Walking, Completed walks
14/01/22: Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, led by Sandra Graham. This was a 6.5 mile circular walk along fairly level paths starting and finishing at the Nature Reserve. The group enjoyed much anticipated al fresco lunch at Homer Hill Farm Shop.
10/12: Our planning meeting at the Biddick Inn was preceded by a short walk around Fatfield, James Steel Park and Princess Anne Park, led by Paul and Julie Stevens. Once again the weather was kind to us and we enjoyed a very enjoyable walk in the sunshine.
26/11: Tyne Bridges, led by Dorothy Stewart. This was an easy walk of about 5 miles starting and ending at the Baltic. We crossed some of the Tyne bridges and made our way along the Quayside to the site of Lord Armstrong’s engineering works. The weather gods were with us and we enjoyed the opportunity of beautiful views across the river.
12/11: Washington to South Hylton: an 8 mile walk led by John Thomas.
29/10: Wylam Wagon Way: led by Tania Le Marinel. A 5-mile circular walk from Newburn to Wylam. The route was a flat riverside walk with fine views along the Tyne Valley and the landscaped golf courses on both sides of the Tyne. The group enjoyed some stunning autumn views and playing on the roundabout!
08/10: Langley Park to Lanchester: led by Paul and Julie Stevens. This was an easy 8 mile linear, flat walk following the old Lanchester Railway path. Lovely weather and an enjoyable refreshment break in Lanchester made this walk all the better!
24/09: Low Moorsley area: led by Keith Peacock. This easy 6 mile circular walk started at St Cuthbert's Church in East Rainton. It took us through a rolling magnesian limestone landscape, overgrown quarries and colourful wild flower meadows. Our break for refreshment offered scenic rural landscapes with fine views over Sunderland and Durham. The weather was kind; dry, sunny and breezy. Also, we were lucky enough to spot a bird of prey but were unable to distinguish whether it was a sparrowhawk or buzzard!
10/09: Beamish to Causey Arch: led by Mary and Terry Evans. This was a 7 mile undulating circular walk, that started at Eden Place Picnic car park. It's rated as hard as it includes steep steps and several stiles. We followed a path through the village before making our way into the Museum grounds. From there we went through fields to Beamish Hall and on to Causey Arch. We had a welcome stop for refreshments at the Causey Arch Tearoom. The scenery in and around the Dene was spectacular although rain made the steps in and out of the Dene very muddy and slippy. After crossing the burn we followed a path through the woods back to the car park. The Shepherd and Shepherdess proved very tempting!
27/08: Land of Oak and Iron: this was a 5.5 mile circular walk led by Carol Craggs. The walk started at the Winlaton Mill Visitor Centre in Derwenthaugh Park and took in part of the wonderfully scenic Derwent Walk (track of the old Derwent Railway).
13/08: Hetton Lyons Country Park/Great Eppleton: led by Sandra Graham. An easy 4 mile circular walk followed by an outdoor planning meeting in the Country Park.
30/07: Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, led by Sandra Graham. This was a 6.5 mile circular walk along fairly level paths starting at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve with a welcome stop for refreshments at Homer Hill Farm Shop.
09/07: Lumley Woods, led by Lawrie & Joy Jackson. This was a moderate undulating 6 mile circular walk that crossed the river at Chester le Street, skirted the golf course near Lumley Castle then took a path via Lumley Castle Woods and Castle Dene to Bournmoor before returning through the woods.
25th June: The walk along Seaham Heritage Coastal Path was called off due to adverse weather conditions.
11th June: Lambton Estate walk, led by Paul Stevens. The group enjoyed a beautiful, sunny 6 mile walk around the grounds. We entered the estate via the gate at the north-east end, followed a path along the banks of the River Wear past some splendid rhododendrons. We had excellent views across the river to the imposing Lambton Castle. We stopped for an al fresco lunch in a field that was, for a short period, a racecourse, before eventually re-joining the riverside walk to make our way back to the walk start point.
28th May 2021: Alternative Angel Walk, led by Terry Harris. The group's first walk in over a year, much anticipated. The 4 mile walk started and finished at the Bowes Incline Hotel and took a circular route around the Angel of the North; past farmland, housing and through woods. Members of the group enjoyed an al fresco meal afterwards at the hotel.
13th Mar: Langley Park to Lanchester led by Paul & Julie Stevens. An easy, mostly level 8 mile linear walk starting near old Witton Station House and following the Lanchester Railway path, now used as a cycle path. We stopped in Lanchester for a warming and most welcome coffee break before retracing our steps back to the cars.
28th Feb: Durham City South walk led by Mary & Terry Evans. This was a 5 mile moderate walk that started at Durham Market Place, followed the River Wear, past the university playing fields, to the Pump House. We took the road towards Houghall Farm, went into Great High Wood, where after a steep climb came to Hollingside Lane. A gentle incline led to the Botanic Gardens, where we enjoyed a welcome cuppa in the coffee shop. We then made our way through university colleges and back into the city.
14th Feb: Rainton Meadows, led by Sandra Graham. This easy 6.5 miler is a repeat of last February's walk, although this time it was much muddier in places due to the recent storm. However, we enjoyed a welcome break at Homer Hill Farm Shop (delicious scones).
31st Jan: Marsden to South Shields, led by Joy and Lawrie Jackson. A much enjoyed 7 mile walk along stunning coastline.
10th Jan: Elba Park, led by Pat and Ramsay Morgan. This was an 8 mile moderate walk, starting at Fatfield, taking us through Biddick Woods, across Elba Park and alongside Herrington Burn. We then made our way through Herrington Country Park where we stopped for refreshments/packed lunch. We took the steps around the side of Penshaw Monument and followed a path down fields to return to the Biddick via the riverside. Whilst the day was bright, conditions underfoot were icy and muddy in places. That said, the group very much enjoyed their first walk of 2020.
14th Dec: Planning meeting preceded by a short walk of 2 miles from the Biddick Inn to Fatfield and return, led by Sandra Graham.
29th Nov: Newcastle's bridges; led by Dorothy Stewart, Shirley & John Laxton. An enjoyable, scenic 5 mile circular walk along the river Tyne, on a bright, crisp day. We began at the Baltic and crossed the Millennium Bridge before making our way along the quayside to cross the Swing Bridge. After having made our way up the steep incline of Bottle Bank, we walked over the Tyne Bridge, made our way along Mosley Street then turned left at the cathedral. Next, we negotiated the steps down to the quayside then walked to the site of Lord Armstrong’s engineering works at Elswick. Finally, we returned along the riverside footpath, crossed the Millenium bridge back to the Baltic.
8th Nov: Beamish to Washington led by John Thomas. A 7.5 mile walk that started with a bus journey from Rickleton to Beamish. The group returned by taking the C2C cycle path back to Harraton (with a short diversion cutting out the path under the A1M).
25th Oct: Marsden to South Shields; led by Joy and Lawrie Jackson. This is always a very popular walk with the group, as evidenced by the large turnout even when the weather was cold and windy! It's an easy 7 miles along mostly level paths. We started at Marsden and followed the coastal path to South Shields, where we stopped for a quick lunch and to appreciate the impressive view from the cliff top before returning to the car park.
11th Oct:Land of Oak and Iron; led by Carol Craggs. A 5.5 mile circular walk that included a short incline near the start and 2 separate sets of approximately 30 steps downhill. It started and finished at the Winlaton Mill Visitor Centre in Derwenthaugh Park and was very picturesque with opportunities to view wildlife, nature and sculptures. A walk much enjoyed by the group.
27th Sept: Concord to the Glass Centre; led by Mary Evans and ably assisted by Alan Hargrave. This was an easy 8 mile walk starting at Concord. The walk took us towards Elm Tree Garden Centre, around Nissan then over a bridge crossing the A1231. We then followed a path to a part of the riverside previously unvisited by most of the group. We were awed by the scale of the old limekilns, views across the Wear and admired the sculptures along the Sculpture Trail. We stopped at the Glass Centre for much needed refreshments before returning to Concord via no 56 bus from the Wheatsheaf.
13th Sept: Lumley Woods; led by Joy & Lawrie Jackson. This 6.4 mile undulating moderate walk started at Chester le Street riverside car park. We crossed the river, skirted the golf course near Lumley Castle then took a path via Lumley Castle Woods and Castle Dene to Bournmoor before finally returning through the woods. We really enjoyed some wonderful views of the woods and river in lovely autumn sunshine!
30th Aug: Langley Park; led by Paul Stevens. An easy/moderate 9 mile circular walk starting at Wallnook Lane, Langley Park. The most challenging part of the walk was at the beginning where we climbed uphill, around 160ft, to Hill Top Farm, then back down through the woods before skirting the grounds of Ushaw College. The rest of the walk was mostly level. We made our way down to the cycle path that runs alongside the River Derwent and followed the path until we arrived at Broompark Picnic Area, where we stopped for a picnic lunch. We then continued along the path, passing Alden Grange Café and Farm Shop on the way back to Langley Park. Our group agreed this was a very enjoyable walk in ideal weather.
26th July: Elba Park; led by Ramsay & Pat Morgan. This was an easy 6.5 mile walk. It included 2 short climbs and no stiles. We set off from Elba Park car park, skirted the right side of Elba Park then followed the path by road by Biddick Woods Estate. We then crossed over the Washington Highway bridge past Our Lady Queen of Peace then over the playing fields at Penshaw. Thanks to Pat and Ramsay for the welcome comfort/refreshment break at their home before we continued through Herrington Country Park. We stopped for packed lunch at the green beside the Stables/Stackyard/cemetery before making our way through Newbottle Woods, crossing 2 fields to Newbottle. Once past the housing estate, we returned to Elba car park via a wooded path. Fortunately, the weather was slightly cooler than the rest of the week making the walk more comfortable for walkers.
12th July: Biddick Inn to Woodhouse Farm and return, a moderate 7 mile walk led by Julie and Paul Stevens. The route followed the north bank of the River Wear from Fatfield to Washington Wildfowl Park, cut inland then headed back down to the riverside. It then followed a path that led to Woodhouse farm (on this stretch of the walk walkers encountered over 200 steps, although mainly in small flights) before retracing the route to the Biddick Inn.
28th June: Planning Meeting, led by Sandra Graham, for walks scheduled for the rest of 2019. The meeting was preceded by a short walk from the Biddick Inn to Cox Green and back. Thanks go to group members for attending and their willingness to lead walks!
14th June: The planned Lumley Woods walk was replaced with one to Elba Park due to the recent heavy rain. A group of die-hard walkers braved the rain for this 6 mile walk from the Biddick Inn, through Biddick Woods into Elba Park before returning to Fatfield. Our wet and muddy bunch appreciated the abundance of wild flowers and spotting swans with their cygnets in the park and on the river.
31st May: Durham City South walk led by Mary & Terry Evans. This was a 5 mile moderate walk. Walkers met in Durham market place and took a route through Prince Bishop's shopping centre down to the riverside, then walked alongside the river, crossed the bridge and followed a path leading to the A177. After crossing the road and going through a small copse, walkers took a path to the Pump House. The walk followed a road until it forked right onto a path to Great High Wood. From the wood there was a steep climb to Hollingside Lane, then turned right and lead to the Botanic Garden where there was a lunch stop. From there, walkers went through some colleges to Potter's Bank then Prebend's Bridge then made their way back into the city centre. The walk went well but it was very wet!
10th May: Angel of the North to Lamesley: an easy to moderate walk of 5.5 miles, in gorgeous weather, led by Terry Harris & Carol Craggs. The walk started at the Angel car park and encompassed different perspectives of the awe-inspiring 'Angel'. It took us via Longacre Wood (with a profusion of bluebells), the Bowes Railway Path, Kibblesworth, Lamesley, Lamesley Reedbeds and Lamesley Pastures. We had a much welcome break for refreshments at the Ravensworth Arms and on the way back to the Angel spotted the Tornado steam train parked on the mainline at Birtley.
26th Apr: Shincliffe, led by Norman Fatherley. This 7.2 mile moderate walk along mostly level paths took us by the river Wear and round the Shincliffe Parish Boundary. We passed through some lovely countryside and picture postcard villages. The walk included a very steep ascent on woodland steps and included a few stiles. The route also took us past the impressive medieval Sherburn Hospital and Pharmacy in the hamlet of Sherburn House. A much enjoyed walk!
12th Apr: South Shields to Cullercoats. The walk was ably led by Shirley & John Laxton & Dorothy Stewart. This easy 7.8 mile walk followed the same route as we took in June 2018 and started with a ferry ride across the Tyne to North Shields. We followed the coastline to Cullercoats where we stopped for packed lunch before returning along the same route. A very enjoyable walk in bright spring sunshine!
29th Mar: Hetton-le-Hill: led by Pat & Ramsay Morgan. This moderate 8 mile walk was a repeat of the walk done in August 2018. On a clear and warm Spring day, it gave us lovely views over open countryside and walking through some picturesque Durham villages. A popular walk with the Group.
8th Mar: Chopwell Woods; led by Keith Peacock. This moderate 7 mile walk was a repeat of the walk done in October 2018. Walkers enjoyed this lovely scenic walk.
22nd Feb: Rainton Meadows led by Sandra & Stuart Graham. This was an easy 6.5 mile circular walk, starting at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, taking mostly level paths. We followed a path from Joe's Pond, through the Reserve, to follow old railway lines to Pittington Road. Then we stopped for a welcome comfort/refreshment break at Homer Hill Farm Shop before returning to the Nature Reserve via West Rainton. The unseasonably warm weather made this walk particularly enjoyable!
8th Feb: Local walk of 4.5 miles led by Paul Stevens. This replaced the scheduled Chopwell Woods walk that the group agreed to postpone due to inclement weather. We started this circular walk at the Biddick Inn. The route took us alongside the Lambton Estate to Rickleton where we picked up the C2C cycle route before returning back to the start point. Luckily the worst of the weather held off until after the walk was completed!
25th Jan: Seaham Coastal; an easy 6 mile walk led by Lawrence and Joy Jackson. The walk started at Noses Point and took us along good coastal paths with virtually no change in elevation. It was a beautiful clear day offering spectacular sea views, although walkers had to take care as conditions underfoot were muddy. We traversed Hawthorn Dene, using a good path with stepped sections that took us across a footbridge over the waterway. We then followed the coastal path past Beacon Point and head for the coastal outskirts of Easington Colliery. At a point just short of Fox Holes Dene we returned to Noses Point partly along cliff paths and partly alongside a railway track.
11th Jan: Elba Park, an 8 mile moderate walk led by Pat and Ramsay Morgan. We started at the Biddick Inn by taking a path through Biddick Woods, across Elba Park and alongside Herrington Burn. After making our way through Herrington Country Park we stopped for a welcome packed lunch before taking the steps around the side of Penshaw Monument. We then followed a path down fields and wood to Cox Green, before returning to the Biddick Inn via the riverside pa