Durham Riverbank Walk

This is a relaxing walk around the River Wear in Durham City. The footpaths are mostly paved making this suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Where there are steps, alternatives have been provided. There are some lovely visitas from which the castle and cathedral can be viewed.

Technical sheet
No. 6807438
A Durham walk posted on 24/03/21 by sarahhcfe. Update : 06/12/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 4.43mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 154ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 167ft
Highest point Highest point : 184ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 105ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Durham
Starting point Starting point : N 54.781622° / W 1.576143°
Download : -


(D/A) From Sidgate Car Park/Radisson Hotel cross the road to the river bank and turn right. Walk along the riverbank following the footpath, passing under Framwellgate Bridge and Milburngate Bridge keeping the river to # your left..

  1. Continue along the footpath, you will see the Fulling Mill, Castle and Cathedral to your left. At Prebends Bridge, turn left and cross the bridge. (1)
  2. Turn right onto the path and follow this path around the bend, you will pass the Count's House on your left. (2)
  3. Continue along the path, you will pass underneath Kingsgate Bridge and you should see Dunelm House, the Durham University Building on your right.
  4. You will then pass under Old Elvet Bridge to arrive at the Boat House. (3)
  5. Continue to follow the riverbank footpath. You will pass Baths Bridge which lead to the old Swimming Baths, continue along the footpath until you reach the next footbridge at Maiden Castle Sports Centre. (4)
  6. Cross the bridge and turn right. Follow the footpath along the river bank skirting Maiden Castle. You will eventually bear left onto Green Lane, follow this to the road junction and turn right. (5)
  7. Follow the footpath around the Rowing Club along the banks of the river passing the racecourse and bandstand until you reach Baths Bridge again which you passed on the outward leg. Just passed Baths Bridge, turn left into Territorial Lane (6) and walk to the road junction. Hotel Indigo will be in front of you.
  8. Turn right onto Old Elvet and walk past the County Hotel. Cross the road and and walk up over Elvet Bridge, you will see the boathouse below to your right. Continue to the Market Place.
  9. Leave the Market Place by St Nicolas' Church, there are steps to the left of the church or a slope behind the church. (7)
  10. At the bottom of the road, turn right and walk along the river bank, the river will be to your left, until you reach Freeman's Quay Leisure Centre. (8)
  11. Take the footpath opposite the leisure centre between the Passport Office and the new Council Offices and cross the footbridge.

(D/A) The Radisson Hotel will be in front of you. Walk around the side of the hotel back to Sidegate Car Park.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 118ft - Radisson Hotel
1 : mi 0.79 - alt. 184ft - Prebends Bridge
2 : mi 0.97 - alt. 154ft - Count's House
3 : mi 1.48 - alt. 141ft - Boat House
4 : mi 2.6 - alt. 112ft - Maiden Castle Footbridge
5 : mi 3 - alt. 121ft - Green Lane
6 : mi 3.66 - alt. 125ft - Baths Bridge
7 : mi 4.03 - alt. 151ft - St Nicholas Church, Market Place
8 : mi 4.23 - alt. 108ft - Freeman's Quay Leisure Centre
D/A : mi 4.43 - alt. 118ft - Radisson Hotel

Useful Information

  • Refreshments are available at Boathouse, there is a cafe here and toilets are located inside the Multistorey Car Park. (3)
  • Refreshments are available at multiple points along the route between (6) and (7) including Hotel Indigo, County Hotel which includes Starbucks, multiple cafes on Old Elvet. Other eating venues are available in Millenium Square, from the Market Place cross the road bridge at the bottom of Claypath, Millenium Square will be on your left. There are steps at the back of the square down to the river bank rather than retracing your steps back over the bridge.
  • Public toilets can be found in the Indoor Market (7) or by taking a detour from the Market Place along Prince Bishops shops to the multi-storey car park. (3)

This walk can be started at any of the main hotels in Durham, I have started the walk from Sidegate Car Park next to the Radisson Hotel, other start poins include the County Hotel/Hotel Indigo and the Premier Inn. It can also be started from the Prince Bishops Car Park, take the steps/lift down to the boat house.

The walk can also be shortened either at (3) by taking the steps to Old Elvet Bridge or the lift in the Prince Bishops Car Park to the Market Place, or by crossing Baths Bridge to (6) cutting out the loop to Maiden Castle.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Activities include:

  • Visiting River Walk shopping and leisure facility. (1)
  • Visiting the Count's House. (2)
  • Hiring a rowing boat or taking a cruise on the river. (3)
  • Hiking up to Maiden Castle Iron Age Fort. (4)
  • Enjoying a picnic on the riverbank. (5)
  • Afternoon tea at the Hotel Indigo, formerly the Old Shire Hall. (6)
  • Visiting the indoor market. (7)

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