Traffic-Free Cycling Routes In County Durham

A bridge in County Durham. The county has many wonderful traffic-free cycle routes.

County Durham is incredibly rich with history – both ancient and more recent. Especially the more recent history is directly responsible for so many wonderful traffic-free cycle routes in County Durham. After all, disused railways mainly offer gentle gradients, for blissful traffic-free cycling.

The routes listed below are jam-packed with information about each route. You can, at a glance, see what the route surface is like, whether or not there are barriers along the route, plus so much more.

Routes are graded with a star rating, which instantly tells you how safe it is for especially younger children, or nervous cyclists. Each route guide includes an up-to-date weather forecast, and an interactive route map! Some of the routes are reachable by train, so be sure to read my Bikes On Trains guide.

  • Bowes Railway Path Traffic-free Cycle Route
    Bowes Railway Path Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Bowes line is an old railway, which like many others in north East England was built by George Stephenson. It originally ran to carry coal from collieries around Dipton in County Durham down to ships moored on the Tyne in Jarrow. Most of it is now a walking … Read more
  • Consett & Sunderland Railway Path
    Consett & Sunderland Railway Path Overall Rating: ⭐⭐ The Consett and Sunderland railway path, as the name suggests, is a former railway line which was the Stanhope and Tyne railway. It is also the route of NCN 7 which forms part of the long distance Coast 2 Coast route which runs from Whitehaven in Cumbria … Read more
  • Two Rivers Cycleway
    Two Rivers Cycleway Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Two Rivers Cycleway runs from the mouth of the river Wear at Sunderland to near the mouth of the river Tyne in South Shields. It is the route of NCN 1, too. The route is about 8 miles long. Getting there There are metro stations near the endpoints … Read more
  • Derwent Walk Cycleway
    Derwent Walk Cycleway Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Derwent Walk cycleway is a linear cycling and walking path which runs from the river Tyne in Gateshead to Consett in County Durham. It is signed as NCN14 for the whole way, and is approximately 12 miles long. The route forms part of the national C2C route for … Read more
  • Thorpe Thewles to Ryhope traffic-free cycle route
    Thorpe Thewles to Ryhope Cycle Route Overall Grading: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ There is a traffic free route from Thorpe Thewles north to Ryhope, Sunderland which consists of several linked paths and old railway lines. The southern section is the Castle Eden Walk, and the northern section is the Hawthorn to Ryhope Way. The whole route is signed … Read more
  • The Waskerley Way traffic-free cycle route
    Waskerley Way Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Waskerley Way is a former railway line which was the Stanhope and Tyne railway. It is part of NCN 7 which helps form the long distance Coast 2 Coast route, from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland. The railway used to be the highest standard gauge railway in … Read more
  • Deerness Valley Railway Path cycle route
    Deerness Valley Railway Path overall cycle route rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Deerness Valley Railway Path is another old railway line in County Durham that was repurposed as a traffic-free cycling and walking trail, after the railway closed in the mid sixties. The path runs for 8.5 miles between Broompark near Durham, westwards to Crook. At Broompark it … Read more
  • 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 … Read more
  • C2C – UK Coast to Coast Routes
    137 miles, Whitehaven to Sunderland C2C is the original coast to coast route, and is the UK’s most-popular long-distance cycle route. The name is actually not short for coast to coast, but rather sea to sea – it runs from the Irish Sea to the North Sea (or vice versa). Of all the coast to … Read more
  • Reivers Route – UK Coast To Coast Routes
    164 miles – Workington to Tynemouth The Reivers Route gets it’s name from the gangs of marauders that used to roam the border between England and Scotland for several centuries. At 164 miles, it’s not a short route. More importantly, it passes through some of the most isolated and sparsely-populated parts of England. In simple … Read more