Great North Forest Heritage Trail
This circular cycle and walking route takes you through the countryside of this former mining area in Tyne and Wear. The trail passes Pelton, Bournmoor, Hetton-le-Hole, the Penshaw Monument and Witherwack. The route includes a section along the River Wear in Sunderland and a delightful coastal section visiting Whitburn, Marsden Bay, the splendid magnesian limestone cliffs at the Leas in South Shields and Souter Lighthouse. You will also visit Lumley Castle - a 14th century quadrangular castle at Chester-le-Street with lovely gardens. Also of interest is the Penshaw Monument - a folly situated on on Penshaw Hill dedicated to John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham. The video below shows the splendid views from this most beloved landmark which appears on the badge of Sunderland Football Club.
Near Stanley the route visits the oldest single-arch railway bridge in the world at Causey Arch. The site includes a lovely woodland gorge, interesting geology and views of the Tanfield Heritage Railway which runs through the area. The route is waymarked with a yellow and green disc.