Things to do at Penshaw Monument
Penshaw Monument is a striking landmark of the North East, built in 1844 in memory of the 1st Earl of Durham. Here are some of the highlights of what you can see and do at the site, from a tour to the top of this impressive monument to exploring the nearby Penshaw Wood.
Climb Penshaw Hill
You can park off the main road at the bottom of the hill. From there, there is a network of paths which take you around the whole site, including Penshaw Wood. However, it’s hard to resist heading straight up the steps to the monument at the top.
The summit offers a fantastic panorama of the North East – on a clear day you might be able to see as far as the Cheviot Hills, 50 miles away, or spot the spire of Durham Cathedral to the south.
The stepped shape of Penshaw Hill is attributed to a local legend – the Lambton Worm. The giant monster is said to have wrapped itself around the hill 10 times.
In spring and summer you’ll find a beautiful display of wild flowers carpeting the hill and quarry slopes. There’s also the old limestone quarry on the north side of the hill, which is a good place to spot birds feeding amongst the trees.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure-hunting game. There are over a million secret containers (called geocaches) hidden in outdoor locations throughout the world.
Hunting for them is great fun for people of all ages – all you need is a GPS device or a mobile phone and a sense of adventure.
The National Trust has created a special geocache here at Penshaw Monument, but you'll have to solve a few puzzles first to find it.
To find out more, visit www.geocaching.com.
Explore Penshaw Wood
Take a couple of hours out to explore the enchanting woodland to the west of the monument, whether you're alone with your thoughts, walking your dog or enjoying a family outing.
The wood is rewarding to visit at any time of the year but is particularly beautiful in the warmer months when carpets of bluebells spread out across the forest floor, wood anemones line the paths and the scent of wild garlic fills the air.
Use your people skills or love of the outdoors to help us to care for Penshaw Monument and other special places across County Durham. Find out more about how you can get involved.
Go geocaching – it's like a digital treasure hunt using a handheld GPS and a sense of fun. You can try it for free at many places we look after.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.
From medieval manor houses to classic Georgian mansions to lighthouses, the North East's story is brought to life through its characterful historic buildings.
Explore the North East's wide open spaces on foot or by bicycle. There are nature reserves, vast estates and huge swathes of undulating countryside to discover, as well as plenty of wildlife to spot.