Walking from Durham without a car


Weardale is a most beautiful part of Northern England and easily accessible by Bus from Durham. The easiest route is to catch the Arriva X46 from Durham to Crook, and then the Weardale 101 to Stanhope and a connection from there if needed further up the valley. To check the times use the journey planner web site (Just type the Durham Place names and it works fine). Key bus stops are Cowshill, Wear Head, St John's Chapel, Ireshopeburn, Westgate, Eastgate, Stanhope, Frosterley (Don't pronounce the h's in the middle of these names if you want to be understood first time!) The buses run late into the evening so there is virtually no risk of missing the last bus home but watch out for the missing bus at 6.40 in the evening.
The cheapest way to travel is using an "Explorer Ticket" which costs £5.25 for the day. Weardale Travel run sales of explorer tickets in September and March with a £1 discount.
More difficult to get to but well worth a visit is Teesdale (get a fast bus to Darlington and from their to Barnard Castle and then to Middleton in Teesdale from there). It is also possible to get buses up Allendale by going via Newcastle.

Possible routes
There are many footpaths out of Weardale but on the moors footpaths are few and far between. We have encountered no problems with accessing the moorland but there are no guarantees and I can accept no liability for any problems incurred. Please ensure you have adequate waterproof clothing and solid boots - remember that on many days walking on the moors in Weardale you will not see another person - i.e. help is not easily to hand!
Routes are many and various and I cannot over recommend OS 1:25 000 North Pennines (Outdoor leisure 31, Teesdale and Weardale) Map (Outdoor Leisure 31) although for some of my routes the 1:50 000 maps of Durham and Newcastle (Landranger 91), Middlesbrough (Landranger 93), Darlington (Landranger 92) and Hexham (Landranger 87) will also be required.
 

Walk 1 Frosterly to St. John's Chapel along southern ridge
Starting from Frosterley (024 369) descend down the B road toward Bollihope for half a km then take the footpath (opposite the school, 022 365) up the hill to Hill End (015 361). Follow the footpath gently climbing in a westerly direction (climbing to the top of Catterick (995 359) if desired). Continue along the footpath (or along the ridge) to the B6278 (986 367). Follow the B road over the saddle and take the footpath (984 363) westerly past the Shooting Hut (975 363) and over Carrs Top (961 365). Follow the ridge up to Snowhope Hill (942 344) and from there the fence to Outberry Plain (937 331). Continue along the ridge to the trig point (923 326) on top of James Hill. Continue along the same ridge past (in a not especially near sense of the word) the two curricks (short cut) to the C road (898 332) and car park. From the car park continue along the ridge over Dora's Seat (888 332) and past the top of the ski tows. Follow the ridge to Fendrith Hill (trig point, 876 333) and then along the ridge to the North to Chapelfell Top (875 346). Descend the hill in a northerly direction until the field boundary's are found. Follow the field boundary to your right and you should be able to continue down the hill again without crossing any field boundries. Pick up the bridle way (878 364) and follow the bridle way into St John's Chapel (885 379).

Short cut
Drop off from the ridge onto Black Hill (trig 913 356) and from there to the Bridleway (909 365) to Swinhopeburn (910 376) and Westgate (908 381).
Walk 1 may be walked in either direction and if there is a wind from the west I'm certainly advise doing from the west!

Walk 2 St. John's Chapel to Wearhead along southern ridge
Starting from St John's Chapel follow the bridle way opposite the church along the track out of the village. Follow the wall north at the end of the first "field" where the track is not fenced/walled on both sides. From the top of this wall either climb Chapelfell Top or contour round to the minor road between St John's Chapel and Langdon Beck. Climb to the highest point on the road then follow the ridge North West to Noon Hill. Descend in a West SouthWesterly direction and follow the fence up on to Three Pikes Hill (We didn't bother finding the cain on the top because it looked like a bit of a trudge over/through a bog!). Follow the ridge round over Causeway Hill, Cutthroat Meas, High field (trig point) Scaud hill and up onto Burnhope Seat. Most of the ridge has a fence going along it which is not marked on the map making finding what paths there are much easier. From Burnhope Seat follow the fence North to Dead stones where a small shelter (4 person) may be found. Follow the spur East to High Watch Currick (trig point). Continue East over Cleugh Head  and down the Footpath / track to Black Cleugh. From here the minor road may be followed down into to Cowshill or alternatively the footpath via Stonedrass and into Wearhead may be taken. If time permits (i.e. you have a wait for the next bus) follow the Weardale way along the side of the river for a few miles.
Walk 2 may be walked in either direction and if there is a wind from the west I'm certainly advise doing from the west!

Walk 3 Wearhead to Wearhead (okay you could do this one with a car!)
Starting in Wearhead take the footpath to the south of the river Wear and then follow the tributary (Burnhope Burn) as far as the footbridge. Cross the foot bridge and continue along the side of the river and up to Stonedrass. Follow the foot path again up to Black cleugh and the minor road (between Cowshill and Burnhope Dam). Follow the footpath/ track up the hill and continue West to Highwatch Currick. Follow the ridge west to the shelter at Dead stones. Follow the fence north to Nag's Head (the Hill not the pub I'm afraid!) . Continue along the fence to Knotberry Hill and down to the A689 at Killhope Cross. Follow the ridge North then bear round to the East to Killhope Law (complete with random wooden pole). From here an interesting extension takes the walker out of Weardale and down into Allenheads along the Weardale Way. Alternatively just follow the ridge to the B6295 (between Allenheads and Cowshill). From the summit of the road follow the fence for half a km then follow the Weardale Way South onto the A689. Follow the A689 a short distance down hill then turn sharp right along a medium sized road. Turn Left sharp down hill to the river and follow the Weardale way back into Cowshill.
While in this part of the world a visit to Killhope Lead Mining Museum is well in order.
Walk 3 may be walked in either direction.

These walks will continue to be updated and will shortly (with luck) also include Grid References...

Walk 4 Middleton in Teesdale to Frosterly via Great Eggles Hope
Middleton in Teesdale, Stanhope Gate, Snaisgill, Monks Moor, Great Eggles Hope (The disussed mine working here are quite earry), Harnisha Hill, Three laws, Disused quarry, Fine Rigg, Pye Close, White Kirkley, Frosterley.
Walking walk 4 in the opposite direction may cause problems with bus times.
 

Walk 5 Middleton in Teesdale to Frosterly via Hardberry Hill
Middleton in Teesdale, Aukside, Hardberry Hill, James Hill, Outberry Plain, Harnisha Hill, Long Man, Five Pikes, Pye Close, White Kirkley, Frosterley.
Walking walk 5  in the opposite direction may cause problems with bus times.

Walk 6 Frosterly to Consett along the Waskerley Way
Follow the A689 West out of Frosterley then turn back on yourself (GR 028 374) up a steep minor road. Continue along Intake Lane (turning sharp left after 200m) until the radio masts. Follow the track North out onto the open moorland. Turn Right at the Waskerley Way and follow it into Consett.
Walk 6 may be walked in either direction.

Walk 7 St John's Chapel to Frosterley partially along the Weardale Way
From the centre of St. John's Chapel take the small road between the toilets and the chapel, bear right and continue until a T junction is reached (GR 889 382) from here take the foot path diagonally up the field to Side Head Farm. Turn right along the road and follow it for about a km (GR 904 392). Follow the track north for about 1km then bear right down another track. Crossing the river can be tricky so take care and don't try this route after a serious deluge. Work down the valley to Westgate. There is a wealth of industrial past hidden in this valley so take sometime to have a look at some of it. From Westgate take the road north and the track off to the right at Peat Hill (GR 909 388). Follow the track until it crosses a disussed railway (GR 914 388). Follow the railway (following a few small divesions unless you have wellys on) off the edge of the map...
Follow the Weardale Way into Eastgate (GR 953 387) then follow the A689 East for 300 m to a small road south. Follow this small road and cross the railway then pickup the Weardale Way again just behind a small industrial unit. The Weardale way now follows the railway almost into Stanhope (take a look at the bridge at GR 984 390 if you are wondering where all the trains have gone!) Follow the B6278 into Stanhope then follow the main road for through the historic market place. Don't miss the fossilised Tree Trunk in the church wall. Take the road down out of the east end of the market place then follow the Weardale Way past Shittle Hope Farm. Follow the small road over the river and the railway then turn left at the caravan park. Take the footpath up the hill on the right 150m after the corner. Pass under the power lines then through Parson Byres. Follow the track to the T junction and take the footpath directly opposite. Climb gently while contouring across this field then follow on in the same direction across Cow Burn and carry on to the disused quarry. Follow the track round the edge of the quarry site then take the second track on the left (GR 008 368) to Peak field farm. Follow the track from the farm down to the minor road. Turn right along the minor road to the T junction opposite the school where you turn left and into Frosterley.

Walk 7 may be walked in either direction and if there is a wind from the west I'm certainly advise doing from the west!

Walk 8 Eastgate to Stanhope along the Stanhope and Newcastle railway
Follow the road up the Eastside of the river and continue along it as it deteriorates into a track.

Walk 9 Durham to the Penshaw monument
The Penshaw monument is probably the second thing I see every morning when I leave St Aidan's so it only seemed appropraite to walk there. This route essentially follows the Weardale way. If you want a good view of Durham from the top of Penshaw hill don't get their late on a winters afternoon since at best you'll make out a tiny sillowet of the cathedral.

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This page is maintained by J.D.Little and this line was last updated 2/8/00.