Released: June 2015
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 220 x 120mm
Author: Norman & June Buckley
Walks for all Ages County Durham features 20 circular walks of up to 4¾ miles miles, suitable for all the family, that have been carefully chosen to deliver an enjoyable day or half day in the countryside.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, the authors then provide a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in County Durham is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the county.
Walk 01. Blanchland (1½ miles)
Walk 02. St John’s Chapel and Ireshopeburn (2¾ miles)
Walk 03. Stanhope and Ashes Quarry (1½ miles)
Walk 04. Frosterley (3½ miles)
Walk 05. Wolsingham (1½ miles)
Walk 06. High Force (4¾ miles)
Walk 07. Bowlees and Low Force (2½ miles)
Walk 08. Mickleton and Middleton-in-Teesdale (2½ miles)
Walk 09. Mickleton and Romaldkirk (2¼ miles)
Walk 10. Grassholme Reservoir (3¾ miles)
Walk 11. Blackton Reservoir and Low Birk Hat (2¼ miles)
Walk 12. Bowes (2¼ miles)
Walk 13. Cotherstone (2 miles)
Walk 14. Barnard Castle and Egglestone Abbey (2¾ miles)
Walk 15. Gainford and Piercebridge (2¼ miles)
Walk 16. Hamsterley Forest (1¾ miles)
Walk 17. Bishop Auckland (3½ miles)
Walk 18. Shincliffe Wood and the River Wear (1¾ miles)
Walk 19. Durham City (2 miles)
Walk 20. Seaham (3 miles)
Although it is generally less well known as walking countryside than areas such as the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, County Durham is nevertheless a great area for walkers and is well provided with routes appropriate for ‘Walks for all Ages’. The dales in the west of the county, particularly Weardale and Teesdale, with its superb waterfalls, are at least the equal of any of the better-known Yorkshire Dales.
Long known as a great coal-mining county, Durham has benefited from immense clearing-up activity since the decline of the industry. The coast, where beaches had been obliterated by millions of tons of colliery spoil, is a good example. There is now an official Durham Coast Path and National Nature Reserve, together with visitor facilities. A transformation indeed. Another notable feature is the use made of redundant railway lines. The county played a leading part in the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, when a network of early railways connected the mines, the steelworks and the ports. Many of these lines have now become official walking routes.
Added attractions to walking in County Durham are the small towns and villages, many of them of historic interest. Middleton-in-Teesdale, Blanchland, (‘the prettiest village in the north-east’), Cotherstone, Romaldkirk, Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland and St John’s Chapel are just a few of the places which add to the interest of a gentle walk. The city of Durham is one of the great smaller cities of Britain. Steeped in history, with historic buildings and visitor attractions, it is the focal point of the ‘Land of the Prince Bishops’ and is a prime destination for visitors. Other well-known attractions include Raby Castle, the ‘living museum of the north’ at Beamish, Killhope Mining Museum, Shildon Railway Museum, the Tanfield Railway, Auckland Castle and the Bowes Museum.
Although the walks included in this book are, almost by definition, short and generally avoid numerous stiles or serious ascents, they embrace a wide range of landscapes. Most are circular but the use of former railway lines does encourage a linear format, using a bus service for the return in some cases. Sections of designated long-distance footpaths such as the Teesdale Way, the Weardale Way and the Durham Coast Path have been incorporated into some of the walks. All the walks are carefully described, with the salient features, including refreshment, set out in a ‘Basics’ section for easy reference. Features of interest are mentioned, many of them being illustrated by photographs, and maps are provided. The use of the recommended Ordnance Survey map does enhance the understanding and enjoyment of the countryside. Although some routes can be walked in stout shoes, there is no doubt that a pair of walking boots is much the best footwear for the variety of underfoot conditions which may be encountered.
Norman & June Buckley