A bench isn’t just a place to sit, it’s a place to rest, a place to catch up with friends and most importantly it allows people to spend more time outside, by sitting back, relaxing, and taking a moment to soak up their surroundings.

From a soothing seaside stroll to relaxing riverbank ramble, or peaceful wander around the park, we’ve picked seven walks across the county with benches where you can sit back and enjoy some pretty special views.

From short walks to longer trails, many of these walks are also wheelchair and pushchair friendly, making them the perfect place to explore with all the family with plenty of bench pit stops along the way.

View of the north sea and crimdon dene beach from the visitor centre outdoor seating area.

Crimdon Dene Beach 

For stunning clifftop views head to the Dunes Café at Crimdon Dene Beach, on the Durham Heritage Coast. After a walk along the beach, grab a snack or refreshing drink from the café and head outside to the picnic benches, where you can enjoy superb views across Crimdon Beach, the North Sea and even the North Yorkshire coast! You may be lucky enough to spot the rare Little Tern birds, who return each year to Crimdon’s sand dunes to breed before heading back to West Africa for winter.   

grandparents and grandchild sit on beach admiring view of Derwent Reservoir

Derwent Waterside Park

A haven for nature enthusiasts, Derwent Waterside Park is open daily for walks, rides, fishing and more! Across the park you'll find many benches where you can sit and enjoy the view of Derwent Reservoir and Dam. Tuck into a delicious picnic, see what migratory birds you can spot, or simply take five and relax as you follow the trail around the reservoir.

couple sat on a bench overlooking the River Wear and with Durham Cathedral in the background on a sunny day.

Durham City Riverbank Walk 

The benches along the riverbank in Durham City must be some of the most popular seats in the whole county, especially the benches on the left-hand side of the River Wear. No matter what time of year you visit, you're certain to find someone taking a moment on these benches to soak up the world-famous view of Durham Cathedral as it towers above the river.  

man sitting on bench with dog admiring the view of Hardwick Park, Sedgefield, County Durham

Hardwick Park 

Hardwick Park in the Vale of Durham is one of the county’s most beautiful parks. Dating back to the 18th century, this Grade II listed park has many historical features to discover. Many would argue there’s no better way to spend a sunny morning than following the circular route around the park. You’ll find many benches dotted across the picturesque park, many of which offer superb views across the lake and park’s historic structures including the Temple of Minerva and Gothic Ruin.

Don’t forget to pop into the Hardwick Park visitor centre upon arrival, where you can pick up bird seed to feed the park’s many resident ducks and wild birds from your park bench.

View of the North Sea and Blast Beach from a bench at Nose's Point Nature Reserve, County Durham.

Nose’s Point Nature Reserve 

Breathe in the fresh sea air as you’re blown away by the view at Nose’s Point Nature Reserve. Perched above Blast Beach you’ll find many picnic benches and park benches which are perfect for soaking up those refreshing seaside views. From here you can join the Durham Heritage Coast Footpath which stretches all the way to Crimdon Dene Beach.   

Exterior view of The Bowes Museum and grounds on a spring day with empty bench in foreground.

The Bowes Museum 

The Bowes Museum is home to an outstanding collection of fine art, but did you know it also has a beautiful parkland to explore? Relax and unwind as you follow the trails through landscaped gardens and wonderful woodland. The walking trail around the museum’s grounds is fully accessible and has plenty of benches where you take a break and fully appreciate the detailed architecture of this stunning French style building.   

View of Tunstall Reservoir from a bench courtesy of  Andrew Marshall, Wolsingham Wayfarers.

Tunstall Reservoir

The Durham Dales is home to many reservoirs, but a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike is Tunstall Reservoir. Near to the carpark you'll find a peaceful picnic spot where you can sit down and soak up the view across the reservoir - the perfect finishing point after following the family-friendly 2 mile circular route around the reservoir.  

Image of Tunstall Reservoir by Andrew Marshall, courtesy of Wolsingham Wayfarers.

To discover more walks with stunning views visit our dedicated walking in Durham page




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