Escomb, Witton Park and Etherley; Iron, Steam, Coal and Countryside - A Mineral Valleys Project Walk of approximately 5 miles/8 kilometres of moderate grade.
This walk takes in Escomb Saxon Church - Built around 670AD it is the oldest complete Saxon church in England.
Continue past the site of Old Etherley Colliery George Pit - this was sunk by W C Stobart & Co in 1837, finally closing in 1924. 500 men and boys extracted up to 700 tons of coal per day.
Continue past Woodside to Phoenix Row near Low Etherley. This is the route of the first passenger railway. On the morning of the 27th September 1825, 12 wagons of coal left Phoenix Pit. For the first short section of this historic journey, the wagons were horse-drawn before being hauled by stationary steam-engines and finally by George Stephenson's 'Locomotion'.
Continue past the site of the Engine House then onto Etherley Grange, Etherley Moor and back to Escomb.
An alternative route can be taken to pass Witton Park and Escomb Lake, taking in some of The Weardale Way.
Route supplied by Durham County Council Access and Rights of Way Team.
- Distance: 1-5 Miles
- Grade: Moderate
- Route Surface: Off Road
- Distance (6-10 Km)
- Grade (Moderate)
- In countryside
- Time (1-2 hours)