FKT: Jon Rose - The Way of Life (United Kingdom) - 2021-07-03

Route variation
One way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
5h 48m 22s

St Mary’s Well, behind St Mary’s Church, Gainford. Head north through fields and villages Headlam, Langton, Ingleton. Passing through West Auckland, Witton Park and Escomb - where on of the oldest Churches in Britain stands in the middle of the village. Drop down and run along the banks of the river Wear until reaching Bishop Auckland. Pass by Aucklamd Castle and the deer house in the park. Climb before heading back to the river. Journey through Woodland to the old railway line heading East past Binchester.

Drop left to Byers Green and the Church at Whitworth Hall (note - tried to follow the route but new owners of the Hotal have closed the path to the public) returned to the road and rejoined the route 200 yards further on. Easy path to Tudor Village and then through fields before a path down through woods to the river again. Turn right and shortly arrive at Sunderland Bridge. Head over the cattle grid and through the tunnel.  Complete a loop to back to Sunderland Bridge having visited the Church.

Head down past the Honest Lawyer hotel and turn right off the road into parkland. The path winds and undulates following the river on the right hand side. Take a left at Houghall and rejoin the woodland path before climbing up a winding set of steps. At the top, be sure to continue straight on (not left) the path with drop before meeting the road next to Durham University. Cross and through the footpath between the buildings, emerging opposite the Church. Cross the road into the church grounds. Head round the side of the church and double back and down through the woods to the River Wear. Cross the Bridge and climb up the cobbled street, past the small church on the left and 200 yards on take a left to Durham Cathedral. The journey ends at the gates and famous door knocker (lion face).

Unsupported effort (although I regret not carrying more water) I did not stop for buy provisions or have external help. 
Couple  of wrong turns, but double backed and rejoined the correct path.
I drove and parked my car in Gainford, then got a lift the following day to retrieve my car.