Updated: Feb 18, 2021
By Monica Otterburn
My walk is one I have done a few times now; it gets your heart going but is still relaxing.
It takes me about one hour to do, so it isn’t too long, and it is pleasant to walk on your own.
I park my car at the foot of Penshaw monument which is just off the A183 Chester Road, Sunderland, and it’s a free Car Park which is a bonus!
I enter by a small gate and then walk or climb the steep steps; I haven’t counted them but there are meant to be approx. 114 steps altogether.
I keep stopping at intervals to look back over Herrington Country Park and towards the coast. A good excuse to get your breath back!
On reaching the top of the hill, I walk all the way around the monument and admire the 360* view. It is a perfect place to take some binoculars and surprising what you can see.
Children love to climb on the monument, and there are steps to help you get on.
The monument is apparently 70ft high and is a well-known landmark in the North East of England and was built in 1844 in honour of John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham and governor-general of British North America. It can be seen from miles around and is said to be a replica of The Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.
I then take the grass path at the back of the monument to the right-hand side and amble down towards Penshaw woods. Climbing over the style, I go left down the steps into the wood.
It can be muddy at times so wearing a pair of walking boots or wellies is definitely a good idea.
At the bottom I turn left and walk along this path. Many pretty woodland flowers bloom here in spring and summer also many birds can be heard.
This path brings me out onto a road where I turn left onto another path which I follow along and it brings me round to the front of the monument.
After a short distance, the path deviates to the right onto a bridle way/ path. This follows down through the field and back onto the road where I parked my car.
Sketch by Dom Cuskin
If I’m feeling energetic, I extend this walk by going into the country park with its many well marked foot paths and lakes to walk around.