Explore County Durham with a Cicerone guidebook
Walking in County Durham
Land of the Prince-Bishops by Paddy Dillon
Handy guidebook with detailed descriptions of 40 day walks, plus 10 traffic-free cycle routes along old railway trackbeds. Together they cover 450 miles and spread all over County Durham to show the region's history and natural wonders. The terrain covered ranges from field paths to open moorlands, from the North Sea to the high Pennines. More...
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Walking in County Durham contains detailed route descriptions for 40 day walks and 10 cycle routes spread over all parts of County Durham. Most of the day walks are circular so anyone using a car can return to it easily at the end of their walk. However, a few routes are linear and will require the use of public transport to complete. Details on the public transport needed are clearly displayed in the guidebook to help you.
Altogether, the walking routes cover 317 miles across immensely rich and varied countryside, taking in some of the finest and most interesting features around the county. However, walking in County Durham is remarkably varied. A low cliff-coast is riven by wooded ‘denes’ or valleys which means there are plenty of ups and downs. Heading more inland, the gently rolling countryside becomes progressively hillier whereas the western half of County Durham consists of elevated moorlands cleft by broad green dales. The Pennine Way has introduced many walkers to some of the most outstanding scenery in County Durham, while the Teesdale Way and Weardale Way offer long-distance walks along the two main rivers running through the region.
The cycling routes chosen are almost entirely along railway paths, and apart from those on high and exposed moors, they could be followed at almost anytime of the year. Generally, the old trackbeds are level, but sometimes they feature quite noticeable gradients – great for downhill runs, but difficult when heading up hill. Together these routes cover 130 miles, and it is quite possible to cover them all in a continuous cycling trip of just a few days.