The River Tyne Trail is a wonderful 135 mile hike tracing the River Tyne from its two sources, north and south, to Tynemouth and South Shields where it flows into the North Sea.
The Trail is the brainchild of Brian Burnie, founder of a cancer charity called Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care. Together with his mates, Peter Donaghy and John Laidler, he conceived the trail as a way of raising awareness and funds for his charity which provides transportation for cancer patients to get to and from hospital.
I first became aware of the trail when I saw a stone monument marking the end of the walk near the north pier at Tynemouth. I had earlier wondered whether it would be possible to walk along the banks of the River Tyne all the way from Tynemouth to its source so when I found out that it had already been done I straight away sent away for the Daft as A Brush guide book to learn more.
Being a bit daft as a brush myself I decided I would have a go at walking the trail, or the majority of it at least. The scenery is great and varied and there is a lot to see along the way. I would urge you to give it a go.
The authors of the guide book (Donaghy and Laidler) divided the 135 mile trail into 12 stages, averaging about 11 miles per stage. I have divided it into shorter stages, partly because I find 11 miles a bit long but mainly because my practice is to park at one end, walk for a few miles, and then walk back again to my car. This means I will have to walk twice as far – 270 miles – to complete the whole trail. Now that really is Daft!
Listed below are the stages I have completed so far which have been spread over several months in all kinds of weather. I’ll write about some of the highlights in future blog posts.
Please note I am not providing detailed maps or instructions of the route. You will find all that in Daft As A Brush’s book. You can buy a copy here with proceeds going to support the charity’s good works.
Stages of the Trail completed so far:
River South Tyne
River North Tyne
Warden to Hexham
Hexham to Dilston
Dilston to Corbridge
Corbridge to Riding Mill
Broomley to Stocksfield
Stocksfield to Cherryburn
Cherryburn to Ovingham
Ovingham to Wylam
Wylam to Newburn
Newburn to Scotswood
I’ll add new sections as I complete the remaining stages. I can’t promise I’ll cover every single inch of the trail but I’ll try to include the most scenic parts.
Hope this inspires you to do the walk and maybe raise funds for Daft As A Brush at the same time.