It’s not all rolling countryside and windsept rural landscapes with the Northumbria Family Walking Group, we often undertake urban walks that skim the perimeters of towns taking in the nearby delights of open spaces.
So it is with this walk; starting out in the village of East Rainton on the A690 between Sunderland and Durham. The start point is the lovely parish church of St Cuthbert. From here the walk route winds through old wagon ways that are now superb walking and cycling paths and much removed from their original purpose of taking coal from colliery to sea port. It was a hot day when we did this walk and the cool shade from the young woodland was a welcome relief. However, one part of the path was much overgrown and the tiny gap between the branches was festooned with spiders webs. On the upside, however, it was alive with tiny hedgerow birds that cheeped and chirruped alarm calls as we blundered through the vegetation.
We had lunch on the high magnesian grasslands, a local site of SSSI, amidst moorland grasses and knapweed and overlooking the bounty of County Durham. Wending our way back down through High Pittington village, we picked up the same wagon ways as we had encountered earlier in the walk that led us back to East Rainton via fast ripening wheat fields.