Wow, from the lovely mild days of January, February is continuing in the same vein! After a slight blip of cold windy weather, we are back to balmy.
What better way of encouraging you to get outside than to let you know about the fantastic walks here in the UK.
There nothing better on sunny day than to be out and about exploring the countryside, either wrapped up warm in winter or loaded with sun cream in the summer. The sun on your face and the wind in your hair never feel’s better. Add in family and/ or a friend or two or more and you can be set for a fun filled trip. If you’re new to an area it’s a great way to meet new friends and get to know about the area you’re in and exploring. It’s surprising what you’ll learn as you meander along and the miles just melt away. It doesn’t usually matter how fast or slow you walk, a good group will always wait for the slower ones to catch up and a fork in the path or a gate will always slow down the fast ones.
This month I’m starting a series of my favourite walks. Walks, taken in the sun, rain and the occasional snow shower. Walks that uplift spirts and bring a sense of calm to life, where you can take time to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, share with friends and family, or on your own, these are walks that I return to time and time again.
Distance: 12 miles, 19 km
Start/Finish: Swalwell to Consett
The joy of this walk is that it follows the route of an old railway track and is mostly path the whole way. It’s on a gradient with a few hilly bits near the Swalwell end, then fairly gentle from there on.
Reasons to try it:
The route runs from Swalwell to Consett though uphill from there you don’t notice it too much and if you really don’t like hills there’s a great map on the Durham County Council site that gives you the route in sections giving information on the terrain so you can avoid the hilly bits, result!
There is a wealth of wildlife along the route, if you’re lucky you will see the Red Kites riding the thermal winds along by the Gibside Estate, always a joy to see. If you’re very lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Red Squirrel, these shy creatures live along the route. There is also a plethora of other birds: blackbirds, herons, pigeons, finches, woodpigeons, blue tits, wagtails and magpies to name a few. In spring and summer butterflies and dragon flies join you as they dance along the hedgerows, looking for food.
As you near the Consett end of the walk there are fields of horses, sheep and cows and farm yards of chickens and cockerels. You get a sense of peace and calm as you make your way along the path. There are plenty of benches along the way so you can take a break, take in the beautiful scenery and listen to the sounds of nature going about its business.
The Swalwell end is very popular with families and has a circular route if you don’t want to walk too far. One of the best parts of a walk is being able to have a guilt free spot of indulgence(tea and cake) and The Land of Oak and Iron café is a great place to stop, perfect for a leisurely stroll on a sunny afternoon.
The Derwent Walk is 12 miles of interesting places to see and visit, convenient cafes and pubs to refuel at, as well as stunning scenery and wildlife. Whatever you like from a country walk this route has it all.
More favourite walks coming soon.
Happy walking and don’t forget to pack a perch!