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
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?
Not Much To See
BlueZMonkey, Ripon, United Kingdom
I expected so much having picked up a leftlet showing a beautiful autumn colours, but when I got to the car park the main path was closed, there were instructions to use a footpath diversion, but as I read the sign it was obvious that the temporary route had expired at the end of September. I didn't fancy getting told off for trespassing. I had a quick look at the River Allen from the bridge, but there wasn't much to get excited about. The only saving grace was that the toilets in the car park were open and tidy, although the water was rather cold. For the entire time that I was there, my car was the only one in the car park..clearly everyone else knew not to bother.
Disappointed due to sketchy information
missyirwing, Brigg, United Kingdom
I was aware before visiting that a number of paths were still closed due to the damage caused by Storm Desmond. On arriving in the main car park and walking to the pergola, the main path ahead had a barrier across it, with a sign explaining paths were closed and to exit the car park and walk over the metal bridge before going under it. Many people were following the instruction, which led to walking along the edge of a field with the river behind trees below. Scrambling down the bank was the only way to obtain a good view of the river and as a result it was disappointing and not what I expected at all. Speaking to locals afterwards, it appears there are paths open on the West side of the river but the signage does not make this clear to visitors.