Accessible routes for exploring North East England
When the sun shines in the North East, you’ve got to make the most of it… so it’s just as well we’re lucky enough to have some of the best scenery that England has to offer on our doorstep. To help you do this, we’ve created a suite of days out guides to help you explore the wonderful North East! We have routes for those who love a visit to the coast; routes for those who prefer the countryside; and also cross-boundary routes for the adventurous!
When planning out the different itinerary routes, it was important for us to make as many of the routes appropriate for wheeled pedestrians, those with mobility issues and people with pushchairs. To check which routes are fully or partially accessible for all, look out for the suitability key (in green, at the bottom right of most guides). For routes that are partially accessible, the sections are marked out with an orange dotted line.
We’ve pulled some of these routes together so you can see what’s available at a glance.
Part of an extensive network of railway paths, Walk the Line includes a 6.5 mile section ideal for wheeled pedestrians or those with small children in pushchairs. On this route, the Bishop-Auckland to Brandon line links with the Lanchester Valley route at Broompark. Walk the Line will have you delving back into the region’s rich history of coal mining and steelworks which are now a picturesque place for a day out.
Parklife is a circular route that starts and finishes among grazing cows on the Town Moor. Within the main route, there is a shorter, accessible path marked out in orange, which passes Exhibition Park’s picturesque Palace of the Arts and waterfowl pond, before taking in the stunning greenery in Leazes Park and passing Tyneside’s famous football stadium. It also features a host of Newcastle’s most well-known landmarks, so everyone can enjoy the best that Newcastle city centre has to offer.
Rising Sun Country Park is an oasis of green space in the heart of North Tyneside. With a nature reserve of ponds, woodland and extensive grasslands, the facility also plays home to a farm and the Countryside Centre. Perfect for walkers, cyclists, families of all ages and those with accessibility needs, it offers tranquil surroundings as you while away a relaxing summer day.
The Northumberland coastline is truly spectacular, and A Bit of the Sea is a fully accessible route that takes in immaculate beaches, a vibrant port and stunning countryside. Ending in Blyth, this trail offers some truly breath-taking scenery. It also follows a section of Northern Saints Trail, “The Way of the Sea”, hence the peculiar name!
The old Derwent Valley Railway used to carry passengers and goods between Newcastle and Consett until closing in 1962. It passes many points of interest, including Derwenthaugh cokeworks, Axwell Hall, Hollinside Manor and Gibside Hall. There are also old railway platforms, bridges and houses along the route. The full expanse of this popular “line” stretches from Consett to Swalwell, and the full 12 miles are fully accessible for all. People are welcome to complete smaller sections at their leisure, if they’re after a shorter journey.
Inspired by a rich maritime history, The Keel Line Trail is a fully accessible route that takes intrepid travellers from solid ground to the rolling North Sea waves. The route of discovery – named after “The Keel Line”, an artwork remembering the ships and shipbuilders of Sunderland, by the “Propellors of the City” – plots a course that includes elephants, a huge mouth and a glass palace!
A fully accessible route for all that passes some of the region’s most recognisable and loved buildings and landmarks, the Tyne Trek offers an urban riverbank ramble. From the meandering waters of Newcastle’s Ouseburn, to the striking structures of Dunston Staiths, this mostly flat route offers genuine eye-catching sites.
You can check out our other days out itineraries here.
And remember… if you do complete one of the new routes, be sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #GoSmarterGoActive