Exploring Sunderland: The Herrington-Hasting Circuit

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The Herrington-Hasting circuit is the name we give to a square shaped series of public footpaths that allows you to go from Middle Herrington, all the way to Hasting Hill and back again in one uncomplicated effort. We deem this to be a journey that covers some of the best of Sunderland’s natural beauty and open spaces, and is well worth a try if you’re seeking something visually and sensually appealing.

1) Middle Herrington

You start your journey at Middle Herrington. Either bypassing or cutting through the park just off the A690, head down the historic Crow Lane westwards until you reach Foxcover Lane, which will take you into open fields and a stone footpath. Follow the footpath along and head up and over the A19 footbridge. After a bit more walking, you will then discover a fork in the road. The left route takes you up to West Herrington village and cemetery, the right onwards into Herrington Country Park, where you will be heading.

2) Herrington Country Park

Soon you will enter Herrington Country Park. Built on the site of a former colliery, Herrington Country Park has established itself firmly as one of the most beautiful and recreational open spaces in the North East. For this route, when you enter the outskirts of the park, if you’re not planning on stopping by head straight north towards the woodland at the very topic. This will take you to Foxcover Wood.

3) Foxcover Wood

Foxcover Wood is a narrow strip of contemporary woodland which was grown around the route of a former Wagonway built in the early 18th century, used to transport coal by animal power into Sunderland. As a result, the footpath in the forest is a bit cobbly, but nonetheless very direct. Follow it upwards and all the way until the end until you come out at Foxcover Lane, which starts at a power station.

4) Hasting Hill

View of Penshaw Monument Westwards from the top of Hasting Hill

Once at Foxcover Lane, follow the roadstraight up and once at the top of the bank, turn right, cross the A19 footbridge to the other side and you will soon see Hasting Hill in the distance, a historic area known for hosting Brone Age Barrow entombments.

Be a bit cautious on the road here as whilst typically quiet, cars may charge up and down it at full speed. Exit the road onto the footpath heading up to Hasting Hill. It is quiet a steep climb. However, it offers some of the finest panoramic views of the entire North East. Look east to see Sunderland City Centre and the North Sea, look North to Newcastle and Tyneside, look west to see Penshaw Monument and look Southeast to see the City of Durham and the Cathedral!

5) Bridle Path

Follow this route down to the Bridle Path, which can be seen in front of the houses below

Once you’re done with Hasting Hill, head downwards from the Southwest slope and back onto the footpath, which will head across the fields and down towards the old route known as the Bridle Path. The final part of our journey, the Bridle path offers a pleasant and relaxing cut through past Thorney Close and back into Herrington, terminating outside of St. Chad’s Church on the A960. You’re now just up the road from where you started.

Conclusion: A scenic circuit well worth the effort!

The Herrington-Hasting circuit offers an almost complete square route which provides one of the best and most visual walking trails in all Sunderland, revealing the natural beauty of the area and also the course of historical change from what was once primarily industrial. The journey all in all should take you over an hour, but it’s well worth it in terms of the “country experience” and of course brings many fitness benefits too. The best part about is that if you’re not a fan of people, you aren’t likely to encounter many on this great journey.