Wearmouth Bridge to South Hylton - Way of Learning

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

This 4th stretch of the Way of Learning follows the north bank of the River Wear taking in the industrial and commercial areas of Sunderland. The highlight of the walk are the 3 impressive bridges across the River Wear. The walk starts at the Wearmouth Bridge, passes the Queen Alexandra Bridge and then crosses the new Northern Spire Bridge. Along the way, look out for remnants of Sunderland's mining and shipbuilding past.

Technical sheet No. 30505656

A Tyne and Wear walk posted on 07/02/23 by sarahhcfe. Last update : 15/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h05[?]
Distance Distance : 4.08 mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 233 ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 138 ft
Highest point Highest point : 164 ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 3 ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Tyne and Wear
Starting point Starting point : N 54.910481° / W 1.384282°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.90418° / W 1.448081°
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Start: St Peter's Metro Station/Wearmouth Bridge. (SR5 1BA) Grid ref. NZ 395 574

(D) From the metro station car park, follow the path down to the river bank by Wearmouth Bridge. Turn right and walk along the riverside footpath (North-West). After 350m you will see a path to your right. This goes to the Stadium of Light (Sunderland football ground). If you wish to see this, walk up the path and then return after your visit and continue along the riverside footpath.

(1) The path will bend North at the remains of the Wearmouth Colliery Staithes where the coal was loaded onto ships. This appears as a tall brick archway. Continue following the footpath North. As you continue the river will loop around to the left. Here you will see the remnants of the Wear Lime Kilns.

(2) At the point where the path splits, look up the river to see the Queen Alexandra Bridge, then take the right-hand cycle path up hill. Turn left onto Wayfarer Road and at the end of the building turn right onto the cycle path, then turn left (West) onto the main cycle path. The cycle path will be in a dip and go under Stoney Lane and Northern Way.

(3) After you have passed the buildings on your left, look for a flight of steps on your left, go down these steps and turn left onto Alexandra Avenue. Then turn right onto West Quay Road, look for the path to your right by the street sign. Follow this path South-West to the river bank. Turn right and follow the path along the river bank. In front of you will be the Northern Spire Bridge, look back down river to see the Queen Alexandra Bridge again.

(4) As you reach the end of the Royal Mail Depot, the path take some steps and will wind towards the Northern Spire Bridge, walk underneath the bridge. Here you will see a viewing platform.

(5) After viewing the bridge, cross Timber Beach Road and follow the meandering footpath to the bridge. Turn right and cross the bridge.

(6) Once across the bridge, turn right (South-West) onto Paul Watson Way and follow the new cycle path to the roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout and walk underneath the metro line. Then cross the road and pick up the Metro Line Cycle Path towards South Hylton. Continue following the cycle path alongside the metro line.

(7) After passing the Ford Quarry sports pitches, turn right and walk under the metro line turning left (South-West) at the other side. Continue to follow the metro line until you reach South Hylton Station. (A).

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 36 ft - Wearmouth Bridge
1 : mi 0.36 - alt. 20 ft - Remains of Wearmouth Colliery Staithes
2 : mi 0.89 - alt. 20 ft - Path Junction
3 : mi 1.39 - alt. 69 ft - Steps
4 : mi 1.95 - alt. 13 ft - Royal Mail Depot
5 : mi 2.25 - alt. 52 ft - Northern Spire Viewpoint
6 : mi 2.69 - alt. 49 ft - Paul Watson Way
7 : mi 3.75 - alt. 131 ft - Ford Quarry Recreation Area
A : mi 4.09 - alt. 128 ft - South Hylton Metro Station

Useful Information

Start: St Peter's Metro Station/Wearmouth Bridge. (SR5 1BA) Grid ref. NZ 395 574

Transport: There are a few parking spaces at both South Hylton and St Peter's Metro Stations. St Mary's and Sunniside Multi-storey Car Parks are just across the Wearmouth Bridge. You can return to the start of the walk via the metro as the walk connects 2 stations.

Facilities: There are no facilities along this route. At the end of the walk is the Jolly Potter pub. At the beginning of the walk all amenities can be found in Sunderland City Centre.

Accessibility: Most of the route is on paved footpaths, the section between (3) and (4) is narrow/unpaved and there is one flight of steps. This can be avoided by remaining on the cycle path until you reach the viewpoint (5).

Accommodation: There are a number of hotels in Sunderland City Centre including a Travelodge and Premier Inn and the Hilton beside the Stadium of Light.

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

  • Wearmouth Bridge
  • Second Sun Sculpture between the Wearmouth Bridge and the railway bridge.
  • Monkwearmouth Colliery Staithes - It is difficult to imagine the huge colliery site which once stood on the banks of the Wear. Today the Stadium of Light and Aquatics Centre stand here. Down on the riverbanks though you can see the remnants of the coal staithes, just a reminder of Sunderland's mining heritage.
  • Wear Lime Kilns
  • Queen Alexandra Bridge - Originally built to carry both rail and road traffic, the bridge now only serves road traffic.
  • Northern Spire Bridge - The most recent crossing across the River Wear.

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