Lanchester Valley Railway Path

Lanchester Valley Railway Path cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Lanchester Valley Railway path runs for 12 miles between Consett in the west and Broompark, near Durham in the east.

Like most longer distant paths in County Durham, it follows the route of an old rail line. The westernmost few miles are a very gradual gradient, and the eastern end is quite flat.

The route is designated as NCN14 by Sustrans, and at the western end at Consett it connects with the NCN7, C2C running west-east between Whitehaven and Sunderland, and to the Derwent Valley railway path running north east to Tyneside.

At the Broompark end, it continues south down to Bishop Auckland as the Brandon Railway path. NCN14 also continues into and across Durham on a mix of traffic free paths and quiet roads.

Durham County Council have produced a detailed guide to this path.

Most of the information here was kindly provided by Gary Dawes. Any errors are mine alone.

Surface on the Lanchester Valley Railway Path

The path is a mix of hard compacted stone, sections and tarmac. The tarmac sections are usually though the villages.
Expect muddy puddles after rain.


The route passes through Lanchester, Langley Park, and Bearpark, which have various amenities including shops, cafes, and toilets. There is also a café at the western end at Hownsgill.


Virtually any type of bicycle can be used on this route. Tricycles and most cargo bikes may find some of the chicane barriers a bit tight.


Toilets are available in Durham, at the cafe by the Aldin Grange Fishery (adjacent to the trail), at the Serendipity Café (off the trail, in Lanchester), and at the Knitsley Farm Shop café.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Flat)
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Points of Interest

There is a Roman fort at Lanchester, although sadly there is no public access to it. Also consider visiting the ruins of Beaurepaire Priory, which are adjacent to the path.

Routes in


There are very few barriers along the route. However, there are gates etc which have restricted width access down to approx. 1.5m

Cycle Hire

I’m not aware of any cycle hire shops on, or near the trail. If you know of any, please tell me?

Paying the rent

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Forecast for the Lanchester Valley Railway Path

What the Lanchester Valley Railway Path looks like

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Getting to the Lanchester Valley Railway Path

Consett is not on any rail link, but for the car free, the X70 and X71 between Consett, Stanley, Gateshead and Newcastle take bicycles.
Durham has a railway station and is on the East coast main line. Before taking your bicycle on the train, read my Bikes On Trains guide for useful and helpful tips.

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes that can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below).

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