Allen Banks and Staward Gorge was badly damaged during Storm Desmond and unfortunately, remains closed.
The damage resulted in many destabilising landslips, the uprooting of large trees, erosion to the river bank and the much loved wobbly bridge being washed away.
The devastation began in December when Storm Desmond hit the North of England. At Allen Banks the suspension bridge, which had just been rebuilt after being damaged by a storm in 2013, was badly hit and much of it was washed away.
The whole area is thought to be unstable and movement in the land is being seen daily. Rangers are constantly assessing the land and you can keep up to date with any progress via Facebook and twitter.
About Allen Banks and Staward Gorge:
This extensive woodland area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.
Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for nature such as flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.
There's the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summerhouse and ornamental pond during the wonderful woodland walks.
There are also over 70 species of birds that have been spotted at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats.
NB: All woodland area sits within the North Pennines, AONB
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
Free parking until 10am.
Car parking available
Free until 10am
There are picnic benches provided on site
Dogs / pets allowed
Allen Banks woodland is perfect for dogs to run free
Child / family friendly
Open all year
As hard or as easy as you make it
Edward1951S, Durham, United Kingdom
Despite the storm damage of 2015, Allen Banks and Staward Gorge provides some wonderful walking for all ages and abilities. Stout walking shoes or boots recommended and the paths are not really disability friendly but this Lake District fell walker found enough to interest him and his party. As other reviewers have noted, the only facility is a toilet block so bring your own picnic. We spent a lovely few hours exploring the paths, skimming stones in the river and nature-watching. A buzzard soared overhead whilst Orange Tip butterflies were out in force. We also came across a Slow Worm basking in the sun on one of the paths. A rewarding day out.
A lovely treat
fire21, Cramlington, United Kingdom
We visited with two dogs on a Sunday afternoon. It's pay and display parking but I thought £2 for up to four hours was really reasonable. The path was relatively easy to follow and the dogs loved being off lead in the woodland. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day but the shelter from the trees would make it a nice walk in any weather. It was relatively busy but there are lots of spots just slightly off the main path that would make lovely spots for a picnic. We sat on the rocks at the river for a long while and are going to visit again with some lunch. A lovely afternoon out, I would recommend!
Lovely walk. Impressive scenery
Westwell42, Northampton, United Kingdom
We had a lovely walk along the river, despite much of the walk being closed following major storm damage last year. There were plenty of opportunities to paddle in the river and some really impressive views from some parts of the footpath. The National Trust say they might never be able to fully reinstate some of the damaged paths but it's still definitely worth a visit!
Walk in Autumn
Darleypete, Darley Dale, United Kingdom
Beautiful walk up the valley. Paths easy to follow although a little wet when we were there. Saw a red Squirrel, so look as you walk
A Lovely Place to Unwind
TruthMunkie, Northumberland, United Kingdom
Allen Banks is a firm family favourite venue for a relaxing stroll. Based along the River Allen, this National Trust property is dog-friendly, green, leafy and covered in interesting winding paths ranging from flat to steep enough to get you breathing hard. There are no facilities on site - with the exception of a toilet - so make sure that you pack a lunch. Allen Banks can get somewhat muddy in the winter months so why not pack your walking boots and get out in the fresh Northumbrian air?