Teesdale Way Section 9 (Darlington to Hurworth-on-Tees)
Section 9 of the Teesdale Way links the borough town of Darlington to the village of Hurworth-on-Tees in County Durham. From the car park at Broken Scar Picnic Area to the King George V Memorial Fountain, the entire route is generally flat and fairly easy going. This is the ‘sportiest’ section on the Teesdale way, encroaching on a golf course, a village cricket pitch (where you might catch a game) and Middlesbrough FC’s football training ground. THERE IS A GPS ROUTE FILE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SECTION AS A FREE DOWNLOAD FROM THE SHOP.
Stats at a Glance
Distance: 9.4 km (5.8 miles) | Height Gain 50 m/165 ft | Maximum Elevation 53 m/175 ft | Profile Generally flat | Going Generally good but muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through farmland, woodlands and parkland | Supplies Darlington [1 km]; Hurworth on Tees
From Broken Scar, the route follows the course of the river as it drifts lazily along towards the village of Blackwell on the outskirts of Darlington. In summer the banks are very popular with locals and there is a noticeable increase in activity compared to previous sections. Through a short stretch of attractive woodland, close to Castle Hill, the trail emerges onto a quiet road, which subsequently joins a much busier one, followed by an extremely busy roundabout where the A66 crosses the A167 at Blands Corner (negotiate the roundabout anti-clockwise to reach a quiet lane towards Stressholme Golf Course).
Through the golf course, the road gives way once more to trail, passing through woods, seasonal crops, and close to the deep glacial ponds of Hell Kettles. Rejoining the A167 briefly, the trail crosses the River Skerne, one of five tributaries feeding the River Tees, to arrive in Hurworth Place, where County Durham is linked to North Yorkshire via Croft Bridge spanning the River Tees. On the other side of the river is one of three spa villages visited by the Teesdale Way. Croft-on-Tees is home to another fine medieval church dedicated to St Peter where the father of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ creator, Lewis Carroll, was once the rector.
Visiting the church requires a short diversion however, as the route turns steeply uphill towards Hurworth-on-Tees. Crossing the railway bridge at the top it then turns right, over a stile, to squeeze alongside the busy East Coast Main Line before entering the grounds of Rockliffe Park where the aforementioned sporting venues are located. A comfortable saunter on clipped, grassy trails ends at the stile on Blind Lane, which offers a quiet transition, along with fine views south-east to the North Yorkshire Moors, to finish at the King George V Fountain in the centre of Hurworth-on-Tees.