Take a stroll up Penshaw Hill

Visitors at the Penshaw Monument, Sunderland

‘This iconic landmark is extremely popular,’ says Gareth Wilson, ranger at Penshaw Hill. ‘Everyone in the surrounding area has to climb it, at least once.’

On top of Penshaw Hill sits the Earl of Durham's Monument. This 70-foot-high folly is a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and can be seen for miles around.
Young hill climbers have long been enthralled by the tale of the Lambton Worm. ‘This giant beast started life as a tiny worm. The fisherman who found it threw it down a well, where it grew into a man-eating monster,’ explains Gareth. ‘It has been said that the Lambton Worm was so big that it could wrap itself around Penshaw Hill ten times.’
Children might have trouble spotting this monster today, but they won’t have any problem finding a variety of wild flowers, birds and insects.
You can also climb to the very top of Penshaw Monument. From Good Friday to the end of September, we open the spiral staircase hidden inside one of the monument’s pillars, letting groups of visitors up to the roof top to enjoy the view.
For a more challenging climb in Yorkshire, Gareth recommends Roseberry Topping. This enormous hill has a very distinctive shape, which some visitors say reminds them of the Matterhorn in Switzerland.