Explorer Map 305, - Bishop Auckland
Keep this walk for a dry, sunny day and you will be well
rewarded. There is riverside scenery to enjoy, the wonderful Saxon Church
at Escomb, and the pretty village of Witton-le-Wear. Additionally there
is the parkland at Witton Castle, with its beck and waterfall and plenty
of wild flowers in the Spring.
Navigation is straightforward, utilising the Weardale Way for much of
However, the footpath between Bishop Auckland and Escomb can be VERY
muddy in parts, and in the scrub woodland near the River Wear can be
tricky in parts.
There was a section of the footpath between Witton Park (the village)
and Witton-le-Wear where the path descends to the River Wear and follows
the river for about 100 yards. This section is quite tricky, first using
a narrow concrete wall and then crossing some uneven and slippery rocks.
If the River Wear is running high you will have additional problems
at this point.
For a Memory Map overlay of the walk described, please select the above
(Overlay made with Version 5 of Memory Map)
Some new mapping software is now available which you may
want to try, - QUO mapping. You can download the software for free from
the link below, complete with demonstration maps. Having installed QUO,
you can import and export Memory Map overlays. Thus YOU DON'T NEED Memory
Map to use any of the overlays provided on the Grey Panthers web site,
- just use QUO!!
Start from Batts the car park near the river in Bishop Auckland
Walk beside the River Wear towards the Newton Cap Viaduct and the Newton
At the Newton Cap Bridge, turn left on the road and head uphill for about
100 yards. Now turn right down the road that leads to the Rugby ground,
and continue until you come to the stile at a the ground that overlooks
the River Wear.
Head up to Broken Bank, some scrubby woodland, and look for the path that
follows the River Wear.
Follow this path, either beside the river itself, or across fields, to
In Escomb, find the Weardale Way footpath South of the Saxon Church. Follow
this footpath to the village of Witton Park.
At Witton Park, walk under the railway line, then turn right and walk
past the Methodist Church. At the ned of this street, turn right and continue
along the road until you see a stile on your left which takes you onto
the Weardale Way footpath.
Follow the footpath until you meet the track North of Witton Castle. Continue
along the track to Witton Bridge.
On the North side of the bridge, take the Weardale Way footpath to the
village of Witton-le-Wear.
Return to Witton Bridge by the footpath in Witton-le-Wear that is signposted
just past the Methodist Chapel.
Retrace your steps from Witton Bridge to where the footpath joined the
track, but at this point turn right to take the track uphill through the
Almost immediately this track splits. The right hand track, - the Long
Walk, takes you past the caravan park to exit at the road by the gates
that were once the main entrance to Witton Park and Castle. The left hand
track leads to the same point, but allows you to take a field footpath
to the village of Witton Park.
From the gates at the entrance to Witton Park and Witton Castle, head
Eastwards along the road, past the villages of Witton Park and Woodside.
Just past Woodside, take the field footpath back to Escomb, and thence
return to Bishop Auckland.