Circular Walk Around River Wear South of Durham City
Tel: +44 03000 262626
Located just to the south of the historic city of Durham this picturesque walk encircles two huge loops of the River Wear. The section of the route just past Shincliffe Hall follows paths that were extensively lobbied for by the Ramblers. The area around Low Burnhall is set to change dramatically due to its recent acquisition by the Woodland Trust. An area of 68ha/168 acres will be planted with 86,000 new trees which will extend and protect the existing ancient woodland and create large areas of new woodland to be enjoyed by all.
1. START From the bridge on the A177 over the River Wear at Shincliffe, go south alongside the west bank of the river and then follow the road south to Houghall Farm. Continue straight on over a stile where the road turns L, and go along the route of the old tramway to Burn Hall Colliery. After ascending a flight of steps, bear L into a field and keep the wood on your R.
2. Pass the first footpath leading R into the wood and take the second one after 400m/450yds. Descend and cross the stream, and bear L through the next field, then following a clear path through a succession of fields to Low BurnhaIl. This area will soon be a new forest planted by the Woodland Trust. Proceed down the access track to the A167.
3. Turn L and follow the road to the Honest Lawyer hotel. Turn R onto the B6300 for about 150m/160yds and then turn L across the old Sunderland Bridge spanning the River Wear. Built in 1796, the bridge consists of a single iron arch with a span of 72m/236ft, which was the largest of any single-arched stone bridge at the time. It originally carried the Great North Road, but was not strong enough to sustain the loads when the new A1 (now A167) was opened. Turn immediately L over a cattle grid and through a tunnel beneath the A167.
4. Follow the private road through the Croxdale estate to Croxdale Hall, owned by the Salvin family since the 15th century. The building is Grade-I listed and dates from the 17th century, albeit with major additions and alterations since then. It was used as a military hospital during World War II and subsequently as a maternity hospital. There is a disused 12thcentury chapel in the grounds, which is also Grade-I listed. Bear L past a fine old barn to Croxdale Wood House and High Butterby Farm. At the farm, turn R along the lane then L downhill alongside the stream and into the beautiful Shincliffe Woods to the river. Walk alongside the river and pass to the L of Shincliffe Hall, which dates back to 1748. The current layout was completed in the 1820s and was home to land army girls during World War II. It is now used as holiday accommodation. The grounds sit in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by 1.5ha/3.8 acres of woodland and gardens.
5. Keep going along a new section of footpath lobbied for by the local Ramblers, and back along the road to Shincliffe village and your start point. Route devised and checked by Durham City Ramblers. This route passes near to the following Taste Durham establishments:- Seven Stars Inn, The Rose Tree, Gadds Town House, Zen, Bramble Coffee Shop and Botanic Garden Cafe.
- Distance: 5-10 Miles
- Stiles on Route
Parking & Transport
- Off site parking
- Village Location
- Walk Distance