A Walk along the River Derwent

Posted 27 Sep 13, written by Amanda Lambert

The Derwent Walk Country Park is a mixture of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, riverside and reclaimed industrial sites all linked by the Derwent Walk. The Derwent Walk is the track-bed of the old Derwent Valley Railway. It is 11 miles (18 km) long and follows the Derwent Valley between Swalwell in Gateshead and Consett in County Durham.

Steeped in history, Derwenthaugh Park was the site of the Derwenthaugh Coke Works until 1986 when it was later transformed into parkland. There are may points alomg te Derwent Walk that you can begin your walk, we started here at Derwenthaugh Park.

The circular walk around the Clockburn Lake is lovely and ideal for young families such as ourselves with children who like to ride their bikes. It is also a popular with runners, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike as the pathways are flat and generally straight with routes well signposted.


There is lots of open space surrounding the pathways and the walk is very scenic with lots of wildflowers to be seen Red kites can be seen throughout the lower Derwent Valley along with many other beautiful, and sometimes rare, wildlife.



Kingfisher, heron, dipper, mute swans and sometime the elusive otter can be seen while walking past the lake in Derwenthaugh Park and along by the River Derwent. On our visit we were luck to see a red kite and a heron on the lake.




Northern Kites was the project that returned red kites to northeast England, after an absence of over 170 years. Ninety-four young kites were released into the valley between 2004 and 2006. It was in the final year of the release programme that the first red kites began to breed in the northeast region.

I love this stretch of the Derwent Walk because there is always so much to see and the great thing about the Derwent Walk is you can always vary your walk to make it as short or as long as you like. A must see if you are in the area on holiday!

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