4 hours), 7.5 miles, easy. Jo Davies
Start: Waskerley Station picnic area, Waskerley village off Castleside to Stanhope Road, DH8 9DZ. GR NZ 050453. OS map Ex307.
Local history, packed lunch required.

April

DateName of walkDetails
Wednesday 3 April 

The Anchorage

10.30am (4 hours) 8 miles, easy. Peter Weighill.
Start: The Plough, Pelton Lane, DH2 1BL, NZ 262526. OS Map Ex308. 
Local history, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Friday 5 April Tunstall and Back 

10.00am (4.5 hours) 9 miles, easy, Dianne Hannaby.
Start: Demesne Mill picnic area, Uppertown, Wolsingham, B6296, DL13 3DB. GR NZ 076375. OS Maps Lr92, ExOL31.
Exercise, views, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Wednesday 10 April Waldridge, Charlaw and Sacriston

10.00am (5 hours) 9 miles, moderate, Eric Borley.
Start: First car park, west of Waldridge Fell village near Chester-le-Street DH2 3RY. GR NZ 251498. OS map Ex308.
Local history nature, photo, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Friday 12 April The Devilish Dene and Hutton Henry 

10.00am (5.5 hours), 10 miles, easy. Yvonne Andrews.
Start: Castle Eden Dene Nature Reserve, Oakerside Dene Lodge, SR8 INJ. GR NZ 427393. OS map Ex308.
Local history, social, nature, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Wednesday 17 April Up and Down to Running Waters (new)

10.00am (5 hours) 9 miles, easy, Brian Lander.
Start: Littletown Village Green, at Crossroads on Coalford Lane, DH6 1PZ. GR NZ339433. OS Map Ex308.
Local history, nature, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Thursday 18 AprilWolsingham and Tunstall Reservoir 

11.00am (4.5 hours), 8.5 miles, easy.David and Fiona Eltringham.
Start: Demesne Mill picnic area, Uppertown, Wolsingham, B6296, DL13 3DB. GR NZ 076375. OS Maps Lr92, ExOL31.Local history, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

Saturday 20 April Woodland (And bluebells?) in the spring 10:00am (5 hours), 8.5 miles, moderate.David Butler. Start: Layby at High Shincliffe off A177, DH1 2PE. GR NZ 294401. OS map Ex305, Lr88.Local history, nature, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.
Wednesday 24 April Railways  and a Roman Road 

10:00am (6 hours) 10 miles, easy.Brian Lander. Start: Broompark Picnic Area, half a mile from Stonebridge Roundabout on B6302. DH7 7RJ. GR NZ 250415, OS Map Ex308. Local history, nature, packed lunch required, price of walk £4.

 

Contact us
Countryside Service
03000 264 589