Review: Walking in County Durham by Paddy Dillon. Published by Cicerone price £12.95

BETWEEN 2013 and 2014 I worked a couple of days a week up in County Durham with my job at that time and often when I stayed overnight I would go for a walk either in the neighbouring countryside or alternatively on the coast around Seaham and Horden. Quite a number of walks in this new book by Paddy Dillon are therefore well known to me and I would highly recommend them to others as this is good walking country where there is also a rich heritage particularly of the mining and agricultural industries to be found.

Paddy Dillon, who has over 70 walking books to his credit, describes these walks in intimate detail, and includes sketch maps and numerous colour photographs throughout the 196 pages of the book. The walks range in distance from three to 15 miles in length so are suitable for all abilities and ages.

A couple of the walks stand out for me; firstly the short walk around Durham City visiting the Castle and Cathedral. For anyone who has never visited Durham City before this is a must. The city is delightful and steeped in history. The other walk I would recommend highly is that around Beamish and Causey particularly for anyone interested in mining history and the railways. This visits Causey Arch, the oldest surviving single span railway arch in the world.

Apart from the route descriptions themselves there are chapters on the history of the area, geology, flowers and animals, scenery, industries, transport details, accommodation, weather, visitor and tourist information centres and details of maps to use in addition to those incorporated into the text.

As usual in Cicerone books there is an appendix at the end listing all forty walks with start and finish points and distance. Thirty eight of the walks are circular and two are linear but return transport details are given for these to assist the walker to return to their starting point.

For anyone taking a holiday up in County Durham, this is an ideal companion to take and get out into this marvellous countryside which stretches from the high Pennines in the west to the coast in the east.

by John Burland