Top 5 Walking Trails in and around Sunderland

My saving grace during all the various lockdowns has been going for daily walks throughout the city of Sunderland. Discovering new walking trails and places to get my steps in that are a little different from the ones I visit all the time has been the only thing keeping me sane through all the lockdowns! And with that, I wanted to share my favourite walking trails that I have found over the last year.

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1. Ryhope Beach and Clifftops

If you visit my blog or follow me on socials then you will know that I visit here very regularly. Living in Ryhope means that we are incredibly close to the beach here and it is without a doubt my favourite place to go walking right now. Over March 2021 while doing my 10k a day step challenge to raise money for cancer research, this has been a great place to walk around and do just that!

This is an offroad track and is a little uneven in some parts however it is not overly demanding or challenging. This makes it a great place for a leisurely walk along the cliffs, however, I wouldn’t call it pushchair or wheelchair friendly in any way. With this walk, you can really decide for yourself how far you want to walk which makes it a good choice for many people.

I do have a guide to visiting here on my blog which I will like HERE for you to read if you want to discover this place for yourself!

Ryhope Cliff Tops

2. Durham Heritage Coast


This is another one, that if you follow me on Instagram you will know that I am very often down here. The Durham Heritage Coast is an incredibly beautiful stretch of coastline which starts in Seaham and goes all the way down to Hartlepool. It is protected by The National Trust and when you visit it is very clear why.

Along the coast, there are some really incredible places to explore. Blast Beach was a part of a massive clean up project as it used to be a dumping ground for mining and industrial waste. Then there is Hawthorn Dene which is an amazing place to explore. The furthest we have gotten on a walk is down to Easington Colliery.

This path is a little more demanding than the others on this list in some parts so it calls for sensible footwear and isn’t suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. However, similarly to Ryhope cliffs, you can decide how far along you want to walk and you have a lot of freedom with routes.

Easington Colliery Pit Cage

3. Seaham Seafront

Although it has been quite busy on a weekend and somewhere we have avoided on these days, Seaham Seafront has been somewhere I have absolutely loved exploring. One of our favourite things to do here is to park at either Noses Point car park or Seaham Hall car park and walk along to the other and back. This means we get to walk through the main built-up area which usually means a coffee stop at one of the many takeaway restaurants or cafes down there! This is a lovely easy walk and if you stay on the main road as opposed to going down to the promenade it is relatively flat and smooth all the way along.

There have even been a few times we have walked there from home as opposed to driving down. The most scenic way to do so is walking along the clifftops at Ryhope which then connects to the Seaham Hall car park area. Alternatively, you can walk down the old train line which will eventually bring you out at the old train station in Ryhope if walking back from Seaham. Both of these trails are nice and easy ones with no real hills or steep terrain. However they are off-road, so wheelchairs or pushchairs would be no good. You can however dictate your own path and choose how far you walk which I always like.

Seaham Seafront

4. The River Wear

We are incredibly lucky to have a path along the River Wear stretching from the mouth at Roker Marina all the way to Fatfield at Washington. Along the path, there are a number of incredible spots. Most notably are the bridges that cross it. From the Wearmouth Bridge to the new Northern Spire Bridge, the river is full of incredible history which you can discover for yourself.

The walk is relatively flat along the water’s edge and part of it is the final (or beginning) stretch of the Coast 2 Coast cycle route. This makes it very popular for cyclists. However, it would also be a good stretch for pushchairs or wheelchairs, especially at the Roker end of the path.

Northern Spire Bridge

5. Whitburn and Cleadon Mill Route

This was one of the first routes we did at the beginning of this lockdown back in January. This 5-mile route is a really great walk for anyone who is looking for a bit of a challenge. You don’t have to do this exact route and you could of course change it up with no problem. The Twin Mill Route (as I have named it) takes you from Whitburn Bents car park along to Whitburn Mill. From here you go up and over Cleadon Hills to Cleadon Mill. Then down through Cleadon itself and back along to Whitburn Bents car park.

Last time we went it was incredibly muddy and the path over the hills is in no way wheelchair or pushchair friendly due to the number of stiles you have to get over and the rough terrain. The views along the way are incredible and Cleadon Hills give you fantastic 360′ views over the city.

Whitburn Mill

Throughout the various lockdowns, I have been very lucky to be able to not only explore our great city and its surrounding areas. But also bring my adventures to my blog. This really is something I thoroughly enjoy doing and I thank you all for your support.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have some inspiration for some adventures now we are on the road out of lockdown. If you have enjoyed this post and want to see more then I would be so grateful if you could drop your email address below to join my mailing list and be notified of every new post I publish.

Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!

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