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Mountain Bike Guide Durham

Durham Mountain Bike Routes Guide

This is a classic mountain biking guide written by Derek Purdy. Published in 1997. It is looking dated but if you are stuck with where to go in Durham then this publication is the one to give you ideas - its also very cheap compared to other guides!

28 routes of wide variety (probably more of the routes are on old railway tracks than you would find in modern guides but there are also full on mountain biking routes to test the best).

Happy riding!

See below for route details

Book Details:
ISBN 9780948153471. Published:1997.
Author: Derek Purdy
160 Pages. Book Size: A5

Great Value


RRP £7.50

Fast Despatch

The Mountain Biking Routes

Map showing the approximate recommended starting points for each route as indicated in the book.
Click on a marker for route information.


Grades are based on scale of 1 to 10. One being easy, 10 being very hard.

In the guide each route includes a map with the route highlighted and clear text directions.

Summary of the routes:

Route 1. Castle Eden Walkway

Grade: 1/2. Distance: 9km

Easy railway path route

Route 2. Derwent Walk for Bairns

Grade: 1. Distance: 7km

A traffic free family route.

Route 3. Deerness Valley For Bairns

Grade: 1. Distance: 15.3km

Family route. An out an back so just turn around when required.

Route 4. Lanchester Valley Railway

Grade: 2. Distance: 26km

An easy railway ride.

Route 5. Hamsterley Back Lanes

Grade: 3. Distance: 7km

A short ride which includes some fast descents and testing climbs.

Route 6. Waskerley Way for Sprogs

Grade: 3. Distance: 23km

Family route. An out an back so just turn around when required.

Route 7. Dragonville and Pittington

Grade: 3. Distance: 20km

includes several little easy tracks.

Route 8. Durham to Finchale Priory

Grade: 1. Distance: 18km

A good starter route for adults, the majority on country roads but also sufficient off roads to learn some skills.

Route 9. West Auckland

Grade: 3. Distance:18km

Includes a challenging descent through Brusselton Wood.

Route 10. Crook & Sunniside

Grade: 3. Distance: 17km

A good variety of riding on the fringe of some magnificent countryside.

Route 11. Trimdon Whins

Grade: 3. Distance: 17km

One for a dry spell as otherwise can be too muddy. A ride of two halves, the first a bridleway section through fields, the second on a railway path.

Route 12. Hetton & Murton

Grade: 3. Distance: 13km

A ride which is more of a tour of industrial archeology than a mountain bike challenge.

Route 13. Consett and Sunderland Railway Path

Grade: 3. Distance: 37km

Longish route on good quality railway path.

Route 14. Knitsley & Butsfield

Grade: 4. Distance: 20km

A hilly route with the first half being on tarmac.

Route 15. Pontop

Grade: 4. Distance: 29km

A couple of railway paths joined by tarmac steep climbs and descents.

Route 16. Deerness Valley Full Tour

Grade: 4. Distance: 26km

Predominantly on railway paths - the going is fairly easy unless its blowing a gale!

Route 17. Swalwell to Consett

Grade: 4. Distance: 35km

On the face of it a long railway ride has the potential to be boring but this is not the case here.

Route 18. Waskerley and Muggleswick

Grade: 4. Distance: 23km

Railway paths and steep lanes.

Route 19. Lanchester High Lands

Grade: 5. Distance: 19km

A really good bike route ending in a whacky downhill!

Route 20. Esh Winning Woods

Grade: 5. Distance: 12km

Off roads with a bit of a sting!

Route 21. Doctor's Gate

Grade: 5. Distance: 20km

A ride though Hamsterely Forest. Note: there is now a Trail Centre in Hamsterely built after this book was published.

Route 22.Harthope Head & Coldberry

Grade: 6. Distance: 24km

A classic ride. There is a large percentage of asphalt but it is all good stuff. The major climb to Harthope Head is a killer - it just goes on and on; so be prepared. There are also fast descents to cool you down!

Route 23. Edmundbyers Common

Grade: 5. Distance: 21km

Includes some entertaining singletrack over the moor.

Route 24. Three Counties Loop

Grade: 8. Distance: 24km

This is a bit of daftness to do on winter days when it's actually too bad to be anywhere off road, but you feel you should be out in the hills regardless.

Route 25. Deep Dale Summits

Grade: 9. Distance: 23km

Best during a dry spell otherwise becomes a challenge out of proportion to its length!

Route 26. Crawcrook

Grade: 4. Distance: 19km

This route has a cracking finish, steep, loose, technical, narrow and usually very wet!

Route 27. Darlington Dead Ends

Grade: 5. Distance: 28km

A challenge to the most determined of riders as you will need to push, carry the bike and remove vegetation from chainwheels and gear mechanisms and possibly yourself from time to time. Madness!

Route 28. Westgate Horror

Grade: 10. Distance: 22km

A severe route, not very long but set in tough countryside of Upper Weardale. The climbs are steep and unrelenting. It took the author four attempts to crack it!


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