Durham Parks and Paths

This circular walk around Durham takes in parks, old streets and a medieval hospital building. There are many viewpoints from which the River Wear, Durham Cathedral and Castle can be viewed. There are many steep climbs giving a really good feel for the hilly nature of Durham.

Technical sheet
No. 19244232
A Durham walk posted on 12/02/22 by sarahhcfe. Update : 30/03/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h55[?]
Distance Distance : 6.06km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 54m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 59m
Highest point Highest point : 87m
Lowest point Lowest point : 32m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Durham
Starting point Starting point : N 54.78062° / W 1.583106°
Download : -


(D/A) From Wharton Park car park, exit the park using the access road you entered by. When you reach the road, turn left and walk towards St Cuthbert's Church. Continue along the road past the Garden House pub until you reach the pedestrian crossing, cross the road here and continue walking to the roundabout.

(1) Go through the gates into County Hall, continue walking straight on past the visitor's car park on your right and take the footpath through the hedge on your right. Follow this footpath until you reach a junction in the path, bear left and follow this path down the steps, around the pond and past the DLI Museum building (now closed) Continue following this around until you reach the entrance to the car park, take the next footpath on your left and follow this path back to the road, you will now have completed a loop and be opposite the entrance to Wharton Park.

(2) Turn left onto Framwellgate Peth and walk down under the bridge, just under the bridge on your left you will see the Fram Well. Follow the footpath between the building and the road and down the steps (alternatively continue along the main road and take the next left into Sidegate). Continue walking down Sidegate until you reach the car park, turn right towards the river and then turn right again and walk along the river bank heading towards the city centre.

(3) Cross the Pennyferry footbridge and take the path between the 2 office blocks, you will see Freeman's Quay Leisure Centre in front of you, turn left and walk in front of the offices, when you reach the grass on your left, cross the grass and walk along the river bank (alternatively, stay on the road, The Sands. and turn left at the junction). The riverbank footpath will eventually merge back onto the Sands. Continue along the road passing the new houses, then take the left road at the fork in the road.

(4) When you reach Kepier Hospital (now a private residence and farm), walk through the archway into Kepier Lane. Follow the lane past the farmhouse on your left and then take the left-hand track which will bring you around the buildings until you reach the gateway again. To extend the walk you can follow the footpath around the river bank which will bring you back to the track in front of Kepier Hospital. Retrace your steps back along The Sands to the new multi-storey car park.

(5) At the car park, keep left continue walking up Providence Row until you reach the traffic lights, turn right onto Claypath and continue down this road until you reach the Market Place.

(6) From the Market Place, bear right down Silver Street and cross Framwellgate Bridge at the bottom. Follow the road straight in front of you and continue up North Road.

(7) You need to cross the roundabout and walk under the railway viaduct. There is a footbridge to your right which will take you to Station Approach and from there you can walk down under the viaduct back onto North Road, this is probably the safest way to cross this very busy roundabout. To your left you will see the old County Hospital which is now private residences, continue past this keeping right. You should see the entrance to Wharton Park on your right, the first entrance includes a flight of steps, the second entrance has a ramp. Walk through the park along one of the many paths back to the Wharton Park car park . (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 86m - Wharton Park Car Park
1 : km 0.56 - alt. 85m - Entrance to County Hall
2 : km 1.7 - alt. 64m - Fram Well
3 : km 2.2 - alt. 33m - Pennyferry Bridge
4 : km 3.28 - alt. 33m - Kepier Hospital
5 : km 4.36 - alt. 36m - New Multi-storey Car Park
6 : km 4.84 - alt. 51m - Market Place
7 : km 5.46 - alt. 54m - Roundabout/Railway Viaduct
D/A : km 6.06 - alt. 86m - Wharton Park Car Park

Useful Information

  • Transport: There are multiple car parks on this circular route, I have started this one at Wharton Park, but you can also park in the car parks at Sidegate, Walkergate multi-storey (starting at Freeman's Quay), along The Sands, Prince Bishops multi-storey (starting in the Market Place) or Riverwalk (starting at Milburngate Bridge). You can also start this walk from the bus station (starting at the Viaduct) or from the railway station (take the steps behind the station to Wharton Park).
  • Facilities: There are many cafes and restaurants in the city centre as well as at Wharton Park and public toilets in the Indoor Market as well as Prince Bishop's car park and at Wharton Park.
  • Accessibility: Be aware that there are many paths with steps or steep slopes in the park and on the walk, but these can be avoided with a slight detour. The walk can be shortened by missing out the initial part of the walk around the Jubilee Walk/Aykley Heads, you will need to cross the road at the exit to Wharton Park, but be extremely careful as the road is very busy.

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

  • Wharton Park - This is the main city centre park, it has good views across the city as well as children's play area and cafe. Check out what is on at the park here.
  • Jubilee Walk at Aykley Heads, enjoy a walk around this parkland.
  • Kepier Hospital - the remains of this medieval hospital including the gatehouse still remain on the riverbank.
  • Walk down some of the oldest streets in Durham (Sidegate, Claypath, Silver Street and the Market Place) checking out Fram Well, and Lord Londonderry and Neptune statues in the Market Place.
  • Check out the Indoor Market (Thursday-Saturday).
  • Enjoy views of the Cathedral and Castle from Milburngate Bridge.
  • View the Railway Viaduct from North Road

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