Brignall Banks - Brignall Mill - Greta Bridge - Brignall

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Brignall Banks was immortalised by Sir Walter Scott when he wrote the words:

'O Brignall Banks are wild and fair
And Greta's woods are green
And you may gather garlands there,
Would grace a summer queen'.

This is an excellent walk for those interested in flora and fauna. It affords ample opportunities to observe woodland flowers, birds, small mammals and if lucky, deer. The walk is from the tiny hamlet of Brignall on the Durham and Yorkshire county borders. It is chiefly through a wooded glen alongside the River Greta to Brignall Mill. The route back is along the opposite side of the glen and out across pastureland, before joining a minor road to Greta Bridge and the field-path back to Brignall.

England - North England - Durham - Countryside


Birds, Church, Flowers, River, Wildlife, Woodland
2/23/2019 - Steve Wallace

A very nice river walk, well signed, mainly through wooded valley but with varied scenery and some great views in the latter part of the walk. Snowdrops were in bloom on our visit (February) and I'm sure there'll be flora to see through the year. The walk is largely dog-friendly although grouse are raised (and shot) here, so if your mutt's a chaser he might require a leash in places. There are a couple of stiles that a dog might need help with, but others are easy and some have been (recently by the look) equipped with dog gates. The stretch between map points 10 and 11 has some very slippy slopey places where the path has eroded away. Care needs to be taken here since there is a significant fall to rocks and the river. This is certainly a walk we'll be repeating.

6/15/2014 - Pat McTiernan

An absolutely excellent walk!! Done in June 2014 when everything is in full bloom and totally overgrown, this area is bursting with wildlife; the earlier you carry out the walk the more you will see. Easy to follow directions, make sure that dogs are on a leash when leaving the woods as the place is heavily populated with sheep, some are also kept around the mill. Be aware that the detour up to ‘Scargill Castle’ might not be advised as it is more of a holiday home than a tourist attraction. Walkers should also consider waterproof leggings even on a dry day due to water retained in the long grass and other foliage, and some stinging nettles can be above waist height.

9/26/2010 - Ian Black

We did this walk in September and agree with the moderate rating. A stunning walk through riverside and woodland. In places the path was very slippy due to wet stones and tree roots, and definitely not one to attempt in winter or after heavy rain - it would be potentially treacherous in places. However, that said, it was thoroughly enjoyable with an abundance of fungi!! The walk directions were excellent and very easy to follow.

6/4/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks to David Stewart for updating this walk, May 2009.

8/14/2007 - Christine Meynell

Didn't heed the warnings and did the walk in August! It was also raining, so I'm glad of strong waterproof walking boots and waterproofs, which protected us from the stingy nettles. I made the mistake of letting husband map read. We ended up totally lost but were helped by a lovely local couple who got us back on track. We ended up doing 12 miles instead of the 7! Was my most adventurous, muddy walk yet, more like an assault course with the rain, weeds and getting lost. A very pleasurable experience indeed. By the end, we detoured to the local Morritt Arms Hotel, where I stayed for a pint and sent hubby the last mile to fetch the car. Definately not for the faint hearted or those who aren't sure footed.

6/10/2002 - Walkingworld Administrator

Great walk - a real adventure and the flowers are simply wonderful! (We walked it last Saturday.) Definitely not for the faint-hearted (or children) though!! The path alongside the gorge has slipped away in places and in other places the route would be impassable after alot of rain when the river would be high. At Brignall Mill the footpath is diverted around the front and left of the house and not via the drive as suggested. Already the path is becoming very overgrown so heed Michael's words about walking at the right time of year. Thoroughly enjoyable!

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13.7 Miles