Allen Banks and Staward Gorge

Allen Banks
Bardon Mill
NE47 7PB

01434 321888

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 75 reviews
Find within approx miles of Allen Banks and Staward Gorge


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

Ticketing and entry prices for Allen Banks and Staward Gorge

Type Entry for Guide price
(Car parking)
per ticket

Free parking until 10am.

Car parking available at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Car parking available
Free until 10am
Toilet Facilities at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Toilet facilities
Picnic area at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Picnic area
There are picnic benches provided on site
Dogs / pets allowed at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Pet friendly
Allen Banks woodland is perfect for dogs to run free
Child / family friendly at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Family friendly
Open all year at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Open all year
Celebrity/historic connection at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Nature and Wildlife Attraction Celebrity/historic connection
Certificate of ExcellenceCertificate of Excellence

Nice woods walk

NWBiblio, Anchorage, Alaska
A nice climb up toward Staward Gorge. There was evidently a partial landslide closing off part of the trail, so I didn't complete the loop but still had a nice time. They could use better trail markers, IMO, as the green gorge trail tacks on to the orange or brown other trails from the Allen Banks trailhead, and that's not entirely clear from any of the maps. Several other hikers I met on the trail also seemed to not know which way the trail went.

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.

Jane C,
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.

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