Allen Banks and Staward Gorge was badly damaged during Storm Desmond and unfortunately, remains closed.
The damage resulted in many destabilising landslips, the uprooting of large trees, erosion to the river bank and the much loved wobbly bridge being washed away.
The devastation began in December when Storm Desmond hit the North of England. At Allen Banks the suspension bridge, which had just been rebuilt after being damaged by a storm in 2013, was badly hit and much of it was washed away.
The whole area is thought to be unstable and movement in the land is being seen daily. Rangers are constantly assessing the land and you can keep up to date with any progress via Facebook and twitter.
About Allen Banks and Staward Gorge:
This extensive woodland area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.
Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for nature such as flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.
There's the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summerhouse and ornamental pond during the wonderful woodland walks.
There are also over 70 species of birds that have been spotted at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats.
NB: All woodland area sits within the North Pennines, AONB
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
Free parking until 10am.
Car parking available
Free until 10am
There are picnic benches provided on site
Allen Banks woodland is perfect for dogs to run free
Open all year
DURHAM_JC77, Durham, United Kingdom
A lovely walk along the river but don't expect it to be flat. We did the longer walk that includes Staward Peel and there were a lot of uphill sections. It also turned out to be a bit longer than the distance stated at around 6 and a half miles. However, none of this was a problem as it was a lovely varied walk with plenty to see. We even saw a deer in the woods.
Beautiful Autumn colours
Ruth H, Shropshire, United Kingdom
Thoroughly enjoyed this lovely walk , peaceful along the river with good paths and beautiful Autumn colours.
Walk with the digs
miranda1511, Kelso, United Kingdom
Had a lovely walk. It was a rainy day and we had to negotiate closed roads due to landslides but well worth the de tour.
ijdickson, Coldstream, United Kingdom
Lovely woodland walk by the river. The info map needs updating as is fading. Some walks are unaccessible due to land slide. Very relaxing and peaceful.
Not looked after
Martin K, Newcastle
Land slip has closed riverside footpath to Plankey Mill but diversions around are not signposted early enough, resulting in steeper climbs than necessary. More closed paths and diversions to get to Staward Pele which was completely missed until passing the information board. Walking back to where Staward Pele should be, almost impossible to recognise; completely overgrown with brambles, rose hips, nettles and thistles, totally different to my visit 2 years ago when I picnicked inside the Pele. Come on National Trust this is a disgrace for something in your care👺