At Active Valleys, we want to get Deerness Valley residents of all ages moving, improving their health and wellbeing! Whether it’s taking the bike out for a muddy ride, searching for nature with the kids, taking a stroll for a catch up with friends, or even joining a nearby class or sports club. The railway path is a perfect place to get moving in the fresh air and discover new things.
What else can you discover in the Deerness Valley? There are so many activities, clubs, and organisations that can help you move more, make new friends, and feel good! Find them on this page.
ABOUT ACTIVE VALLEYS
Active Valleys is a Sport England funded initiative to build healthier, more active communities in the Deerness Valley. An active lifestyle benefits the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals along with creating a better connected, more resilient community.
This initiative brings together a group of local organisations who are working together to achieve one goal – to improve physical activity in the area. Active Valleys is a number of villages connected by an old railway path. We want local residents of all ages to use the route to be active. Deerness Valley includes the following villages; East Hedleyhope, Waterhouses, Esh Winning, Ushaw Moor, Broompark, New Brancepeth, Brandon, Bearpark and the grounds of Ushaw College.
There are a wide range of activities happening in the Deerness Valley area. We hope that by showing all the fun, family-friendly opportunities available along the Deerness Valley Railway Path, we can help you get moving.
WHAT TO DO IN THE VALLEYS
The Active Valley area has community halls, a sports centre and a dedicated gymnastics facility. The Deerness Valley Railway Path is a valuable asset which follows the route of the River Deerness through a mixture of arable and grazing land, woods, and herb rich meadows. It incorporates the villages of Broompark, Ushaw Moor, Esh Winning, Waterhouses and East Hedleyhope.
Did You Know?
The railway line was opened in 1858 and carried coal out of the Deerness Valley for nearly 100 years until the line closed in 1951. Today, the line has been completely transformed and reclaimed. You may see a variety of birds including herons, woodpeckers and jays, colourful butterflies, and all sorts of other wildlife from hares to roe deer. The route length is 8.5 miles (13.5km), and it is suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users.
There are various walking, running and wellbeing sessions that also operate in the Valleys, via Walk Durham, Run Durham and Ways to Wellbeing. The Deerness Valley has a wide range of sports clubs, which cater for both adults and juniors, such as football, cricket, gymnastics, boxing, table tennis, running and karate. Take a look at our map to see the full list of provision available.
Active Friends is an exciting online training toolkit from County Durham Sport. It aims to teach people how to support and inspire their local communities and workplaces to move more, improving their health and wellbeing.
We know that getting active is easier (and often more enjoyable) with the support of a friend. The free Active Friends toolkit is full of videos, activities, and resources to help. It can provide people in the Deerness Valley area with the knowledge and skills needed to promote the benefits of physical activity, encourage others to move more, and get moving themselves!
DEERNESS VALLEY MAP
This map will show you where you can get moving in the Deerness Valley area! Check out the numbered marker at each location for information on facilities, clubs, groups, and activities to take part in. You can also download a PDF version of the Active Valleys map here.
The interactive map will show you where you can get moving in Deerness Valley! You can also download a PDF version of the Active Valleys map here. (Opens in a new window).
DISCOVER WAYS TO GET MOVING
WAYS TO WELLBEING
People looking to start moving more could join a Ways to Wellbeing group exercise class.
They are for beginners and delivered by friendly, experienced staff and volunteers.
Find the Ways to Wellbeing programme here.
Gentle Steps to Walking is a brilliant way to build confidence and activity levels..
Gentle Steps takes place in a flat, enclosed and safe environment. There’s plenty of opportunity to walk and talk under the supervision of trained staff.
Find out more here.
Walk Durham’s weekly Wellbeing Walks are a great way to meet new people and explore the beautiful local countryside.
Find Walk Durham’s walking programme here.
THERE ARE PLENTY MORE WAYS TO GET MOVING IN THE DEERNESS VALLEY AREA AND ACROSS COUNTY DURHAM
Whether you’re an organisation who can signpost community members to activities, or an individual looking to move more, download our resource and discover them here!
ACTIVE VALLEYS INSPIRING STORIES
Read inspiring stories from brilliant local people and organisations.
SU AT DURHAM'S HAVEN