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  • Writer's pictureKelly

20 of our favourite Winter walks

I know when the weather is cold and icy we all tend to want to hibernate but we still love to get out and about and enjoy some of the fantastic places we have in the North East for a lovely wintery walk. The below are some of our favourites and we are planning on heading to as many as we can this winter. Weather permitting of course.

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Durham Wildlife Trusts Low Barns Nature Reserve

This is one of my favourites to visit throughout the year. You always get so many different birds and the walk is a fairly easy one too with a circular pathed walk. Check out the café whilst you are there too!

Durham Wildlife Trusts Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

We visit Rainton Meadows often with the boys volunteering there and we love seeing the changes throughout the seasons.

High Force Waterfall

A lovely easy walk to and from the waterfall, if you are feeling super fit you can walk up the steps and take the longer way back but this is not suitable for those with mobility issues or pushchairs.

WWT Washington

We are avid birders and visit WWT Washington regularly but Winter is just amazing here with so many different birds.

Wallington National Trust

We love visiting Wallington throughout winter. The walk to the walled garden is very pretty and it is well worth a visit. The house is obviously looking festive at this time of the year too.

Cragside National Trust - We love Cragside, it is so pretty. We like to take a walk around the lake during the colder months, the view is just breath-taking.

Chopwell Woods - Chopwell has been a favourite of ours for many many years and we usually take a long walk here. Plenty of free parking however no facilities.

RSPB Saltholme - They have some great routes to take around the reserve, they also have an Alice in wonderland setup here and Elliot loves it.

Howick Hall - Not open until February but the Snowdrop Festival is absolutely worth a visit. We love Howick and visit as often as we can.

Hamsterley Forest - Elliot loves it here, he is a huge Gruffalo fan and loves the trails.

Cox Green - Local to us, Cox Green is just a lovely walk no matter what time of the year. You can also walk to Penshaw monument from here too.

Herrington Park - I repeat this every time I recommend Herrington Park, walk further than the big lake. You can explore the woods, and there is more lakes further out. You can even park on the opposite side of the park but so many people don't realise this and end up missing out on some of the best parts of Herrington park. We used to live close by so know the park like the back of our hands.

Castle Eden Dene - I wasn't sure about adding this one at first because it can become slippy in places which in turn would make it difficult if it was icy, however it is a beautiful place to take a walk and I just wouldn't miss it from the list. Wear sturdy good grip walking shoes if you go here.

Kielder forest - So many parts to Kielder to choose from, play in the maze, walk around the reservoir, take a short walk through the woods. You are spoilt for choice.

Silksworth Lakes - We love to head up here with the dogs, it is only 15 minutes from the house and is a great walk to burn some energy. Few lakes to feed the swans and sometimes a herron, you can walk round in a big loop which will take you past a fantastic play area and the Ski Slope. (Sometimes you are allowed in the Ski Slope to use the toilet other times you either have to hold it or head to Sainsburys)

If you are looking for a nice easy flat walk I would suggest places like

Stewart Park - Middlesbrough, very large park, great for a wander and letting the kids run wild.

The Sunderland Sculpture Trail - Another regular walk of ours. Lovely easy walk. You can make it as long or as short as you want.

Barnes Park Sunderland - Barnes Park has pathways all around the park, it also has a play area for younger and older children and a toilet block that has sporadic opening times so it's a case of if you're lucky they will be open. Also has a café which has even worse opening times however we love wandering here.

Druridge bay Country Park - We used to visit here a lot, you can go on various walks including to the beach or around the lake. Unfortunately the last time we were here there must have been thousands of people here this was around August just after Lockdown. We are planning on heading back next year.

Mowbray Park Sunderland - Lovely little park in the city centre with a play park, hills to run up and down, a strange little door on the cliff face that no one actually knows what it is for. I think this park is so underrated and we have been in parks that are a lot worse than Mowbray. You can also visit the fabulous Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens which is joined to the park.

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