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Durham Cycling Routes


Durham County Council produce a range of maps for Durham cycling routesAt The Durham Cow we are in the process of recommending routes that showcase the cycling experience within the county along with its heritage and history. The routes we select are graded initially on distance, in increments of 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 miles. Most are within County Durham but eventually many will extend outside the county.

Next we grade them as ‘Easy’, ‘Intermediate’ or ‘Hard’ which is entirely subjective of course and reflects the amount and severity of climbing and descending together with the surfaces involved. If you follow one of our routes and disagree, let us know and if you think it’s easier than we grade it then take comfort in the knowledge that you’re fitter than us!

To better experience the heritage element of a ride, our routes very often involve an off-road element (particularly ex-railway paths) so surfaces are not always reliable. We don’t want to patronise but if you’re not sure about the terrain in front of you, check it out first or get off and walk – that’s what I do! On easy routes, areas of uncertain ground will be minimised and won’t last long where they do occur. Because we’re located close to Durham, our cycling routes mainly start from the A167/A691 roundabout on its north-west outskirts.

Find Your Way

To find your way around we recommend Durham County Council’s three excellent maps that are marked up with all of the major cycle paths and routes that that you’ll encounter in the county (just be aware that these routes are constantly being developed so it might well be that there is more on the ground than there is on the map).

The maps (pictured at the top of the page) are:

  • Durham County West (Green
  • Durham County South (Blue)
  • Durham County North (Pink)

They are available from libraries or direct from Durham County Council.

Those of you who use GPS devices can download a GPX file for the route.


Here are our selections for heritage related cycling routes in County Durham. Although there are only a few at the moment we will be rapidly adding to them. Over the years we’ve cycled thousands of miles in County Durham alone, so we’ve got loads of routes but putting that knowledge in writing takes time so please bear with us.

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