We love winter walks, especially on crisp cold wintery days. It’s a chance to escape the same four walls, get some fresh air, stretch our legs and explore somewhere new. 

Close to many of the county’s popular walking routes you’ll find many independent coffee shops and quaint cafes offering tasty takeaway food and hot drinks to go. To help inspire you, we’ve picked top walking routes from across the county where you can warm up along the way by grabbing a hot coffee or brew-to-go.   

*We strongly advise checking opening times directly with businesses before visiting, espeically during the festive period as opening times may vary. 

Causey Arch landscape and woodland

Causey Arch

Explore long paths on both sides of the wooded gorge below Causey Arch – the world’s oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge.

A short walk from Causey Arch you’ll find Tanfield Railway station where The Waiting Room Café is serving takeaway food and drinks every day from 10am to 2pm*.

man and woman walking past the River Wear with Durham Cathedral in background.

Durham City

Wrap up warm and head out to explore the banks of the River Wear in historic Durham City

You can enjoy delicious hot drinks whilst enjoying the spectacular views of Durham City peninsular and UNESCO World Heritage Site as you follow the riverside trail. Across the city you’ll find plenty of quaint coffee shops and independent eateries offering takeaway refreshments. 

View of River Tees at Barnard Castle, County Durham.

Flatts Wood and Percy Bank, Barnard Castle

Discover not one, but two beautiful woodlands in the heart of Barnard Castle on this short walk along the banks of the River Tees and Percy Beck. Its also a great spot to admire the ruins of ancient Barnard Castle overlooking the mighty river.  

Close to the starting point of this walk you can grab a warming drink from The Witham, who are serving takeaway drinks from Wednesday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm*. 

view of Hardwick Park, Country Durham during autumn

Hardwick Country Park

Hardwick Country Park is another great place to explore with the kids. Enjoy a relaxing bike ride through the park’s beautifully landscaped grounds or follow one follow the park’s nature trails and see if you can spot the resident Gruffalo sculpture.

The park’s café and toilets are open daily from 10am – 3.30pm*.  

View of High Force Waterfall, County Durham during autumn season.

High Force Waterfall

Before striding out on the woodland walk along to the mighty High Force Waterfall don’t forgot to pay a visit to High Force Hotel’s refreshment kiosk which is serving hot and cold drinks to enjoy on your walk. Open daily throughout the winter season (expect Christmas Day). 

view of Raby Castle and deer park during winter season

Raby Castle

Throughout December Raby Castle’s 200 acre deer park and medieval walled gardens are open every day until Christmas Eve from 10am -  4pm*.

Grab a drink to go from the Stables Café , see if you can spot the resident deer, Longhorn Cattl and other incredible wildlife. Plus the kids can enjoy completing the brand new Reindeer Trail activity sheet whilst exploring the park. 

Raby is about to go through an exciting development and restoration period in 2022. During this time The Walled Gardens will be closed, however visitors can still acess the garden until the end of December 2021. The castle's wider park will remain open during this time, and as an added bonus the Castle Terrace is will be open during January and February 2022.   

Father walking with two children on Seaham Beach, County Durham

Seaham Beach

Seaham's main beach is a hot spot for dog walkers and sea glass collectors alike, no matter what time of year you visit. Take your pick from walking along the long beach and see if you can spot any famous sea glass or enjoy the views out towards the North Sea from the clifftop walk.

Grab a hot drink before your refreshing seaside walk from one of the many cosy coffee shops on North Terrace or head down to Seaham Marina where you can pick up delicious takeaway snacks and drinks at Flamingo Bar & Café.

aerial shot of Ushaw historic house, chapels and garden covered in snow

Ushaw - Historic House, Chapels and Gardens 

Throughout the winter season Ushaw’s beautiful gardens and grounds are open daily from 11am to 4pm, apart from 23rd - 27th December 2022 when the full grounds will be closed. The Main House, Chapels & Cafe will be closed from 21/12/21 - 03/01/22.

Before you follow the winding paths through ancient trees and beautiful flower beds, head to The Bounds Café and treat yourself to one of the café’s fabulous festive drinks including gingerbread latte and hazelnut hot chocolate. 

view of Durham City from Wharton Park

Wharton Park, Durham City 

Wharton Park is a great place to explore with your little ones, there’s so much to explore. From the outdoor play area to the Battery viewing point, which offers amazing views of the historic city below. 

The park’s café is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 4.30pm* and offers takeaway snacks and refreshments. Public toilets are available daily 10am – 4.30pm.  

Visit our dedicated walking in Durham page for more walking inspiration.

*We strongly advise checking opening times directly with businesses before visiting, espeically during the festive period as opening times may vary. 

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