There are about 2.5km (1.4 miles) of public rights of way in Pelaw Wood providing a variety of interesting walks as illustrated on our map board in St Giles Close.
The Wearside Way & national cycle routes 14 and 70 alongside the river are blocked by a major landslide that also carried away the parallel ‘middle path’ terraced into the hillside above. Photos in our news and Facebook. There is a signed diversion entailing steep climbs on sometimes very muddy paths; but until this is cleared cyclists and walkers may prefer to use the path on the southern bank – see map below.
You can enter the Wood from the riverside path from either opposite the bandstand or near Old Durham. Or enter from Gilesgate, crossing Pelaw Wood Beck ravine by the Silver Link Bridge and either turn right towards the river; or left and then right through one of the glades towards Old Durham.
All these paths add interest to walks from the City into the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately due to the steepness of the ground only the riverside path is wheelchair friendly – until you reach the landslide – see the map below.
The Friends of Pelaw wood have an ongoing programme to improve access through the Wood by maintaining the surfaces and steps. In addition to our members’ efforts we have also gratefully received support from the Durham County Rangers and the County’s Parish Path Partnership. Links to these organisations may be found here.
Update on the paths affected by the 2013 landslide
We have heard that clearing the riverside path and stabilising the landslip should start in September 2015.
The muddy paths left by the contractor’s borehole equipment have been relaid with hard core. So the paths from Gilesgate over the Silver Link Bridge are now passable. The Friends are continuing to eliminate the muddy sections caused by the extra traffic by-passing the landslip.
We heard from the Council in May that engineering works to clear the landslip are in process to engage contractors – and it looks like starting in September– with contractor access from Old Durham. We gather that they will carry out earth works up the slope with geotech matting to hold it in place and decent drainage below. When these works are complete they will restore the paths steps and edging from the Silverlink Bridge through the top woods and to the seat viewpoint. Fingers crossed!
This map shows the paths destroyed by the landslide – in red. Our most recent update about the landslip is on our news page. We are also supporting a Facebook page for those wanting to find a way to reopen the riverside path through Pelaw Wood.
Although we would like you visit the Wood, until the paths are restored, they are steep and you may prefer to use the footpath on the southern bank of the river between Baths Bridge and the bridge at the Maiden Castle sports ground.
Revised 21 August 2015