AboutWalk 1 is a 1.7 km/ 1 mile route and takes approximately 35 minutes. It crosses fields and returns via the road.
Walk 2 is a 2.5 km/ 12⁄3 mile route and takes approximately 1 hour at a leisurely pace. This route goes through fields, along a surfaced riverside path and loops around the village to take in the Market Square, St Thomas’ Church and the main row of shops.
Walk 3 is a 3 km/ 2 mile route, with an option to extend to Frosterley and back along a surfaced minor road (an extra 7km/ 41⁄2 miles). Allow approximately 11⁄2 hours.
Walks 1 & 2:
1. Start from The Weardale Railway’s Stanhope Station. If you arrive by train, go through the kissing gate into the playing field (if you do not arrive by train, you need to cross the footbridge first to reach the kissing gate). Follow the direction of the finger post pointing you across the football field (please divert around the field edge if the pitch is being used). Go through a kissing gate in the wall opposite.
2. Walk along a grassy path through two small fields, going through two more kissing gates. Cross the Weardale Railway Line, go through a kissing gate which brings you into Wear Terrace, a small lane with a row of cottages next to the River Wear. Walk along to the road end – this is The Butts.
3. At the T junction, the walk routes diverge.
For Walk 1, turn right, up to the Market Square (St Thomas’ Church and the Fossil Tree are diagonally to the left, over the main road). Walk down the main road, past the Post Office and follow the directions at 6.
For Walk 2 (you are about halfway), turn left to a small triangle of grass and the riverside footpath. Walk along here for about 300 metres and you will reach a footbridge.
4. Here, at the footbridge, you may have a choice of routes. If the River Wear is low enough for you to see the stepping stones 200 metres upstream, you may like to cross the footbridge, and recross the river by the stones. If the river is high, DO NOT attempt to cross the river by this route. Instead, take the all-weather route along the lovely riverside path until you reach a children’s play area on your left.
5. Turn right at the road, pass the Weardale Swimming Pool (open air) and turn right again at the T junction along the main road. This will take you past The Durham Dales Centre with an Information Centre that carries an excellent range of books on the rich industrial history of this fascinating area and staff happy to help with all enquiries from outdoor recreation to accommodation and places to visit.
Opposite The Durham Dales Centre is Stanhope Castle which is privately owned. The next landmark you pass is the Church of St Thomas next to the Market Square with the outstanding fossil tree set back from the wall.
Continue along this road, making time to browse in the main row of shops.
6. About 400 metres past Stanhope Post Office turn right down a minor road signed ‘Weardale Railway’ and ‘Stanhope Industrial Estate’. Head down this road for 200 metres to return to the station.
1. Start from The Weardale Railway’s Stanhope Station. If you arrive by train, go through the kissing gate into the playing field (if you do not arrive by train, you need to cross the footbridge first to reach the kissing gate). Through the gate, ignore the footpath sign that points across the pitch and instead turn sharp left to head alongside the railway to the white metal kissing-gate at the field corner (next to the River Wear).
2. Observe the safety warning signs and cross over the railway line, through another white kissing-gate to a narrow path alongside the river.
3. After 200m go through another kissing gate and keep straight on, with the fence on your right. This brings you to a stile onto the road.
4. Turn right along the road to cross the river, heading uphill and over the railway.
5. On the corner ahead is Heather View Caravan Site. For a longer walk of an extra 7km/ 41⁄2 miles (there and back to this point), turn left and follow the lane to Frosterley (turn left at the end of this lane into Frosterley itself). Otherwise, turn right into the Caravan Site, following the site road, which is a public footpath. Keep to the site road for about 500m.
6. At ‘Hazel Corner’ bear right and leave the Caravan Site by a stile next to a gate (marked ‘Weardale Way’). This takes you into a strip of woodland, with the river below on the right. Follow the path through down to a stile.
7. Cross the stile and follow the field edge to go under the railway line via a small tunnel, then keep to the next field edge. As you approach a large barn, bear right to a field gate beside Unthank Mill.
8. Go through the gate onto a tarmac track and keep straight ahead for 100m. Turn right to cross the river bridge, turn left along the riverside path until you reach a road. Follow directions for Walk 2 from onwards to get you back to the station.
Cautionary note about cows and calves…
Cattle may be inquisitive and approach you, especially if you have a dog. Please:
• avoid walking through a herd of cattle and never come between a cow and her calf.
• keep your dog under close control, preferably on a short lead.
• if you have a dog with you and feel threatened by cattle, let the dog go and retreat.
This route passes near to the following Taste Durham establishment: The Durham Dales Centre.
Route provided by Access and Rights of Way at Durham County Council.
- Distance: 1-5 Miles
- Grade: Easy
- Route Surface: Off Road
- Theme: Family Friendly
- Theme: Heritage
- Theme: Nature
- Theme: Rivers / Reservoirs
- In countryside
- Walk Distance - 1 - 2 miles