Your top ten North East walks

THE stunning countryside and coastline of the North East is a paradise for walkers and there are few better ways to explore the best of what the region has to offer than on foot.

THE stunning countryside and coastline of the North East is a paradise for walkers and there are few better ways to explore the best of what the region has to offer than on foot. You suggested some of your favourite walks in our online poll and we've picked ten of the most popular to feature here.

For more details on many of them, visit the North East England website and get your boots on.

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Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham

Park at the National Park car park in Bellingham and enjoy a woodland walk along this delightful valley and enjoy the peace and quiet of this seemingly unspoilt spot – amazingly once the site of two blast furnaces, with 70 coke ovens, roasting kilns, coal stores, sheds and stables. But Mother Nature has reclaimed this beautiful area and the three-mile walk to and from Hareshaw Linn waterfall is an ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A winter walk is more impressive, when the river is higher and the fall more spectacular. But watch your footing and wear sensible footwear as the narrow paths can be slippery – there's the danger of a short cut to the river below!

Simonside Hills, Rothbury

The drive to Rothbury is glorious, whatever time of the year and from whichever direction you set out. By the time you get there you're itching to leave the car behind and head for the hills. There are many walks that take you out of the town and up on to the hills. Select what is suitable for your ability and time. But these hills should not be rushed. On a clear day, the panoramic views are simply spectacular – across the Simonside Hills to the Cheviots beyond and, to the east, as far as the Northumberland coast.

Hadrian’s Wall

There are walks to be done along the length of the Wall, but the most dramatic come in its middle section, where the Wall is best preserved. Escape to the hills – start at Once Brewed, head north to Steel Rigg, then follow the line of Hadrian's Wall east to Housesteads, south to Stanegate Roman road and west again. A great combination of wild hills, historic remains and country lanes.

Allen Banks

A riverside and woodland walk in unspoilt countryside alongside the River Allen in the North Pennines Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. The walk begins just a short distance from the A69 and offers the chance to see and hear plenty of wildlife.

High Force and Upper Teesdale

A walk through the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The route takes you along rural stretches of the River Tees to High Force, England's largest waterfall.

Craster and Dunstanburgh

Starting in picturesque Craster – home of the famous kippers – it is just over a mile along the coast to the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. The area is in the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within reach of the gardens at Howick Hall.

Durham City

Is there any other city in the country where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the centre so easily? Take a walk down the cobbled streets of this World Heritage Site to the banks of  the River Wear where you can take  in views of the magnificent cathedral and castle.

Roseberry Topping

Commanding dramatic views of the Tees Valley and beyond, Roseberry Topping guarantees a memorable walk. On the route of the Cleveland Way, Roseberry Topping is nicknamed “Middlesbrough's Mountain” and takes its peculiar shape from past mine workings in the area.

Derwent Valley

The star of this walk is the red kite, with its huge wingspan, which was re-introduced into the Derwent Valley in 2004 after an 170-year absence. With a variety of woodland, farmland and railway viaducts, the Derwent Valley commands scenic views of Newcastle and Gateshead.

Holy Island

It's one of your most popular views and always a favourite place for visitors from the region and beyond. A walk around Holy Island gives you a chance to see where the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were written and is also great for birdwatchers.

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