The route then takes you past the Stadium of Light and through Sunderland Enterprise Park - this section of the route is undulating. The route then rejoins the riverside at North Hylton, passing under the A19 bridge. Look out for a right turn which takes you along a field edge for approximately 1 mile where you then enter woodland. This takes you to the fantastic Washington Wetlands Centre which is home to flamingos and some of the rarest waterbirds on Earth.
From here you then rejoin the river at Cox Green and travel into James Steel Country Park. You exit the park using a stone arched railway bridge and take a sharp right into a small plantation that connects with the railway path at Fatfield. There is a tricky crossing next to the Arts Centre, but after that its traffic free for the next 7 miles. There is a steady climb into Beamish and the route takes you right past the entrance to Beamish Museum. Visiting the Beamish Museum is an absolute must. Set in 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside, Beamish is a world famous open-air museum that tells the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. There is a 1940's farm, a pit village, a colliery and railway station.
For inexperienced cyclists please note that there are some short road crossing coming out of Sunderland. From Washington, the route is totally traffic free.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.