A small car-park in Winlaton Mill, just off the traffic lights on the A694. Other car-parks are available on the same stretch of road and the route can easily be picked up from these.
A woodland and meadow walk, approximately 4-5 miles, along the
banks of the River Derwent and through the reclaimed site of Derwenthaugh. Kingfishers,
Dippers, Herons and other water birds can be seen here.
Leave the car-park in the opposite direction from the road, cross the stile and turn right to join the main track.
Follow this track as it runs
adjacent to the River Derwent and where it bends right, break off to the left
and cross a footbridge over the river.
Go through the gate and turn left into a meadow.
The path now follows the River Derwent downstream.
After a total of two meadows and two kissing gates have been accomplished, the path veers to the right to a stile in the corner. Cross the stile and go up the steps, (57 if you are counting) to join the Derwent Walk cycle path, turn right.
Continue along in this direction, past a sign marked 'Clockburn Lonnen' to the left and two further signs marked 'Hollinside Manor', also to the left.
This now leads you onto the Nine Arches Viaduct, the monument in Gibside grounds stands prominent in the sky to the West, continue to the end of the viaduct.
A path leads down to the left, signposted 'Lockhaugh Meadows' (horses can be grazing in these meadows during the Summer months) and proceed to the riverbank.
Turn right along here, watching out for the blue flash of a Kingfisher which regularly inhabits these banks, follow the river upstream until the path becomes becomes tricky to negotiate, leave the river and go up the bank into the meadow and follow this to the left where once again, it joins the riverbank path. Mallards and a Heron may be spotted here if all is quiet.
Continue along until the path leaves the meadow, go through a stile, and follow
the path uphill to skirt Lockhaugh Farm.
Go through the gate to the left of the farm, and follow the hedged farm access road past a bridge to the right and turn right to rejoin the Derwent Walk.
walk can be extended here by continuing down the road, signposted 'Far Pasture
Ponds' but at the present time of writing (June 2000), is under development
and is best avoided. There are wildfowl on these ponds.
From the Derwent Walk, turn right and follow the track down, heading back towards the viaduct. Just before the viaduct, a signposted path to 'Thornley Woodland Centre' leads off to the left, up a steep bank and on walking boards to the centre.
Here, wildlife and local information can be found, especially information
on the local bats.
Cross the viaduct, and turn left into Derwenthaugh, a reclaimed former cokeworks site. This is a prime example of what should be done with old industrial wastelands.
Follow either track down, the left skirting the Derwent or the right going through the middle of the site, cross the arched bridge spanning the river, go through the stile, turn right and immediately left to rejoin the track back to the car-park.