Beautiful Circular Walk from Sunderland Bridge, River Wear, 8 Miles

Situated close to Durham City, is Sunderland Bridge. A beautiful historical bridge with walks along the river wear and views of the Croxdale Viaduct.

Situated close to Durham City, is Sunderland Bridge. Not to be confused with the identically named Village close by, it is a historic bridge with beautiful views that dates back to the 14th century. It originally carried the great North Road across the River Wear.

The Start of the Walk

The walk starts just off the B6300 from the A167. There is then a road that runs directly across Sunderland Bridge and this is where the walk will start.

From here, head along the marked path closest to where you drove in from via the B6300. This path heads up along a gravel road, or down alongside the river until it crosses under the Croxdale Viaduct.

The Croxdale Viaduct

The Croxdale Viaduct is a beautiful sight, dating back to the 1800’s and is still in use today as part of the East Coast Main Line.

After crossing under the Viaduct, you will follow the path through the fields all the way up through the small wooded area until you reach a gate. From here, pass through the gate and keep to the path alongside a number of houses and follow it round to the left.

The path then winds again to the right and heads up a gravel road / path towards the top of the hill. Be careful as you walk up here as it’s regularly in use by residents and walkers alike.

Walking Back Along the River Side

Once you reach the top of the path, there’s a lane just before Scripton Ln. This path is common with dog walkers and is usually easily found and walked in most weather. It heads down towards the river where the path then winds up along the river towards Page Bank.

The path sticks to the side of the river’s edge and offers some beautiful views across the River Wear and the surrounding fields. Keep following this path until you reach the opening to cross the bridge over the wear at Whitworth Lane.

Following the Path up Page Bank

Keep walking up the path along Stanners Lane and Whitworth Road (It can be quite steep and close to the road here, so be sure to keep dogs on a lead). At the top of the bank, you will reach a gate at the edge of Whitworth Hall & Deer Park. The gate is not far after the entrance to the main hall.

Whitworth Hall Hotel & Deer Park

The next part of the walk follows the public footpath through the edge of the Whitworth Hall Hotel & Deer park, through fields and down towards some woodland.

Once you reach the Woodland’s edge, there is a path to the right or the left. Keep following it to the left to head back down the River Wear towards where your walk started.

Keep following the well-marked path as it winds through the woodland and towards a farm. Once you reach the farm, the public Footpath veers to the left and you almost head back on yourself briefly before crossing a small bridge and heading onto a more rural woodland path.

Be cautious to stick to the public footpath and respect the farmer’s property, keeping dogs on a lead here as well.

Walking Through the Woodland and Fields Back to the River’s Edge

Keep following the path as it weaves through the woodland, being careful to mind your footing, particularly in winter or rainy conditions as it can get quite slippy / boggy here underfoot. As you head through the woodland, you will come to a fence. At the top of the fence, there is an opening that heads through the field where the River Wear will come into view again.

Once you reach the bottom edge of the field, cross through the opening and follow the path back into the woodland.

Walking Through the Woods

As you walk through the woods here, keep the river on your left. There is some stunning woodland here to be explored. You will primarily be walking alongside the river, however, at one point the path heads up a hill through the woodland and then back towards the river.

The views across the river as you continue your walk are incredible. Keep to the path with the river on the left until you are almost back to the Viaduct.

Walking Towards the Viaduct and Back to Sunderland Bridge

As you walk alongside the river, the path winds with the direction of the river before curving to the right. At this point, you should see the Viaduct again in the distance so keep following the path alongside the river.

Beyond this, you will reach a wider gravel path which will have a large hill to the right. Follow this back under the Viaduct and towards the bridge.


The best place to park is along the road just before Sunderland Bridge, or just after the Bridge. There are private properties along this road so be sure not to block access to any drives / gates.

Another option is to park over the road at the Honest Lawyer hotel. If you’re grabbing lunch / drinks / staying here, the staff may be happy for you to stay parked there, however it’s always best to double check.

There are toilets / facilities in the hotel. Again, use of these is at discretion of the staff / hotel management.

The walk is dog friendly however there are moments where the paths are thin as you walk up Page Bank alongside the road so if your dog is particularly nervous around cars / traffic you may want to do the first half of the walk then follow the route back.

Most of the paths should be okay during winter months and rainy weather, however, there are some forest and muddy paths so take extra caution.

If you require disabled access, the Bridge is paved, however, the majority of the rest of the walk would be considered gravel / mud based.

In terms of travel routes via public transport, there are bus stops not far from the start of the walk along the A167 and Durham City Centre /Train Station is approximately 3 miles away for visitors using the train. 

Route Map

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