Follow the River Wear from the coast at Sunderland to Killhope Lead Mining Museum in the Pennines.
The walk can be split into the following stages:
Sunderland to Durham - Starting on the coast at Roker, follow the river past the Sunderland docks and through the city. You'll pass the Wearmouth Bridge, the Stadium of Light, the Penshaw Monument, James Steel Park in Washington and Chester-le-Street before heading into the countryside around Great Lumley and arriving at Durham soon after.
Durham to Bishop Auckland - After passing the magnificent Durham cathedral you continue along the river to Willington and then onto Bishop Auckland.
Bishop Auckland to Stanhope - A lovely section passing Marston Lake in the Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le-Wear, Wolsingham and Frosterley.
Stanhope to Killhope Lead Mining Museum - The final section throuh Rookhope and Weardale. This section takes you through the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Weardale with some truly stunning scenery and more riverside walking.
The walk is waymarked with a green and yellow disc.
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Weardale Way Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Weardale Way Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Weardale Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Weardale Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The river passes through the small market town of Wolsingham where there's a number of good options for refreshments. The Black Bull is located on the Market Place and does good food at reasonable prices. Outside there's a south facing garden area for finer days. They also have a few decent rooms if you need to stay over. You can find the inn at a postcode of DL13 3AB for your sat navs.
In the historic little village of Shincliffe there's The Rose Tree Inn. The pub is located in a fine spot right next to the river. There's a lovely large garden area and an extensive menu to choose from. You can find them at Low Road West with a postcode of DH1 2NU for your sat navs. They are also very dog friendly with water, treats and a doggy menu available if you have your canine friend with you.
In Spennymoor you could stop off at Whitworth Hall Country Park and enjoy afternoon tea at the old country house. There's also lovely parkland and gardens to explore with a large herd of deer you can hand feed.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
On the route near Durham you the route passes by one of the area's historic highlights at Finchale Abbey. Here you can explore the photogenic ruins of the ancient abbey which dates back to the 13th century. The Grade I listed priory site is run by English Heritage and includes woodland and riverside walks. There's a nice cafe where you could stop for refreshments too.