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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. Walks are £4.

Useful information about our walks

Estimated timings

Duration of the walk is a guide only. 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 to see if the walk is going ahead.

Postcodes

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, consult a map.

Cost

The guided walks are £4.

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.

Public transport

Some walk start locations can be accessed by public transport. Please check available services at Traveline North East.

Dogs

Well behaved dogs kept on a short, fixed 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.

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.

Key to walk difficulty

Very Easy - Walk suitable for most levels of fitness. Good paths, relatively flat, possibly a few stiles. Stout shoes needed.

Easy - Walks suitable for people with reasonable levels of fitness. Covering uneven ground, streams, inclines and stiles. Boots essential.

Moderate - Requires a good level of fitness. Walks through some rough moorland with steep or strenuous climbs. Boots essential.

Hard - Requires a very good level of fitness and previous walking experience. Stiles, steep and strenuous climbs on rough and variable track surfaces. Strong boots essential.

Getting there

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.

Walks

February

DateName of walkDetails
Wednesday 1 FebruaryShildon to Bolam circular10.00am (5 and a half hours) 11 miles, Tony Carr
Start: Locamotion Car Park 'A' Off Redwoth Road (not the car park at the Locomation Museum), Shildon, DL4 2JF. GR NZ 230256, OS Maps Lr93 Ex305
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Friday 3 FebruaryHilltop and Esh10.00am (5 hours) 9 and a half miles, Dianne Hannaby
Start: Deerness Valley, picnic area, between Ushaw Moor and Esh Winning off B6302, DH7 7PP. GR NZ 218428, OS map Ex308
Views, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Saturday 4 FebruaryAn all-round view of Pontop pike10.00am (6 and a half hours) 12 miles, Jo Davies 
Start: East Castle (Private Car Park beside house) off A693, DH9 8PH. GR NZ 149520, OS map Ex307
Bring a packed lunch, cost. Hard walk.
Tuesday 7 February Beamish Circular10:30am (4 hours) 7 and a half miles, David and Fiona Eltringham
Start; Eden Place Picnic area, off A693 near Beamish Museum, DH9 0RG. GR NZ 220537 OS Map Lr88. No CP charge
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Friday 10 FebruaryGreen around the gill- Knitsley and Hown's Gill10:30am (5 hours) 9 miles, Jo Davies
Start: Rowley Station picnic area on the Waskerley way, off A68, south of Castleside, DH8 9AQ. GR NZ 086478, OS map Ex307
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Saturday 11 FebruaryDurham: A city of Parks and Gardens10.00am (6 hours) 10 and a half miles, Brian Lander
Start: High Shincliffe Lay-by off A177, DH1 2PF.  GR NZ 294401, OS Map Ex308
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Wednesday 15 February 

Hamsterley Village and Forest

10.00am (5 and a half hours) 11 miles, Dianne Hannaby
Start: East End of Village. Park with consideration, DL13 3PR. GR NZ 120310, OS Map Ex305
Views, bring a packed lunch, cost. Moderate walk.
Friday 17 FebruaryMemorial Walk for Dara- Lanchester Circular10:30am (4 hours) 7 and a half miles, Jo Davies
Start: Malton picnic area, one mile southeast of Lanchester, off A691, DH7 0TH. GR NZ 178464, OS map Ex307
Bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Sunday 19 FebruaryByers Green, Binchester and the Bishop's Park10.00am (5 and a half hours) 10 miles, David Butler
Start: Layby off A688, adjacent to Park Head Farm, Coundon, DL14 8AL. GR NZ 231312, OS maps Lr93, Ex305
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Moderate walk.
Wednesday 22 FebruaryBay Bridge and Blanchland Moor10.00am (5 hours) 9 miles, Eric Borley
Start: Bay Bridge picnic area half mile west of Blanchland, DH8 9UB. GR NY 958 499, OS Map EX 307
Local history, nature walk, photo, bring a packed lunch, cost. Moderate walk.
Friday 24 February Banks and Braes of Bonnie Derwent10:30am (4  and a half  hours) 8 miles, Jo Davies
Start: Allensford picnic area, west car park, off A68 north of Castleside, DH8 9BA. GR NZ 077502
Os map Ex307
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.

March

DateName of walkDetails
Wednesday 1 MarchLambton Castle and Park10.00am (6 hours) 11 miles, Tony Carr
Start: Mount Pleasant Lake, near Fatfield, DH4 7PU. GR NZ 314 540, OS Maps Ex308, Lr88
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk.
Sunday 5 March Locomotion Way and Shildon's Railway History (includes a visit to the Locomotion Museum)10.00am (5 and a half hours) 10 and a half miles, Ian Gray
Start: Middridge Village Hall car park, Walkers Lane, east of village, nearest to Newton Aycliffe, DL5 7JN. GR NZ 253260, OS maps Lr93 Ex305.
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Medium walk.
Wednesday 8 MarchWaskerley Reservoir and Muggleswick Common10.00am (6 hours) 11 and a half miles, Dianne Hannaby
Start: Waskerley Station picnic area, Waskerley village off Castleside to Stanhope Road, DH8 9DZ. GR NZ 050453, OS map Ex307
Views, bring a packed lunch, cost. Moderate walk
Friday 10 MarchOff to a winning start 10:30am (4 and a half hours) 7 and a half miles, Jo Davies
Start: Car park behind Co-op, Newhouse Road, Esh Winning, on B6302, DH7 9HA. GR NZ 190416, OS maps Ex307 & Ex308 
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk
Sunday 12 MarchIn and around the Bishop's Park10.00am (2 hours) 4 miles, David Butler
Start: Layby off A688, adjacent to Park Head Farm, Coundon, DL14 8AL. GR NZ 231312, OS maps Lr93, Ex305
Local history, cost. Easy walk
Wednesday 15 MarchDid the Devil's Water make the Lady cross?!10.00am (6 and a half hours) 12 miles, Jo Davies
Start; Baybridge picnic area, 1/2 mile west of Blanchland, DH8 9UB. GR NY 956499, OS maps Ex307 & ExOL43
Bring a packed lunch, cost. Hard walk
Tuesday 21 March

Whitworth, Bishop Auckland and Old Railway Paths

10:30am (5 hours) 10 and a half miles, David and Fiona Eltringham
Start: Public Car Park (Jubilee Nature area) by River Wear at Low Willington, off Stony Bank (road to Binchester). Jubilee Bridge, Willington, Crook, DL15 0DJ. GR NZ 208344, OS Map Lr93
Local history, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk
Saturday 25 MarchCatterick and Carrs Top (new walk)10.00am (5 and a half hours) 10 and a half miles, Dianne Hannaby
Start: Frosterley station, Bridge End, Frosterley, DL13 2SL. GR NZ 023369, OS map EXOL31
Views, bring a packed lunch, cost. Moderate walk
Wednesday 29 MarchTo Witton-le-Wear10.00am (6 and a half hours) 13 miles, Dianne Hannaby
Start: Bishop Auckland Rugby Ground, Bridge Road, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7PA. GR NZ 203299, OS map Ex305
Views, bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk
Friday 31 MarchFrosterley marble and a disappearing river10.00am (5 and a half hours) 10 miles, Jo Davies
Start: Demesne Mill picnic area, Uppertown, Wolsingham on B6296, 
DL13 3DB. GR NZ 075375, OS map Ex OL31
Bring a packed lunch, cost. Easy walk
Contact us
Countryside Service
03000 264 589