Finchale Priory to Durham Cathedral - Way of Learning

This walk is part of the trek The Way of Learning - Jarrow to Durham.

The final 10th section of the Way of Learning leaves the tranquil Finchale Priory the heads towards Durham City Centre passing HMP Frankland, Brasside Ponds and following the River Wear once more before ending at Durham Cathedral.

Technical sheet No. 30506847

A Framwellgate Moor walk posted on 07/02/23 by sarahhcfe. Last update : 15/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h05[?]
Distance Distance : 4.20 mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 203 ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 92 ft
Highest point Highest point : 230 ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 89 ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Framwellgate Moor
Starting point Starting point : N 54.818117° / W 1.541852°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.773747° / W 1.576929°
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Start: Finchale Priory, Durham (DH1 5SH). Grid ref. NZ 295 471

(D) Leave Finchale Priory by the access road first West, then after 1.2 Km following the road around to the South.

(1) On reaching the prison, turn right (West) onto Finchale Avenue. At the end of the car park, turn left (South-West) and continue walking through the car park and onto the bridleway at the end of the car park. When you reach the end of the prison the path will bend around to the left to a small parking area.

(2) Turn right at the parking area (South-West) and continue down Frankland Lane passing Dovecote Farm Boarding Kennels and then Brasside House on your left. Continue following the bridleway through the trees.

(3) When you reach Brasside Farm, continue Southwards on Frankland Lane until you reach the River Wear (around 700m).

Alternative route: At the end of Brasside Farm a public footpath to your right will join back to Frankland Lane at the River Wear.

(4) Continue on Frankland Lane, this will veer away from the river and pass a sewerage treatment plant on your right before reaching the river again. Follow Frankland Lane towards Durham.

(5) On the pass Crook Hall (National Trust), the Radisson Hotel and Pennyferry Bridge. From here you will see Durham Castle and Cathedral high on the promontory. Continue walking under the modern Milburngate Bridge. Continue along the riverbank, walking under Framwellgate Bridge.

(6) Take the steps to your right, and then turn right crossing the bridge and walking up Silver Street to the Market Place.

Accessible Route: to avoid the steps, follow the road around to your right before you reach Framwellgate Bridge. At the junction, turn left and then left again into North Road. You will then see the bridge.

(7) At the Market Place, turn right (South-East) into Saddler Street and along the North Bailey. After around 350m at the end of the North Bailey, turn right (West) and walk up Dun Cow Lane to the Palace Green and the cathedral (A).

Alternative Route: Dun Cow Lane is narrow and cobbled, to avoid this turn right at the top of Saddler Street into Owengate which has now been tarmaced to the Palace Green, this give a good first view of the cathedral.

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 89 ft - Finchale Priory
1 : mi 1.04 - alt. 200 ft - HMP Frankland
2 : mi 1.55 - alt. 207 ft - Parking Area/Brasside Ponds
3 : mi 2.31 - alt. 154 ft - Frankland Farm
4 : mi 2.73 - alt. 98 ft - River Wear
5 : mi 3.3 - alt. 108 ft - Crook House
6 : mi 3.73 - alt. 128 ft - Framwellgate Bridge
7 : mi 3.88 - alt. 177 ft - Market Place
A : mi 4.2 - alt. 226 ft - Durham Cathedral

Useful Information

Start: Finchale Priory, Durham (DH1 5SH). Grid ref. NZ 295 471

Transport: Park in the city centre then either take a taxi to Finchale Priory or take bus 62 to Frankland Prison, then walk the rest of the way. Bear in mind you will be retracing your steps back to the prison.

Facilities: There is a cafe and toilets at Finchale Priory, a cafe at Crook Hall Gardens, and plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants and takeaways in Durham City Centre. Public Toilets can be found on the Palace Green and in the Market Place when the indoor market is open.

Accessibility: This walk is on paved roads and bridleways and therefore can be accessible with one or two diversions to avoid steps and cobbled streets. Note, Durham is built on hills and the climb to the Palace Green is a steep one.

Accommodation: In Durham the Radisson, County Hotel (Marriott), Hotel Indigo, Townhouse, Premier Inn and Travelodge are all represented.

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

  • Finchale Priory (English Heritage) - The previous section ended at this picturesque ruin on the banks of the River Wear.
  • Crook Hall Gardens - This grade I listed hall had been closed for some time before being taken over by the National Trust. Now the gardens are again open to the public and there is a cafe to buy refreshments.
  • Durham Castle - This is one of Durham University's colleges and is resident to some of the students. You can however organise a tour of the castle.
  • Durham Cathedral - The focal point of the city, Durham Cathedral stands on a high promotory above the River Wear.

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