So, my days at work in the North East are drawing to a close. I feel duty bound to share what has become a staple of my working day. My work running route! It has been a saviour at times, a gleaming light at lunchtime when the rest of the day just seems to be full of standard work-life bull shit.
I have run this route 3-4 times a week for the last 4 years. I love this route. I know just about every step of the way. I know my time without looking at a watch. For a 10k route it packs in a lot, hills, woods, views, rivers and includes two potential pub (which are great for drink and food!) stop offs.
So the route, start in Hexham at Burn Lane. At the bottom of the lane cross over the railway line and follow the road for 100m or so past the cafe. Head towards the play area and in the corner of the field cross over a small footbridge on the left. Turn left and follow the path along the Tyne (use the path closest to the river it’s more scenic). Follow the path until you reach the railway line again. Re-cross. Turn right up hill and follow Spital Lane past the golf course until you reach a main road crossing.
Cross straight over the road and follow the footpath immediately in front of you. Follow this all the way to the top of the hill. When you reach the t junction with Shaws Lane turn right and follow the road until it turns into a track and turns left sharply. At that point follow the footpath sign to right (it takes you in between a house and it’s garage). After the house turn left. You’ll now be in the woods (this is one of my favourite sections) follow this path as it leads through the wood. After half a kilometer or so it will turn right, up the hill slightly, it will then descend for 200m and at the next junction turn left.
Follow the path through the woods for a kilometer or so. (This section isn’t marked as a public footpath, but it is definitely used by many locals.) At the end of the woods you’ll reach a track, turn right and head downhill (great hill for hill reps), at the bottom of the track you’ll reach a farm road, turn right and continue downhill. At the bottom of the hill cross the stream via the footbridge and follow the road and bear right up through the farm at the top of a small rise. Continue along the road until you reach the A69. It’s often a busy road junction!
Cross the road and enter the woods immediately opposite. Follow the path down a short steepish decent. Follow the path through the woods and under the old railway line. Go through the gate under the railway line. Continue along the path it gradually leads downhill to a small farm (be careful of the geese!). Cross over the stile and turn right, follow the track, crossing a small stream with a bridge on the right. The track will bring you out just before the bridge at Low Warden. Cross over the bridge on the left to visit The Boatside Inn, otherwise continue by crossing the road and carrying straight on (following the cycle path signs). After passing the first house on the left there is a small path just next to the back drive. Follow this path along the banks of the Tyne for a couple of km’s, crossing under the A69 and eventually joining the cycle path. Once you re-join the cycle path turn left and follow the path back to the railway line crossing (the second crossing at the start). Cross the tracks and follow the road back into town. Once in Hexham remember to stop off at the Tannery for a pint and burger ;-).