Penshaw Monument - Fatfield - 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 thoughtfully landscaped Herrington Country Park, on the site of a former colliery and opencast mine.

England - North England - Tyne and Wear - Countryside

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
09/06/2018 - Alan Anderson

As a result of the comments from Susan, I re-plotted the route in 'Tracklogs', which is the digital mapping software I use to plan and create all my walks and the distance walked was the same as the original, ie; 17.5 miles. As a comparison I then plotted the route in Google Earth and came up with a length that was within 1/10th of a mile of the original, ie: 17.4 miles. To be honest I would have been surprised if the 'Tracklogs' figure had been innacurate by as much of a factor as 12% (2.5 miles) over a distance of 17.5 miles as Susan suggested!

03/06/2018 - susan gourley

Walked 02.6.2018 First of all this walk is closer to 20 miles and not 17.5miles as stated. Something to bear in mind if you plan on walking it. As nearly all of this walk follows pubic footpaths or skirts farmers fields i wouldn't recommend doing this if its raining or has been raining heavily. It's a very easy route to follow using the written instructions and the map. The point raised about point 22-23 being over grown, we simply bypassed this by continuing to the junction and turning left to point 23.

23/05/2018 - christine gale

Another great walk well signed and described, mainly through lovely woodland - very good idea to go up to Penshaw Monument at the beginning of the walk as it would be quite a challenge at the end. Only comment is that from section 22 to 23 the path is progressively overgrown, inaccessible and then non existent due to landowners usage. I think an alternative path should be found for this short section.

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