Day walks are themed routes which we’ve walked ourselves and shared as an active way to visit interesting places in Northern England and Southern Scotland. Some routes are more challenging than others; use the information we offer to make up your own route if you fancy something different. Every route that we share offers a pleasant walk of up to 16 miles to at least one site of interest that we think is worth promoting.
Day walks start and finish at the same location. Some are based on sections associated with one of the trails covered elsewhere on this site because they either incorporate obvious circuits falling within the 16 mile limit or have good transport links back to the start. For more options don’t discount the idea of walking a linear trail section ‘out & back’, it’s usually a great way of having a cafe stop at the half way point and you’ll appreciate the trail better. Maps are linked either in the Name or Location columns below (whichever is most appropriate).
A multi-terrain tour starting from the Neville Cross monument near the junction of the A167/A690 at Neville’s Cross on the western outskirts of Durham City. The route explores the extended site of one of the most important engagements in the Hundred Years War, which took place between English and Scottish armies in the hills above Durham on the 17th October 1346. There is apostassociated with this walk.
This varied, multi-terrain walk on both sides of the River Tees is one of the best in County Durham for flexibility, facilities, landscape value, history and geology. From the Demesnes recreation area in Barnard Castle to the medieval village of Romaldkirk, it crosses the Tees at three points: Deepdale Bridge at Barnard Castle; Cotherstone Bridge and Eggleston Bridge. The route is the complete version of Section 5 of the Teesdale Way and, as such, is fully waymarked either as a circuit or as a figure-of-eight (by crossing at Cotherstone).
Similarly to the last route, this splendid, multi-terrain walk – which extends Section 6 of the Teesdale Way – can be done as a circuit or figure-of-eight on both sides of the River Tees. Once again, it starts from the Demesnes recreation area, crossing the river at three, roughly equidistant, points: the Green Bridge at Thorngate; Abbey Bridge and Whorlton Bridge. IMPORTANT Whorlton Bridge has been closed completely for a couple of years (check the repair status here). As long as the situation persists our advice is to walk to Whorlton Bridge on the north bank of the Tees from where you get a good view of virtually everything on the south bank including Mortham Tower and the earthworks in Mortham Park (binoculars will be handy though). There’s a path that will take you steeply down to the Tees at the ‘Meeting of the Waters’. Factoid Apart from its own fascinating ecclesiastical history, Egglestone Abbey was a mustering point (much to the monks’ disgust) for the English Army on its march north to Bishop Auckland before defeating the Scots at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346.
A fairly strenuous, exposed high-level circuit on the SE edge of the Cheviots – mainly on decent tracks between Alnham, at the headwaters of the River Alm, and Ingram in the valley of the River Breamish. Clockwise from Alnham, it offers a comfortable cafe stop in Ingram and a shorter, less strenuous return leg (on a quiet road after Prendwick). Do it, ideally, on a fine day for the views and sites of antiquity – from pre-history to medieval.
Challenging 10-mile circuit of the highest peaks in the Cheviot massif including the Cheviot itself, Cairn Hill, Comb Fell and Hedgehope Hill. We did this as training for the second half of our Southern Upland Way hike in 2022. As it’s too high for much in the way of historical habitation, choose a nice day to appreciate the spectacular volcanic scenery. Car parking is near Langleeford, Harthope, on the Harthope Burn beneath Housey/Langlee Crags.
This rugged and exposed, hilly walk is drenched in history – from prehistoric to modern. Old Bewick camp is thought to be Iron Age hillfort with two enclosures, possibly developed by the Romans. Beautifully clear cup-and-ring markings of the Neolithic/Bronze Age can be found easily on, or close to, the trail, as well as Bronze Age burial cairns and well preserved WWII pillboxes. Bewick Hill Moor camp is thought to be the site of another Iron Age hillfort. Hepburn Bastle is really a tower house recorded as such before 1542 during the notorious reiving period. Ros Castle is yet another Iron Age settlement which may have been a medieval beacon site, perhaps as an alarm against reivers.
A relatively short but undulating walk with the primary objective of taking in a few bastle sites (all of which are private property). The route follows the River East Allen from Dirt Pot Bridge then contours around the lower half of Swinhope to return, on a quiet road via Middlehope, to the car park at Dirt Pot. Allendale is also defined by its c19th lead mining industry which supported significant quarrying, sites of which are also featured (Dirt Pot was at the foot of a long flue from the smelting works). There are no hospitality outlets on route, the closest of which are in nearby Allenheads.
Starting from Allen Banks & Staward Gorge National Trust car park this is a lovely, if strenuous, walk on land of which much is owned by the National Trust including the car park and its toilet facilities. The variously rugged trail is mainly through woodland and farmland (it can be very muddy during periods of wet weather). Staward Peel, the River Allen and the impressive exposed stratigraphy of the Stainmore Formation provide plenty of visual interest. There’s quite a bit of shelter but no hospitality outlets however, there’s a nice cafe & pub in nearby Bardon Mill. A post is associated with this route.
Section 3 of the Cleveland Way works well as a day walk, sharing the trail with the Lyke Wake Walk which begins in Osmotherley. Panoramic views from the Cleveland Hills northwards over the Tees Valley and southwards to the Hambleton Hills. Abandoned jet workings and incline planes proliferate along the Scugdale Beck. Lordstones cafe on Carlton Bank is perfectly sited at the halfway point. Return offers a good variation via Cod Beck reservoir
This walk is rich in the history of ironstone mines, railways and coastal erosion. Clockwise, there’s a steep climb out of Slapewath followed by a long, gentle descent to Victorian Saltburn by way of medieval Skelton. Huntcliffe is another big hill, the site of a Roman signal station (the first of several on the coastal section of the Cleveland Way) as well as an ironstone mine. Skinningrove retains some steel processing plus an excellent museum and cafe.
The main industry on this steeply pitching part of Yorkshire’s Jurassic coast was alum quarrying – at Loftus and Boulby – although the big Halite mine and research centre at Boulby was once an ironstone mine. Picturesque Staithes is associated with Captain Cook and smuggling while Port Mulgrave was built out of the cliffs to export iron ore. You’ll find St Hilda’s church and holy well plus a nice pub and cafe on the bus route in Hinderwell.
This route is a ‘game of two halves’: the first – from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay (RHB) – is more of Yorkshire’s fantastic, pitching Jurassic coastline while the second half returns to ‘Dracula Town’ on the NCN 1 ‘Cinder Track’ cycle path, an easy walk, the highlight of which is crossing the River Esk via Larpool Viaduct. Mustn’t forget also the incredibly steep gradient into and out of RHB suggesting why it was a haven for smugglers. Unmissable.
A nice, easy walk at any time of year, preferably when the tide is out so that you can make full use of the beach. It’s short enough for most people to walk back but there’s also a convenient direct rail link. This part of the England Coast Path National Trail links the Teesdale Way with the Cleveland Way (another National Trail).
Mixed bag of terrain where the main challenge is the ascent alongside ‘Rosedale Chimney’. GPS should save the navigational issues that we had around Redman’s Cross (easily corrected – eventually). Motivation for this route was to start investigating the ironstone industry in the North York Moors. We’d seen a model of one of the two ‘calcining kilns’ on either side of the dale, in the Land of Iron museum but I think I might have identified the wrong one!
Circuit based on Section 14 of the Weardale Way. Like Section 14 itself, it starts at the Queen Alexandra (QA) Bridge and visits the Bede Memorial Cross before returning to the QA Bridge via the C2C cycle path (you may prefer to start elsewhere however). You can visit the beach between Roker and Seaburn via the Cat & Dog Steps where you can see examples of the Permian geology on which Sunderland is built, known as the Cannonball Rocks.
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