This attractive town in County Durham has some fine country walks and is well known as the site of the historic Hardwick Hall. It also sticks in people's minds as former Prime Minister Tony Blair was the MP for the Sedgefield constituency from 1983 to 2007. The town resembles a village with a number of photogenic eighteenth century houses surrounding a pretty green. There is also a fine medieval church with a noteworthy tower to see.
This walk from the town visits Hardwick Hall Country Park before heading to the nearby Middleham Castle at Bishop Middleham. There's lovely countryside scenes and views of the River Skerne to enjoy on the way.
The walk starts from the western side of the town where you can pick up footpaths heading north west to Hardwick Hall. The park includes a 17-acre lake and a number of ornamental features, including temples, grottoes and follies.
The path passes along the Serpentine Lake before heading north west through the countryside to Bishop Middleham, passing the River Skerne and Castle Lake on the way. This water body covers an area of 13 ha (33acres) and developed as a result of groundwater flooding. The lake attracts a variety of birds with up to 60-70 species at the site during the summer months. There is not much left of the castle which was once the seat of the Prince Bishops of Durham between the 12th and 14th century.
After exploring the castle site and the lake the route then takes you into the village of Bishop Middleham. From the village you turn south east to pass the lake and return to Hardwick Hall before and the town.
Sedgefield Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Sedgefield Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Sedgefield OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Sedgefield Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Walks near Sedgefield
- Hardwick Hall Country Park - This large ornamental park surrounds a fine 18th century hall and is located in Sedgefield in County Durham
- Hamsterley Forest - Hamsterley Forest is a great place for exciting mountain bike trails, leisurely family cycle rides or peaceful woodland walking.
There are three colour coded, way-marked mountain bike trails in the forest
- Bishop Auckland - This fine town in County Durham has some excellent walking opportunites with the River Wear and River Gaunless running through the town
- Wynyard Woodland Park - Formerly known as the Castle Eden Walkway Country Park this park in Billingham has numerous woodland footpaths and a visitor centre
- Castle Eden Dene - Enjoy miles of woodland trails, pretty streams, rushing waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife in this splendid nature reserve in Peterlee
- Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park - This country park in Billingham is the perfect place for a peaceful afternoon stroll
- Whitworth Hall Country Park - Explore 73 acres of parkland surrounding the Grade II listed stately mansion of Whitworth Hall in Spennymoor
- Auckland Walk - A short cycle and walking route along a dismantled railway line from Spennymoor to Bishop Auckland
- Durham Riverside Walk - This splendid walk around Durham visits many of the city highlights including the River Wear, Durham Castle, the cathedral, Old Durham Gardens and the Durham Botanical Gardens
The Impeccable Pig is a fine choice for some post walk refreshments. The pub has an excellent menu and a fine interior with attractive decor. You can find them on Front Street at postcode TS21 3AT for your sat navs.
The walk is a good one to do with your dog though you are asked to please keep them on leads in Hardwick Hall.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just a few miles south east of the town you'll find Wynyard Woodland Park in Billingham. The park is a fine place for a walk with numerous woodland footpaths and a decent visitor centre. You can also pick up the popular Castle Eden Walkway which is suitable for cyclists and walkers. This can be followed north to visit the lovely Castle Eden Dene near Peterlee.
For more walking ideas in the area see the County Durham Walks page.