An flat out and return along the Castle Eden Walkway, starting from Castle Eden and going South to the old railway station at Thorpe Thewles, then returning via the same route. This follows the national cycle way route 1 and in most parts is easy to follow.
Usually done on a bicycle but can be walked. Interesting scenery and also alternative diversions if on foot.
From the A19 or A181, drive into Castle Eden and follow the road curving right past the war memorial and down until you see the Castle Eden Inn on your left. Park on the roadside near the inn or in the village hall car park which is opposite the inn. (the village hall is the second smaller building, the taller building is the Masonic Lodge, please do not park at the Masonic Lodge.)
Note on this route when I describe passing a gate this is usually a large gate with a smaller gap for cycles. In most cases, these can be passed at slow speed but if you have wide handlebars you might have to stop and go through the gap at an angle.
(D/A) From the road cycle past the Inn car park following the road into the small housing estate. Just as you have come around the rear of the car park you will see a path on your left which is bounded on one side by a wall and on the other by a fence. Take the path and arrive on the disused railway line which is now a bridleway and part of the cycle network.
(1) Turn left and follow the track along the old railway, pass immediately beneath one bridge and shortly after under the A19. After this, pass a farm on the left with a livery for horses then navigate through two gates. Continue and keep a lookout on the left for a sharp junction back. (You will see new houses on the left and a signpost for national cycle route 1, see photo)
(2) Turn left and take the track southwards. This is now a tarmac path for wheelchair access. It soon descends to a narrow footbridge.
(3) Cross the footbridge and ascend to pass some large limestone boulders and arrive at a junction of paths.
(4) The best way here is to turn left after the boulders on a footpath which leads to the end of a road. Cross the road and follow the footpath, (bollards) into a housing estate. Follow the road through the housing estate (newer housing on your right) over 4 or 5 speed bumps to a junction.
(5) At the junction, turn right and then immediately left at the signpost. Follow the path over some scrubby land to another road. Cross this diagonally left to a gate at the top of a shallow incline.
(6) Go through the gate a descend on the broad track, pass through a tunnel and continue. You will soon arrive at Hurworth Burn Reservoir.
(7) Pass along the embankment and then through the old railway platform at Hurworth Burn. Shortly after this, you will come to a wooden gate with Blue House Woodland Burials on your left. Pass through the gate and continue along the old railway line. Soon you will come to a section where the track descends (the path become tarmac again at this point) into a dip and rises again but take care as there is a bend in the track. At the top continue with wind turbines on your right and then come to a second dip in the track. Continue along the track to a point where it dips again to two metal gates. Take care.
(8) Pass through the gates carefully and continue along the track to a junction with a farm track.
(9) Go through the gap in the fence, turn right onto the farm track with stone chippings and then you will see a bridge on the left. Turn left through the gap in the fence (signpost) and pass over the bridge above the A689. Descend into woodland (there are brown signposts for walks into Tilery Woods and then Brierley Woods) and continue passing through a wooden gate, then later a metal gate. You pass beneath two bridges and come to a final gate. Pass through this and arrive almost immediately at the old railway station of Thorpe Thewles.
(10) At the railway station, there is often an open cafe at weekends and bank holidays. Turn around and follow the route back to Castle Eden
On the return journey, make sure that you turn left after the bridge over the A689 (9), turn right and pass beside the limestone boulders (4) and turn sharp right (2)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 384ft - Village hall car park
1 : mi 0.1 - alt. 371ft - Old railway
2 : mi 1.28 - alt. 407ft
3 : mi 2.24 - alt. 390ft - Footbridge
4 : mi 2.37 - alt. 413ft
5 : mi 2.73 - alt. 433ft - Junction
6 : mi 2.84 - alt. 446ft - Gate
7 : mi 4.13 - alt. 374ft - Embankment
8 : mi 6.66 - alt. 299ft - Gates
9 : mi 7.54 - alt. 272ft - Fence
10 : mi 10.19 - alt. 174ft - Railway station
D/A : mi 20.35 - alt. 381ft - Village hall car park
The only place for refreshments is the old railway station at Thorpe Thewles, They are nor always open but his website should gibe you information.
The route is well maintained. It is part of the national cycle network. However be aware that in winter and after prolonged rain parts of the track will be muddy, particularly near the Thorpe Thewles.
This route is possible on a mountain bike, 29nr, gravel bike or hybrid bike. You could take a road bike along this if you ran min 25mm tyres at low pressure, but I save my road bike for roads,
Also, be aware that there is parking at Thorpe Thewles (so the route is possible to start from here) and as a consequence, a lot of people like to walk their dogs from the station along the track. The last couple of miles can be busy with dogs on extendable leads with the owners on one side of the track and the dogs on the other, so be warned; if you are going fast this can be a hazard.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The station history is here:
There is also a planetarium at Thorpe Thewles
The country park is worth exploring but take a lock for your bike.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.