Great North Forest Walk Herrington Country Park to Washington WWT

This walk is part of the trek Great North Forest Path.

This rural section of the walk takes in three of the North East's best known locations, Penshaw Monument, the River Wear and Washington Wetlands.

Technical sheet
No. 22518201
A Tyne and Wear walk posted on 30/05/22 by sarahhcfe. Update : 15/06/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h30[?]
Distance Distance : 2.91mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 164ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 358ft
Highest point Highest point : 410ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 23ft
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Tyne and Wear
Starting point Starting point : N 54.879135° / W 1.481587°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.899741° / W 1.486129°
Download : -


(D) From the car park, walk walk up the access road and take the new footpath up to Penshaw Monument, this has a number of steps. Alternatively take one of the dirt paths around the bottom of the hill (gate opposite the roundabout).

(1) From Penshaw Monument, take either the left path down the steps and through a kissing gate, then taking the path to the right, or the right path down the hill and over a stile (north side of Penshaw Monument). Enter Penshaw Woods and take the path heading northwest. This will then intersect with another path coming through Penshaw Wood.

(2) Turn right (northeast) and walk through the woods. You will emerge into a field, cross the field and go through the kissing gate onto the road. Turn left and follow the road down to the farm, continue following the road around towards the golf course

(3) As you approach the golf course youw will see a gate in front of you, go around the side of the gate and follow this path, this maintains the northeasterly direction then turns left (northwest). Copperas Gill will be on your right. When you reach the river bank, turn left. You will now be on the Weardale Way.

Alternative route: When you emerge from the gate, turn left and then take the next left along the road, be careful as there is no footpath. After the double bend, take the right hand turn down the road, there is a footpath here. Follow this road all the way to the river bank (Oddfellows Arms) and then turn left, you will now be on the Weardale Way. This village section is a good alternative when it is wet.

(4) Cross the River Wear using the bridge at Cox Green. Walk through the car park and take the righthand track, this is signposted the C2C cycle route. Take the left path (the right one is the driveway to the house) around the back of the house, this then swings right (east) through the woods back to the north bank of the Wear.

(5) Continue walking along the river bank ignoring the paths to your left until you pass under some overhead power lines. Just before you pass under the second set of overhead power lines, the path turns left (north). Continue to follow this path which bends right then left before taking a right turn around a pond to your right and a factory to your left, then left again until you arrive at the car park for the Wetlands Trust (A).

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 279ft - Penshaw Tearooms Car Park
1 : mi 0.36 - alt. 410ft - Penshaw Monument
2 : mi 0.52 - alt. 341ft - Penshaw Woods, Track Junction
3 : mi 1.18 - alt. 118ft - Gate
4 : mi 1.9 - alt. 23ft - Cox Green Footbridge
5 : mi 2.43 - alt. 36ft - Overhead Lines
A : mi 2.91 - alt. 75ft - Washington Wetlands Trust Car Park

Useful Information

Transport: Park in either Herrington Country Park car park, Penshaw Tearoom car park or in the layby at the foot of Penshaw Monument. You will need to catch 2 buses back to Penshaw Monument, from the car park at the Wetlands Trust, walk up Barmston Lane and then at the junction turn right, you need Waterview Park Stand 3, take bus 37 towards Doxford Park, getting off at Chester Road, Station Road, then take bus 78 Country Ranger towards Sunderland back to Penshaw Monument from this stop. Alternatively, get off the 37 at Parkway/Glastonbury and take 2A Berries towards Silksworth.

Facilities: There are toilets and a cafe at Herrington Country Park and at Penshaw Tearooms. There are also toilets and a cafe at Washington Wetlands.

Accessibility: This walk includes steps, rough grass paths, kissing gates and stiles as well as some steep inclines and is deemed not to be accessible.

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

Other walks in the area

distance 3.67mi Vertical gain +112ft Vertical drop -79ft Durée 1h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Tyne and Wear

This section of the walk follows the banks of the Wear then climbs up into the suburbs of Sunderland finishing at Hylton Castle. The Shipwrights is the only reminder here of shipbuilding in Hylton and Ferryboat Lane, the only reminder that there was once a ferry here.

Lambton Estate Circular Walk
distance 6.18mi Vertical gain +341ft Vertical drop -364ft Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Bournmoor - Tyne and Wear

An easy circular walk around the historic Lambton Estate.

distance 4.6mi Vertical gain +299ft Vertical drop -295ft Durée 2h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Tyne and Wear

Start this walk by exploring more of Washington Old Hall and the new town of Washington with its mining heritage at the 'F' Pit Museum and Bowes Railway before crossing fields to Birtley along the Bowes Railway Path.

distance 1.38mi Vertical gain +62ft Vertical drop -62ft Durée 0h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Tyne and Wear

A short circular walk around Houghton-Le-Spring Town Centre passing some of the oldest buildings along the way. This walk has some gentle slopes but is on paved surfaces throughout.

distance 5.25mi Vertical gain +36ft Vertical drop -131ft Durée 2h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Little Lumley - Tyne and Wear

This short section of the Weardale Way winds through Biddick Woods and along both banks of the River Wear giving views of the Victoria Viaduct. It is gently downhill or level for most of the route and paved for most of the way making it a good walk after rain. There are a number of pubs along the river to while away a wet afternoon or enjoy a summer drink at the end of the walk.

distance 5.41mi Vertical gain +121ft Vertical drop -194ft Durée 2h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Tyne and Wear

This section of the walk begins at Hylton Castle (English Heritage) before passing through Hylton Dene, then passes through urban areas before crossing farmland and onto the pretty village of Whitburn and the coast line of Whitburn and Seaburn.

distance 4.6mi Vertical gain +82ft Vertical drop -26ft Durée 2h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Little Lumley - Tyne and Wear

Starting at the magnificent Lumley Castle, this walk winds its way through woodlands along the Lumley Park Burn before heading through Fenchouses and along bridlepaths through open fields before reaching Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve.

distance 9.76mi Vertical gain +377ft Vertical drop -384ft Durée 4h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Hetton - Tyne and Wear

The Coalfield Way is no longer a designated Long Distance Footpath, but still affords some spectacular views across former mining villages. The circular route passes through 2 country parks, Rainton Meadows and Hetton Lyons which are worth spending some time in. The route includes a climb from Rainton Meadows to Moorsley after which the route becomes more level. To enjoy the country parks, this could be enjoyed as a full day excursion.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.