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.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre leave the car park via the top right-hand corner following the footpath to Joe's Pond. Follow the path on your right-hand side around the edge of the pond.
(1) When the way-marked path takes a sharp right-hand bend, bear left over the stream and walk up the path to the A690.
Carefully cross the road to the Highfield Hotel and walk up to the main road (Durham Road). Cross the road and turn right, then left alongside the school.
(2) When you reach School Road, turn left, and then at the crossroads turn right into Quarry House Lane, continue along this road until it crosses Robin Lane. Cross the road and follow the public footpath along the edge of the field. The path will turn right and cross the cycle path, continue up the hill. Just before the road, take the right branch of the path and continue until it reaches the road.
(3) Cross the road and take the footpath opposite which follows the hill. Continue walking straight ahead in a southerly direction until there is a junction in the path.
(4) Take the left-hand path and continue walking in an easterly direction until you reach Elmore Lane.
(5) Turn right at the lane and then left into Hetton-le-Hill, walk through the village until you reach Elmore Lane again. Cross the road and walk across the golf course keeping right. At the end of the golf course walk along the lane between the gardens until you reach North Road (B1284).
(6) Turn right onto North Road, then cross the two roundabouts turning into Colliery Lane (B1285).
(7) Continue along Colliery Lane until you reach Parkgate (the junction where the houses finish), turn left and then right into Hetton Lyons Country Park car park. Note: there are no signs to direct you .
(8) Enter the country park and keep walking past Stephenson Lake, at the path junction follow the north-easterly path around the larger Lyons Lake. Follow the path around the top of the lake and then the western side.
(9) When you reach a junction in the paths (Close to the woods), take the path which leads in a south-westerly direction following Hetton Burn. You will exit into a small car park. Walk to the road (A182).
(10) Turn right onto Houghton Road and walk along the main road until you reach Welfare Road.
(11) Turn left into Welfare Road towards the swimming pool.
(12) Before the roundabout, you will see a footpath that splits in two on your right, take the right path down to Hetton Burn. Follow the path alongside Hetton Burn stream.
(13) At the fork in the road at Hetton Park, bear left continuing to follow the stream until you emerge on Mill Terrace (B1284).
(14) Cross the road, turn right and after a short distance turn left onto the footpath between two houses. This will meet another path, turn right and walk to the road. Cross the roundabout.
(15) Walk under the A690 bridge and then turn left through a gate into the country park.
(16) When you come to a junction in the paths nearby Joe's Pond, turn right back to the Visitor Centre and car park (D/A).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 48m - Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre
1 : km 0.66 - alt. 59m - Footpath Junction after Joe's Pond
2 : km 1.44 - alt. 103m - East Rainton School
3 : km 4.08 - alt. 128m - Moorsley Road
4 : km 4.74 - alt. 130m - Footpath Junction
5 : km 6.64 - alt. 142m - Elmore Lane/Hetton-Le-Hill
6 : km 8.61 - alt. 88m - Aged Miners' Cottages, North Road
7 : km 9.46 - alt. 99m - Junction of Colliery Lane/Parkgate
8 : km 9.85 - alt. 92m - Footpath Junction after Stephenson Lake
9 : km 10.73 - alt. 91m - Footpath Junction after Lyons Lake
10 : km 11.35 - alt. 92m - Station Road
11 : km 11.82 - alt. 91m - Welfare Road/Swimming Pool
12 : km 11.95 - alt. 89m - Footpath Junction by Roundabout
13 : km 12.66 - alt. 79m - Footpath Junction at Hetton Bogs
14 : km 13.91 - alt. 60m - Mill Terrace
15 : km 14.32 - alt. 55m - A690 Bridge
16 : km 15.12 - alt. 56m - Footpath Junction after Joe's Pond
D/A : km 15.71 - alt. 48m - Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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