Toggle menu

Activities in the countryside

We run a number of countryside events throughout the year - see our Countryside and wildlife events programme for more information.

Looking for information? Pop into our lovely café at Thornley Woods visitor centre and ask our Volunteer Rangers for advice.

Walking in Gateshead  

  • Get Walking Gateshead organise free regular walking activities.
  • Friends of Red Kites run free Health walks every Monday afternoon.
  • Most of our Countryside sites and country parks and nature reserves have free open access and many of these sites offer a wide range of walking from easy, level surfaced paths to more challenging routes.
  • We, and other organisations such as Durham Wildlife Trust, own or manage a large amount of other accessible natural green space sites across Gateshead. Many of these areas, while not managed as countryside sites, are still accessible to the public along paths and trails found there.
  • You can also walk on the extensive network of Public rights of way in the wider countryside.
  • Suggested walks  are also given on the Walk4Life website where you can track your own walking progress, add your own walks and rate those of others.
  • Download the Icon for pdf Great North Forest leaflet [293.13KB] for details of three linear routes.


Cycling in Gateshead

  • There are fantastic opportunities for cyling in Gateshead along many of the old reclaimed waggonways. You can pick up a copy of the Gateshead Cycling maps from the Swalwell and Thornley Woodlands Visitor centres, or download them from the Go Smarter website.
  • For information on other social and organised cycle rides visit British Cycling's Let's Ride website.


Countryside Volunteering

Countryside Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, find out from the experts about our amazing wildlife and work outside doing something worthwhile.  It's also a great way to improve your health and wellbeing. Find out more about becoming a Gateshead Countryside Volunteer.


Wildlife watching



For information on Angling and Fishing Licences see our Angling permits and fishing licence page.

Help us improve this site by giving feedback