Finchale Abbey walk

Finchale Abbey a walk to the priory, through Cocken wood and Rainton park wood, walk starts at DH3 4EW parking is free.

This was the first time me and my family had attempted to do this walk in all it took us around 1 hour 30 mins to do the 3 miles, stopping for photos and enjoying the scenery that is without visiting the priory ruins, we burnt 395 kcal.

It is an enjoyable walk with lots of nature to see without even trying seen some grey squirrels, duckling, swans and jumping fish unsure what kind possibly salmon.

Start of the walk depends on if you would like to visit the priory first? If so go right straight down the many steps. We went left and saved the priory until the end.

Straight run down to the wooden bench surrounded by loads of wild garlic.


It’s a nice little spot for some thinking.

As you come down to the river Wear it will look like you have come to a dead end. What you want to do is keep following the river around, you will see a small mud path.

Walking through this way is a little hard at points for some its a very narrow path in places and fairly difficult to get a good footing in some parts. Saying that all of us managed it well enough with our dog.

For example here lots of roots and low branches along the path. It is quite an adventurous part of the walk, takes me back to exploring my local dene as a child.

Follow the river along plenty of greenery this time of year as the plants fight for a place in the sun trying to outgrow each other. 

As you keep following the river it will then open up out onto a meadow great space for some picnic benches I think?

Once out of the meadow you will come to a little water crossing with a step-down and back up nothing to bad or strenuous but maybe slippy.

Then its a pretty straight run all the way along past the bridge, although it does split off just before here to different directions as this is where it will loop back round from whichever way you want to go or return. I just followed the lower path it is your choice and pretty hard to get lost.

Quite a few wild bluebells around this time of year.

You will eventually come to some steep steps that curve around. Once at the top follow the path around various different ways to go here that lead you back or over the A1 I kept away from here I had the dog off the lead and did not want to extend the walk.

If you would like to extend this walk even further, take a right at the top of the steps and follow the path over the A1 motorway this takes you to Mallygill wood.

Cross a few small bridges and down some steps to bring you back in a loop to where you came from, back through the meadow and follow the river past the small obstacle path, which will bring back onto the priory path.

Then on to the 13th-century priory which is free entry for viewing, unfortunately, I went during the coronavirus so it was understandably closed.

Finchale Abbey Touring Park is also here so has food and toilets.

If you are not wanting to go to the priory just take a right before crossing the bridge and go up the steps to bring you back to the beginning.


395 Calories burnt


All of my photos I took of the walk in a slideshow.



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Lf Hiker | E.Pointal contributor



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Finchale Abbey walk vist the priory & walk the beautiful woods along side the river wear

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