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Walking Routes in the North East

Apr 28, 2022
Walking Routes in the North East

The North East of England is one of the most scenic parts of the UK, making it a perfect home for those keen on walking or hiking. The region is famous for its diverse landscape and rich natural beauty. There are plenty of areas to explore here, from the rugged coastline and soaring peaks to vast, vibrant grasslands.

Those who live in historic County Durham or industrial Middlesborough, bustling Newcastle or seafront Sunderland can find many breathtaking walking trails right on their doorstep. Below we’ve put together a list of some of the best ones.

Durham Heritage Coastal Walk

The Durham Heritage Coast Walk traces the historic North East coastline, covering coves, cliffs and sandy dunes. It’s a beautiful walk year-round, stretching from Sunderland to Hartlepool. No need to cover the entire 11-mile distance! There are many shorter sections to explore along the way, with sweeping views across the North Sea serving as a stunning backdrop.

The Durham Coastal Footpath passes through impressive magnesian limestone grasslands, home to various wildflowers, birds and insects – look for perfect orchids and skylarks in the summer months. The trail is waymarked and sticks to the coast, making it straightforward to follow without any maps.

Pennine Way National Trail

The Pennine Way National Trail stretches from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, passing through the North East on the way.

The route crosses County Durham market towns like Middleton-in-Teesdale and the Northumberland village of Byrness towards the Scottish Borders. Hop on this scenic National Trail for a walk and be rewarded with spectacular natural views and plenty of space to breathe.

Hadrian’s Wall Path

Hadrian’s Wall is an English treasure, a 73-mile Roman wall stretching from coast to coast. It’s studded with the remains of towers, forts and turrets which once kept watch over the wall, the northwest frontier of the Roman Empire. Today, you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site at various sites, including the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

The Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is an 84-mile path that traces the wall. The terrain is relatively easy, ideal for family groups or inexperienced walkers who want to combine a gentle hike with a unique historical adventure.

Great Aycliffe Way

Great Aycliffe Way is a beautiful 5.5-mile circular footpath surrounding the town of Great Aycliffe. The route covers woodland and parkland, a perfect countryside stroll for locals and visitors, not to mention being traffic-free, perfect for letting little ones explore along the way.

This unique walk is elevated by art sculptures scattered along the way. Works of stone, metal and wood are placed along the path, representing aspects of Great Aycliffe’s history and nature.

Chopwell Wood

If you’re in the mood for a peaceful woodland walk, head to Chopwell, a leafy gem on the fringes of Gateshead. Chopwell Wood boasts miles of straightforward, waymarked walking, cycling and horse-riding paths, perfect for a quiet stroll year-round.

There’s an easy access trail, a smooth circular route perfect for families with old or young walkers, and plenty of more tranquil paths to get you off the beaten track.