Shiremoor to Holywell Dene to Shiremoor (7 miles)

Shiremoor to Holywell Dene to Shiremoor walk map

Leave Shiremoor Metro station and turn left at the road. Walk down the pavement, passing the Grey Horse pub on the right-hand side of the road, at a T-junction. Cross the main road at the pedestrian lights. Turn right and walk a few yards to take the public footpath signposted for Earsdon and East Holywell, on the left just before the 50 mile speed limit sign. The narrow path, with fields on either side, leads onto a wider track. Continue straight ahead with a hedgerow on your right and keep left at a junction as the tower of St Alban’s Church at Earsdon becomes visible on your right. The track leads past an odd-looking building now incorporated into stables and a farm (Church Farm) before reaching a metalled road (A).

Turn left and walk along the side of the road for about 100 yards to take a public footpath on your left via a vehicle barrier. Take the right-hand fork to follow the broad track with a hedge on your left and fields on your right. At a junction of tracks, take care to follow the public bridleway ahead to the right. Pass the metal kissing gate next to the wooden barrier and continue along the narrow path with hedgerows and fields on either side. Join a road via a second metal kissing gate and vehicle barrier opposite stables at Old School House, East Holywell (B).

Cross the road, turn right and after a few yards, turn left to follow the public footpath sign “Holywell Grange Farm 1/3m Holywell 1m”. Walk along the broad farm track and pass the farmhouse on your right. Continue ahead for several hundred yards and at a fork continue straight ahead on the narrow path with a hedgerow on your left and extensive fields on your right. At a junction of paths, continue straight ahead on the narrow path, with the hedgerow on your left, and follow the path into the woods of Holywell Dene (C).

Continue ahead as the path broadens out and makes its way round to the right to cross a footbridge over the Seaton Burn. Use the left fork to climb the short distance up the steep bankside to some houses. Turn left and follow the metalled path round the perimeter of the estate, keeping the woods on your left. Ignore paths off and as the line of trees come to an end, the path terminates at a rear road at the end of Newburgh Avenue (D).

Walk a couple of paces up the bankside to the iron railings. Turn left and after a few yards bear left as the railings go off towards the right. Walk along the edge of the field with a hedgerow on your left until you reach the corner of the woods ahead and the houses are visible across to your left. Turn right to descend the narrow path between the hawthorn bushes. Cross the stone footbridge and continue, with fields on your left and the burn below on your right, until eventually you leave the path to exit at a road via a kissing gate. To your left is the entrance to the Civic Amenity depot and the landfill site (E).

Cross over the road to take the path almost opposite which goes between a hedgerow and a wire fence. Beyond the fence you may catch a glimpse of a pond. Go through the kissing gate at the T-junction, with more stables ahead, and turn left. Follow the narrow green path as it crosses a footbridge and then climbs to come parallel with a railway. Proceed ahead with the railway on your right and trees on your left. The trees mask the landfill site for most of the way until the hedgerow ends and a perimeter fence appears. Continue on the track as it bears left behind the site with the perimeter fence on your left for about 400 yards. Then carry on as the path narrows between fields. When the path meets a broader track, turn right and continue to the end of the track to meet a road (F).

Turn right and follow the road for about 400 yards, passing the motor dealers premises, to arrive at a right-hand bend a short distance before the entrance to Backworth Village. Cross the road with care and go down the metalled road on the opposite side for a few yards and bear left to enter the grounds of Holywest Kennels (you should hear the dogs even if you don’t see the sign!) (G).

Although your route may appear rather unlikely at first, just continue straight ahead. The right of way leads between the kennels and the private bungalow on your right and you soon pass a red brick building on your right before joining a reassuring green track with fences on either side. As the path bears right, you will see a marshy area on your left which attracts bird-life. The path climbs a short way and becomes uneven in places. Proceed ahead with an old hedgerow on your right until you meet a surfaced track. Turn left and walk for about 120 yards to the junction of paths that you met on the outward journey. As the track forks, take the right-hand fork with the fence on your left and the hedgerow on your right. Here you will get a good view of St Alban’s Church at Earsdon, as you retrace your steps back to the road and Church Farm. Turn right and walk along the road for about 100 yards to take the public footpath on the right, signposted “Grey Horse 1/3” (A).

Follow the track for a few hundred yards and then retrace your steps along the path between the fields to the main road. Cross at the pedestrian lights and walk ahead with the Grey Horse on your left back to Shiremoor Metro station and the end of the walk.

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