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
Suspension Bridge Out of Action
Lord E, Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Really enjoyed our first visit to Allen Banks - as previusly reported the Suspension Bridge has been destroyed following storms, so walk along gorge is diverted to top path which unfortunately does not give such good views of the gorge. The best option is to turn right out of the car park, cross the road bridge and then walk along the opposite side of the gorge.This is a much more pleasant walk with better access alongside the water.
Beautiful setting a few too many hills for us.
We had hoped to walk alongside the river but the pathway was closed so we were diverted up a stone path. We turned round and went back to the beginning to take alternative route. A bit much for us 'strollers' but none the less enjoyable. Our small dog slept well afterwards..that said so did we! Shame the routes were closed i understand this is due to subsiding banks. Hopefully these will be repaired at some point. Parking goo and not expensive free to National trust members. Do remember to carry a card with you as you have to scan and some arrivals didn't have the card so weren't best pleased.
Planky Mill is closed but no one's been told
Took my son, daughter in law and two grandsons for a day out to Plankey Mill. I checked their website yesterday and everything was fine according to them but when we got there it was closed. This was a total joke how could they not tell people. As we drove down that narrow little lane it was horrendous we'd got half way down when we met the first car coming up who told us the gate was locked and there was no acces. The trouble was the road is so narrow you can't turn around until you get to the bottom. We continued down to the bottom having to manoeuvred around cars coming up, then at the bottom we turned around and headed back up now having to manoeuvre around the cars coming down. I'd like to say thanks to all the other drivers on that road for their patience and common sense or else there'd have been total gridlock. I'd like to ask the idiots who run this site why wasn't it showing as closed on their website? Why wasn't there a notice at the top of the hill letting people know the site was closed?
Easy to find
KH2691, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
This place is very easy to find, the sat nav is spot on and also there are signs on the A69 that you can follow. We came down on a Sunday and to be honest it was very quiet. Which was good. It is quite a hilly walk so good boots are recommended. Seems like a good dog walking place.
A hilly walk with the dog
Stuart N, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
This is signposted from the A69 and pretty easy to find without a sat nav. There is a decent size car park which is free to national trust members although you have to scan your card to get a ticket. There were 3 different routes although 2 path was closed due to storm damage. We walked for about 2 hours but did a fair bit of climbing. Some stretches were very muddy so wellies are a good option. We had lunch in the wooden house that’s been built in the woods which is a great little spot.