Tyne and Wear Walks
This north east county has some fine riverside walking along the Tyne and Derwent Rivers. There's also several country parks and woodland areas ideal for walking.
Use the filter to show walks of a certain type such as woods, reservoirs, hills, long distance, country parks, canals and rivers.
In the spring walkers flock to the beautiful bluebell woods in Tyne and Wear. Click the 'Woodland' button below to see these.
Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Tyne and Wear Walk Map>>
|Bede's Way||12 miles (19 km)||Follow in the footsteps of seventh century
pilgrims on this interesting walk or cycle through Tyne and Wear. The trail links the twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of St Peter’s in
Wearmouth and St Paul’s in Jarrow. The route passes through the beautiful landscape of the Great North Forest which includes twelve miles of rolling hills and meandering streams. Trail highlights includes a waterside stretch along the River Don and the final coastal stretch along Whitburn Sands and through to the finish point near Sunderland Harbour. |
There is also the Bede's Cycleway which follows a very similar route to the walk - please click here for more information. View Full Details>>
|Chopwell Wood||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest near Gateshead. There's 360-hectares of mixed woodland to explore on a variety of waymarked paths. Walkers can try four trails of varying lengths and difficulty. These include an easy walk along the Old Railway Footpath which takes you through the heart of the forest on a well surfaced path. There are also longer, more challenging trails around the boundary of the forest and a riverside walk along the River Derwent. Look out for a number of woodland sculptures including the popular Chopwell 'hands'.|
It's great for mountain biking too with a number of blue graded trails and one fast technical red grade trail. View Full Details>>
|Consett and Sunderland Railway Path||28 miles (45 km)||A walk along a disused railway path from Consett to Sunderland. The path starts at Consett and heads east towards the coast passing Stanley and Chester-le-Street before joining the River Wear and following it to Sunderland harbour. You'll also pass Beamish Woods where there's some nice woodland trails and the views of the River Team. View Full Details>>|
|Derwent Valley Walk||11 miles (18 km)||This lovely railway path runs from Swalwell, near Gateshead, to Consett alongside the River Derwent and is suitable for walkers and cyclists.|
You will pass the villages of Rowlands Gill, Hamsterley and Ebchester on the way. The path also takes you through Derwent Walk Country Park and there is a woodland section at Byerside Wood. At the park you could cross to the to the western side of the river and visit Thornley Woods where there's a sculpture trail and a visitor centre with lots of information about the area. Also of interest is the National Trust owned Gibside near Rowlands Gill. This is well worth a visit with its 18th-century landscape park and nature reserve. View Full Details>>
|Derwent Walk Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||The Derwent Walk is a former railway path running from Swalwell, near Gateshead, to Consett alongside the River Derwent and is suitable for walkers and cyclists. The Derwent Walk Country Park is situated on the path and contains a mixture of woodland, meadows and wetlands. There is also the pretty Clockburn Lake located in Derwenthaugh Park. There are a number of excellent waymarked trails, taking you along the river and through Thornley Wood. You can get further information from the Thornley Wood Visitor Centre located at Thornley Lane, Rowlands Gill NE39 1AU. |
A wide variety of wildlife visits the park such as great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, sparrowhawk, fox, badger and roe deer. Also look out for kingfisher, dipper and otter around the river.
The park is located a few miles west of Gateshead, near Blaydon. View Full Details>>
|Gateshead||12 miles (20 km)||This major north east town has a number of good options for walkers with two significant waymarked trails running through the area. There's also several nearby woods, country parks and riverside trails along the Derwent and Tyne Rivers.|
This walk takes you along the Tyne before visiting Watergate Forest Park and Derwent Walk Country Park. It uses two of the waymarked trails which run through the town in the shape of the Tyne and Wear Trail and the Derwent Valley Walk.
The walk starts next to the impressive Tyne Bridge which links Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. From here you can pick up the Tyne and Wear Trail and follow it west past a series of bridges, to Dunston. Here you leave the river and head south to Watergate Forest Park. The popular park is located on the site of the former Watergate colliery. It includes woodland trails, a roman fort, a pretty lake and wildflower meadows.
After exploring the park the route heads west through Whickam to visit Derwent Walk Country Park. Here you'll find another lake, a mixture of woodland, meadows and wetland areas. You could also cross to the western side of the river and visit Thornley Woods where there's a sculpture trail and a visitor centre with lots of information about the area.
At the park you can pick up the Derwent Valley Walk and follow it north along the river to Damhead Wood. You could take a small detour here and head into Blaydon where you can visit the Shibdon Pond Nature Reserve.
This route heads east through Swalwell to rejoin with the Tyne and Wear trail near Dunston. You can then rejoin with the river and follow the path back to the start point. View Full Details>>
|Gibside Rowlands Gill||4 miles (6.6 km)||This splendid 18th century landscaped park has over 15 miles of footpaths taking you through gardens, meadows, fields and woodland. You can also enjoy a waterside stroll along the River Derwent and visit the orangery, stables, lily pond, walled garden, the magnificent Palladian chapel and the ruins of Gibside Hall - the former home of the Bowes-Lyon family. View Full Details>>|
|Great North Forest Heritage Trail||65 miles (105 km)||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. View Full Details>>
|Herrington Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This super, large park in Sunderland has a number of cycling and walking trails and interesting environmental sculptures. There is also a boating lake, a nature pond and a sculpture trail. The park is ideal for an easy family cycle ride.|
The Great North Forest Heritage Trail runs through the park so you could continue your cycle/walk along this route. Also of interest is the Penshaw Monument just to the north of the park. This folly is situated on Penshaw Hill and dedicated to John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham. The video below shows the splendid views from this iconic landmark which appears on the badge of Sunderland Football Club. View Full Details>>
|Hetton Lyons Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle around this country park in Hetton-Le-Hole. The park was developed on a former colliery site and contains a large lake.|
The Great North Forest Heritage Trail runs through the park so you could continue your cycle/walk along this route. View Full Details>>
|James Steel Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy riverside walking and cycling in this country park situated on the River Wear in Sunderland. The park includes a fishing lake and cycling and walking trails. It is located less than a mile north of the Penshaw Monument on the Weardale Way and Great North Forest Heritage Trail walking routes. View Full Details>>|
|Newcastle||15 miles (24.5 km)||Newcastle upon Tyne is the most populous city in the North East of England. There's lots of good options for walkers with riverside walks along the Tyne and Derwent Rivers plus a number of country parks and woodland areas to explore.|
This walk from the city centre takes you along the epic Hadrian's Wall Path to a historic Roman Fort on the wall. On the way there's riverside paths along the River Tyne and a visit to the Tyne Riverside Country Park.
The walk starts on the Newcastle side of the impressive Tyne Bridge which links with Gateshead on the opposite side. The bridge was officially opened on 10 October 1928 by King George V and has since become a defining symbol of Tyneside. From here you can pick up the Hadrian's Wall Path and follow the waymarked trail west along the river. You'll pass several old bridges and the areas of Elswick, South Benwell, Scotswood and Newburn before coming to the Tyne Riverside Country Park in Ryton.
After exploring the park you continue west to Clara Vale where the trail leaves the river to head north to Heddon-on-the-Wall via Ashbank Wood. Here you join the wall itself and follow it west to the Vindobala Roman Fort at Rudchester. The fort guards the valley of the March Burn to the west, an ancient route leading to the south towards the Tyne ford at Newburn. The name Vindobala means “White Strength” with the troops recruited from a coastal tribe of Lower Germany. At the site there's an information board which will tell you all about the history of the area.
After exploring the fort you retrace your steps to the river where you head west to Wylam. Here you can catch a direct train back to Newcastle. View Full Details>>
|Penshaw Monument||1 miles (1.5 km)||Climb Penshaw Hill and visit this iconic Sunderland landmark on this short walk. It's a popular spot with the impressive monument sitting in an elevated position with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. You can park at the foot of the monument and follow the footpath up the hill to the high point. After taking in the views you can then explore the woodland trails in Penshaw wood where there are pretty bluebells, white ramsons and wood anemones in the spring. |
The 70 foot high monument was built in 1846 and commemorates the 1st Earl of Durham. It appears on the badge of Sunderland Football Club and can be see for miles around. View Full Details>>
|Rising Sun Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Explore 400 acres of parkland on this lovely cycle or walk in Newcastle. There is an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways suitable for walkers and cyclists. The park is made up of various habitats including grassland, woodland, ponds, wetlands and a lake designated as a Local Nature Reserve. There is also a bird hide overlooking the Swallow Pond and an excellent Visitors' Centre with a Restaurant and Exhibition Room. View Full Details>>|
|Saltwell Park||2 miles (3 km)||This beautiful park in Gateshead was voted Britain's Best Park in 2005. Highlights in the park include ornamental and woodland gardens, a boating lake, bowling greens, play areas, and a maze. There is also the splendid Saltwell Towers - an eyecatching Gothic Mansion which now serves as the Saltwell Park Visitors Centre. Also look out for the Dene - a delightful woodland valley with a stream, pools, cascades and a lily pond. There are 55 acres to explore making Saltwell an ideal place for a short walk in beautiful surroundings. View Full Details>>|
|Souter Lighthouse and Whitburn Coastal Park||5 miles (8.5 km)||Enjoy a coastal walk around the Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn Coastal Park and Lizard Point on the South Shields coast. The park and lighthouse are located just to the south of South Shields at the village of Marsden. You can park at the Souter Lighthouse car park off the A183 at Marsden Quarry to start your walk. Alternatively follow the traffic free cycle and walking path along National Cycle Route 1 from South Shields to the site. It's a nice trail passing Frenchman's Bay, Marsden Bay and the Leas. The park is also just a few miles north of Sunderland and can be reached by walking or cycling along the same National route.|
This route starts at the lighthouse car park and heads to the coastal viewpoint at Lizard Point. You then head west along the coast to Marsden Cliff and the Leas. Here you will find two and a half miles of magnesian limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland. It's a fine cliff top walk with great views along the coast.
After exploring the Leas the route turns round and returns to Whitburn Coastal Park. The park is a nature reserve with trees, a bird observatory, viewing screens and wetland habitats. There's also a new National Trust wildlife garden with ponds, wildflowers, trees, berry bearing shrubs, a bog garden and hibernation areas.
The reserve is great for wildlife watching with cormorants, shags, kittiwakes, fulmar and herring gulls.
At the end of your walk you can enjoy refreshments at the National Trust cafe.
The long distance Great North Forest Heritage Trail runs through Marsden so you can pick this up to extend your walk. It will take you inland towards Cleadon Park and Boldon.
You could also head south along the traffic free cycle path to Whitburn Bay and Sunderland. View Full Details>>
|Thornley Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||This walk takes you around Thornley Woods in Rowlands Gill near Gateshead. The peaceful site has a number of woodland paths and a sculpture trail with a fine carved otter and a red kite. The area is also good for bird watching with great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, and sparrow hawks to look out for.|
The park includes a visitor centre with lots of information and an associated car park where you can start the walk. View Full Details>>
|Tyne Riverside Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||This park follows the River Tyne for four miles through 200 acres of meadows, chalk grassland, woodland and river bank. The park is great for both walkers and cyclists with the Hadrian's cycleway running along the riverside. Hadrian's Wall Path also runs through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk along this path.|
The park is a short walk from Wylam and Prudhoe train stations and Tyne Valley bus routes. It is about 6 miles west of the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Gateshead. View Full Details>>
|Watergate Forest Park||2 miles (2.8 km)||The popular park is located on the site of the former Watergate colliery in Gateshead. It includes woodland trails, a pretty lake and wildflower meadows.|
In the park there are two waymarked walking trails to try. One circular trail takes you around the lake while the second nature trail visits a series of sculptures. There are also cycling trails on the bridleways and permissive paths on the site.
You can start the walk from the main car park at the eastern end of the site, just off the B6317 Whickham Highway at Lobley Hill. From here you can pick up the footpaths heading south west towards the lake and the Washingwell Woods. View Full Details>>
|Weardale Way||77 miles (124 km)||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 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, Witton-le-Wear and Wolsingham
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. View Full Details>>
|Weetslade Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||This former colliery site has been converted into a beautiful country park and a haven for wildlife. Weetslade hill rises to a height of 95m giving fabulous views of the surroundiing countryside, the North Sea, the Cheviots and Newcastle Upon Tyne city. You can cycle or walk along the tracks in the park towards the nearby Big Waters Nature Reserve where you can see a wide variety of birdlife. The park also contains three developing reed beds, which are now home to many common damselflies and dragonflies. |
Weetslade is located just a few miles north of Newcastle City centre near Gosforth Park. View Full Details>>
|Whitley Bay to Tynemouth||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a coastal walk along the North East coast from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth. It's about a three mile walk with nice beaches, bays and cliffs to admire.|
The walk starts from Whitley Sands and heads south to Cullercoats Bay and the beach at Long Sands. You then pass Sharpness Point before arriving ay Tynemouth Castle. The fascinating castle includes moated castle-towers, a gatehouse, a keep and the ruins of a Benedictine priory. It dates from the 13–14th century and is situated on a dramatic headland overlooking Tynemouth Pier. You can explore the grounds for a fee payed to English Heritage.
After leaving the castle you continue past Tynemouth Pier which is a nice place for an afternoon stroll. It stretches out to sea for about 900 yards (810 metres). There's an impressive lighthouse at the end of the pier and nice views back up to the castle and the mouth of the River Tyne.
To extend your walk catch the ferry over to the South Shields and continue up the coast to Souter Lighthouse and Whitburn Coastal Park. Here you can also visit the Leas with its two and a half miles of magnesian limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland. View Full Details>>