Durham riverbank via Maiden Castle

This short, relatively flat walk loops around the River Wear from the Boathouse to Maiden Castle and back along the other side of the river giving views of the castle and cathedral and plenty of places for a picnic. This walk is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Technical sheet
No. 7180892
A Durham walk posted on 30/03/21 by sarahhcfe. Update : 06/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h15[?]
Distance Distance : 4.11km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 34m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 34m
Highest point Highest point : 55m
Lowest point Lowest point : 34m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Durham
Starting point Starting point : N 54.776284° / W 1.573689°
Download : -


Park in the Prince Bishops Car Park. To start the walk, go down the stairs (or lift) to the riverbank. The Boathouse will be in front of you.

(D/A) Turn left and walk underneath New Elvet Bridge, you will pass Bath's Bridge on your right.
Note: at the time of writing, the footpath under Elvet Bridge was closed for bridge repairs, these are due to finish in Autumn 2021. You will need to exit the car park at the shopping level, walk to the marketplace, walk past Next and then turn right. Walk down the bank and then walk up Leazes Road past the construction site. Take the cycle lane to your right down to Baths Bridge, then turn to your left.

(1) From Baths Bridge, continue walking along the footpath, Hild and Bede College will be on your left. There are also numerous footpaths which lead up through the woods if you wish to explore Pelaw Wood further, these are very steep. When you reach the bend in the river, the path forks, take the right-hand fork.

(2) Continue along the river bank. Cross the narrow wooden bridge and then walk past the remains of the railway bridge which carried trains to Elvet Station which no longer exists.

(3) You will then reach the Maiden Castle footbridge, cross the bridge. This is uneven so please be careful. There are some steps here which is a nice place to sit for a while and watch the river. From the bridge, turn to your right and go through the gate in the fence, bear right and follow the riverbank looking out for sculptures to your right. Stay right when you reach the fork with the mushroom sculpture. Continue to follow the riverbank until you reach the allotments. Follow the road to your left, this takes you to Green Lane. At the road junction turn right and continue to follow the road back to the riverbank by the Rowing Club.

(4) You will be back on the riverbank. Continue walking back towards the city center, you will see the castle and cathedral in front of you. Check to your left for any sports activities at the Cricket Club or Race Course. The river and bandstand will be to your right. Just past Baths Bridge turn left onto Territorial Lane, you will come out directly in front of Hotel Indigo. Turn right and walk to the junction, cross the road and walk past the Swan and Three Cygnets pub. As you walk up the old Elvet Bridge, you will need to either take the steps on the right-hand side back to the boathouse or just over the bridge, take the steep lane to your left which loops under the bridge back to the boathouse.

(5) Continue up Elvet Bridge towards Market Place and then turn right into the shopping area back to the Shopping Level of the car park with its lift.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 45m - Prince Bishops Car Park/Boathouse
1 : km 0.32 - alt. 41m - Baths Bridge
2 : km 1.25 - alt. 48m - Fork in the path, sign for Old Durham Gardens
3 : km 1.84 - alt. 34m - Maiden Castle Footbridge
4 : km 2.74 - alt. 36m - Rowing Club
5 : km 4.04 - alt. 55m - Elvet Bridge
D/A : km 4.11 - alt. 45m - Prince Bishops Car Park/Boathouse

Useful Information

  • There are numerous places to sit along the riverbank, seating and steps are available.
  • Refreshments are available at Elvet, there are cafes at the boathouse and on Elvet Bridge itself. Hotel Indigo serves cream teas in the afternoon.
  • Public toilets are located inside the Prince Bishops Car Park.

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

  • Hire a boat at the boathouse.
  • While away the afternoon with a picnic by the river.
  • Watch sports which are going on at Maiden Castle Sports Centre and along the riverbank, including cricket and rowing.

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