abbey walks

Stage 5 - Sedgefield to Durham Cathedral




21.4 km / 13.2 miles

Explorer maps

  Bishop Auckland - 305, Durham & Sunderland 308



5.5 - 6 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

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This is a pleasant stage that follows and old disused railway line and fields to the medieval village of Coxhoe. Walk along the main street and then across the A1/M motorway and another disused railway line. Continue on farm tracks and fields before descending through the woods to reach the river Wear and the Weardale Way to Durham



Walk Description :


1 - From the square turn right and left through the hotel archway to reach a T-junction. Continue ahead on the footpath through the field and then turn left, straight ahead (ignore left path) to reach the main road. Cross over into Hardwick Hall grounds and bear right, signed Conference & Banqueting.


2 - Continue on the track past the hotel on the left, ignore the track right after passing the farm buildings. Just before the farm house turn left onto the footpath to pass a wooded area on the right and then one on the left. At the end reach a bridleway T-junction. Turn right signed Bishop Middleham 1.5 miles to reach a disused railway line.


3 - Cross over the railway line and continue ahead and at the pond keep left with a stone wall on the left to reach the edge of a hill with the village below. Turn left and go around the hill and left down the side of it to reach a stile on the left. Cross over and up the steep embankment to reach an information board about Bishop Middleham Castle. It’s worth the hard walk up the hill.


4 - After reading about the castle about turn and walk through the farmyard to the road and turn left to leave the village. Cross the road and continue ahead on the footpath to reach a second road. Turn left and after passing under the motorway turn right onto the old road and then ahead onto the path passing a quarry on the left.


5 - At the road turn left to West Cornforth then first right along Lichfield road. Turn right before house No 1 to the field and then left through fields to Cornforth road. Turn left and where the road turns left, turn right The Green.


6 - Cross the Green passing the church on the left and ahead passing house No 47, ignore the footpath left. Where the tarmac track bears right keep ahead to cross the old railway line and after crossing over Croxhoe Beck turn left to pass under a second old railway line


7 - Ignore the stile on the left but keep ahead into the field keeping the boundary hedge on the right to reach a stile in the righthand corner. Cross over and turn left towards the farm, eventually passing it on the left. Cross the small footbridge to the road


8 - Turn right and then right and then left just before the building on the left. Continue ahead along the footpath to the road, cross over and turn left and right A688. Pass Brandon Hill farm on the right, after reaching the end of the metal road barriers turn left and then right onto the old road past the kennels on the right. After the metal barrier, turn left and follow the stone track right to cross over a disused railway line and into the field. Turn right at the field boundary and continue ahead to cross Lowborn Beck and past Tursdale House.


9 - At the T-junction turn right and then bear right and through a wooded area, ignore the footpath left, to reach a track. Turn left and just before High Butterby farm turn right, signed Shincliffe Hall.


10 - Follow the Weardale Way through Shincliffe wood, along Hall Lane, past the nursery (cafe) and left at the road in Shincliffe to reach the A177. Turn left and before the bridge right to follow the river path.


11 - Turn left to cross over the River Wear and then right along the river bank to reach a track. Cross over and turn right through the carpark past the sports ground on the left and the river now on the right. Just past the bridge on the right turn left through the narrow passage to reach Old Elvet Road.


12 - Turn right and across the junction over Elvet bridge and left up the steps along Sadler Street. Turn right onto Owengate to reach the Cathedral and the end of this stage


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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.