- Way of Learning
Gain the ultimate enlightenment on The Way of Learning as it takes you on the trail of England’s original scholar, the Venerable Bede through a rich legacy of the North East’s foremost industry, inventiveness and innovation.
‘Devote yourself to learn the sayings and doings of the men of old ’ runs a quote from the Father of English History, the Venerable Bede, around the atrium of a museum dedicated to him at Jarrow Hall, near the start of The Way of Learning. The quote is an apt metaphor for this walk.
The route traces the special places associated with Britain’s best-known scholar-monk the Venerable Bede, besides taking you on a journey to ground-breaking Roman discoveries (Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort), the majestic medieval Finchale Priory, where fascinating St Godric once
attracted attention from as far afield as Rome for his famous piety, and masterful modern cultural icons such as The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields.
This, the most urban of the six Northern Saints Trails, might have less of the jaw-dropping countryside the North East invariably exhibits, but it compensates by being jam-packed with cultural eye-openers. The area has produced countless firsts (first English history book, England’s first stained glass, first incandescent light bulb) and the route winds between example after example of the region’s exceptional innovativeness over the centuries, and the museums that champion it. But one character stands out from The Way of Learning in particular and that is the Venerable Bede.
Learn about his life and times and pass the monasteries where he studied and became inspired to produce some of England’s most important early literary works. By the time you reach his tomb at Durham Cathedral you might well feel as if you are revisiting an old acquaintance. You will certainly feel acquainted with a region that can justly claim to have been instrumental in kindling the thirst for knowledge we hold so dear today.
The Northern Saints Passport allows visitors to collect stamps at attractions and places to eat and drink along the six Northern Saints routes. Look out for venues that showcase the passport icon on the Northern Saints Trails website. View the current participating venues, with new locations added regularly.
The Northern Saints Trails Visitor Guide is a 55-page full colour guide that includes route descriptions and maps of the six Northern Saints Trails.
For full route descriptions download the documents below.
*Please note a change to the current route:
There is currently a riverside closure in place for a couple of years while a new pedestrian/cycle bridge gets installed. This is situated over the river to the west of the Wearmouth and adjacent railway bridge. between the lower end of Bonnersfield and the east side of the Queen Alexandra roundabout, the C2C bifurcates with a riverside route (closed for 1-2yrs) and a high route signed via Stadium Park.
The map in the images above shows some alternative routes:
Green = temporary route and 1 of 2 permanent C2C alignments
Red = closed
Yellow = truncated and/or alternative pedestrian access
Blue = regular Way of Learning route
Purple = signing points advising of closure and alternative route.