Castle Eden Walkway, Thorpe Wood and Wynyard Woodland Park
Wynyard Woodland Park started life as a working railway carrying freight to the ports along the River Tees. Based on a section of the old Stockton to Wellfield railway line, it started life as one of several nature trails throughout the country established on old railway track beds. The Castle Eden Walkway was opened to the public as a Country Park in 1981.
That former railway line now offers an excellent route for walking and cycling, with linking footpaths enabling visitors to wider park including Thorpe Wood Local Nature Reserve, Tilery and Brierley Woods (undergoing a major woodland restoration project) and the splendid Pickard Meadows (a huge, newly established wildflower meadow).
In 1983 the old Stationmaster's house was opened as a Visitor Centre and in 1989 an extension, built as a faithful reproduction of the previously demolished waiting room, was added. The former station house now houses an excellent café, and nearby there’s a fantastic, adventure play area in a stunning woodland setting.
Over time it has expanded in line with its popularity. It’s most recent acquisition, the purchase of more than 81 Hectares of woodland and farmland, has virtually doubled the size of the site and is now known as the Wynyard Woodland Park. The park is also home to a planetarium and observatory, managed by the Cleveland and Darlington Astronomical Society (CaDAS).
The old railway track-bed is a popular walking and cycling trail known as the Castle Eden Walkway. This route through Thorpe Wood passes beneath three fine brick-built bridges. The embankments of this old railway line have been colonised by trees, plants and flowers that have created a wonderful habitat for many species of plants, animals, birds and insects.
Thorpe Wood is semi-natural ancient woodland that has remained untouched for several hundred years, an old remnant of the original native wild woods of England with oak, ash and hazel trees cloaking the slopes of a small valley.
The Woodland Park is signposted from the A177 (Wynyard Road) in Thorpe Thewles, Stockton.
Tel: 01740 630011