Penshaw Monument - Great Lumley - Newbottle - Penshaw Monument
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Penshaw Monument - Cox Green - Fatfield - New Lambton - Great Lumley - Fence Houses - Newbottle - West Herrington - Penshaw Monument
Penshaw Hill towers over the surrounding countryside, providing commanding views of the entire area. It was an obvious location to build a memorial to honour John Lambton, the first Earl of Durham. The iconic folly known as Penshaw Monument is the starting point of this long, mainly flat walk nestling in the pleasant countryside on the southern fringe of the heavily populated urban mass that is Tyne and Wear. The tree-lined riverside paths and the many woodlands along the route, particularly on the outward part of the walk, create a distinctly rural feel considering their close proximity to the urban sprawl.
From the monument the walk descends to intersect the tidal River Wear at the tranquil Cox Green. The route then crosses the river for the only time on the walk for a pleasant, mile-long stroll to Fatfield, following the line of the river along the River Wear Trail. The route then recrosses the river where the next 7.5 miles are spent tracing the route of the Weardale Way Long-distance Walk as it briefly follows the meandering River Wear. Where the river enters the private Lambton Park, the Weardale Way route moves around the edge of the park through delightful woods and along charming lanes to re-intersect the river at Chester-le-Street Golf Course. More riverside walking follows before the route heads away from the river to skirt Great Lumley and then heads south on the road towards Fichale Abbey and changing direction to start the return leg of the walk.
New tree plantations and open fields feature at the start of the return leg as the walk reaches Fence Houses. A short trip through a built-up area follows as the route once again takes to the rivers and fields, before a short, stiff climb (the only one on the return leg) takes you through the centre of Newbottle. From here Penshaw Monument reappears as the route descends very gently through fields and woods to West Herrington for the final lap through the thoughtfully landscaped Herrington Country Park, on the site of a former colliery and opencast mine.
England - North England - Tyne and Wear - Countryside
Birds, Butterflies, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
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