Illford Road to Central station (4.5 miles)

Illford Road to Central station walk map

Leave Ilford Road Metro station: from Platform 1, turn right and walk to the road junction; from Platform 2, turn left and walk to the road junction. Turn left and walk to the traffic lights and cross over the main road. Turn left and walk ahead to where the main road (A189) bears to the left, carry straight on and proceed along the road (Jesmond Dene Road). On your left you see Jesmond Dene House, formerly the home of Sir Andrew Noble, one of Lord Armstrong’s collaborators, which it is proposed to convert into a hotel. Ignore the “no vehicular access” path. A little further on, cross the road with care to the North West Lodge entrance to Jesmond Dene (A).

Enter the Dene and follow the metalled path past a covered seating area to a junction just before the Ouseburn, turn right and walk by the side of the river to a bridge. Cross over the bridge. Turn right and proceed ahead with the Ouseburn on your right. The walk continues alongside the river past a fingerpost indicating “River Tyne 21/2 miles”. You arrive at the entrance to the Fisherman ’s Lodge restaurant (B).

A little further on you come to Pets’ Corner, The Millfield Coffee Shop and the Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre, which is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A plaque commemorates Lord Armstrong’s gift of Jesmond Dene to the citizens of Newcastle in 1883. (C).

Continue in the same direction to go under the metal Armstrong Bridge, where an arts and craft market is held every Sunday. Go under the road bridge and continue in the same direction, Armstrong Park is on the left. At a junction, with three fingerposts, carry straight on. Just after a collection of fingerposts you reach a bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left to pass, on your right the Blue Bell pub and 41 Jesmond Vale, headquarters of Newcastle’s Arts Development Team and Schools’ Music Service. Go onto the path on your left, near the sign “Ouseburn Park” and walk ahead with the river on your left. Where the river disappears into a culvert, go straight ahead up the steep path. At the junction of paths, turn left and walk to the exit of the park to emerge at a road. Turn right and walk the short distance to the end of the road (Stratford Grove West). Turn left and proceed to the traffic lights. Turn right to cross to the island and then cross over the main road to arrive at an information board. This gives details of the construction of the Ouseburn Culvert in 1907 (D).

Turn right and walk the short distance to take the path on the left. At the junction of paths, turn right and proceed for 20 yards, then take the narrow path on the left. Continue alongside the sports field on your left. This is the site of the running track of the former, short-lived Newcastle Stadium. After about 75 yards the path joins another path. Bear left and after a further 175 yards the path divides. Take the right-hand fork. Keep on this path as it descends towards the arches of the railway bridge. About 20 yards before the end of the path, turn left and follow the path down to go under the railway bridge. Cross a bridge where the Ouseburn emerges from its culvert. Then go under the sweep of the concrete Metro bridge. After 50 yards the path divides. This area is being transformed by the City Farm Revival Project. Refreshments are available at the Ship Inn and The Cluny over to your right. Take the left-hand fork and walk to a road. Bear right to join the riverside path. Shortly, you pass an area where small pleasure craft are moored. Go underneath a bridge and turn left to go up some steps. At the top of the steps, turn left and walk a few yards to a sign for “Ouseburn Valley, Victoria Tunnel, Quayside” then turn left into Ouse Street. Walk ahead. On the right-hand side, in a little clearing, is an entrance to the Victoria Tunnel. A couple of information boards give details of the tunnel’s fascinating history. At the end of Ouse Street, cross over the road with care to the bust of William Lisle Blenkinsopp Coulson (E).

Over to the left is the confluence of the Ouseburn with the Tyne; usually, some pleasure boats are moored there. Turn right to walk down Horatio Street. The building at the top of the street is the former Sailors’ Bethel - a plaque gives detail of its history. At the bottom of the bank turn left onto the Quayside. Turn right and proceed ahead. The last few years have seen a great deal of renovation and revitalisation of this part of the city. The Tyne bridges are ahead and on the opposite bank is the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, formerly a 1950’s grain warehouse, and a little further on the Sage Music Centre. You pass a number of modern sculptures. Continue ahead towards the Tyne Bridge. A market is held in this part of the Quayside every Sunday morning. On the opposite bank, the Tuxedo Princess nightclub is moored. About 75 yards before the bridge look for the direction sign for All Saints Church. Turn right and proceed along the street (King Street) towards the church. At the junction turn left to go along Queen Street to another junction. Bear right and walk underneath the bridge. Carry on under the railway arch (F).

The building at the corner opposite is Milburn House (1905), said to be modelled on a ship. Continue ahead up the steep street (Dean Street). When you reach Low Bridge steps on your right, you need to cross Dean Street to the steps opposite. (If the road is busy you can cross at the traffic lights a little further ahead). Go up the steps. At the top, to your left, is a bust of Thomas Bewick (1783 - 1828), the naturalist, painter and wood engraver, who had a workshop here. Turn right and follow the lane to arrive at a statue of Queen Victoria on your right and the north entrance to the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas on your left. The present building dates back, mainly, to the 14th and 15th centuries. Formerly, one of the largest parish churches in the country, it became a cathedral on the creation of the Diocese of Newcastle in 1882. Proceed ahead at the traffic lights and walk along Collingwood Street (of Blaydon Races fame). A short distance ahead is the station clock, Central Station Metro and the end of the walk.

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