Castle Eden Walkway
Enjoy a cycle or walk along this disused railway line which runs along National Cycle Network Route 1. It's a nice easy traffic free ride for families or beginners.
The route starts to the west of the County Durham village of Castle Eden and heads south through Wingate to Station Town. You continue past the pretty Hurworth Burn Reservoir. There's a nice circular trail around the water and some benches where you can stop for a rest. It's a lovely peaceful spot with lots of birds to look out for on the water.
The route then continues past Brierley Wood and Thorpe Wood Nature Reserve, where there are more wildlife spotting opportunites. The route finishes at the lovely Wynyard Woodland Park. This country park in Billingham has woodland trails, a wildflower meadow and a planetarium and observatory. There's also a nice cafe where you can refresh yourself after your exercise.
Near the start of the route there is the splendid Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve. The reserve contains a wide variety of flora and fauna, woodland trails and the pretty Castle Eden Burn.
Castle Eden Walkway Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Castle Eden Walkway Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Castle Eden Walkway OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Castle Eden Walkway Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The cafe in Wynyard Woodland Park is a good option but you could also head to the Castle Eden Inn. It's located just to the east of the path near the start. They do very good food and also have two beer gardens where you can sit outside on warmer days. It's a welcoming place with a cosy atmosphere and is also dog friendly. You can find it on Stockton Rd with a postcode of TS27 4SD for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Near the start of the route you can link up with National Cycle Route 14 and the Haswell to Hart Countryside Walkway. The multi-user trail uses the trackbed of a disused railway line to travel between the two old stations.