Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Department for Spirituality

Prayer Walks around the Diocese – Escomb

Escomb Prayer Walk

A short, but very pleasant walk that takes you to one of the oldest churches in the region and through fields, woodland and alongside the River Wear.

The starting point can be found close to the marker on Google maps here. As you approach Station Court, the position of the marker, you should see signs to ‘Paradise’ (honestly!). Go under the railway bridge and turn left to the car park.

Ordnance Survey Maps: OS Landranger Map 92, OS Explorer Map 305.

There are very few walks that begin at a noticeboard saying “Welcome to Paradise”! However, Paradise was the site of a huge ironworks with poor quality housing built for the workers. Inevitably, when the works closed and even when they were open, the local village, Witton Park, suffered from great poverty and many residents were moved out as houses were not repaired and were eventually bull-dozed… for many the loss of community was hard to bear. The area has been resurrected and the countryside cleaned and planted.

Our walk takes us on a kind of pilgrimage and uses prayers from the Carmina Gadelica at various points along the way. Although they originate in the Western Isles, they remind us of a long Celtic / Anglo–Saxon tradition, which extended to the north–east that saw close links between faith and nature.

There is also the opportunity to visit Escomb Saxon Church which was founded in the seventh century. You can find out more here:

Some parts of the walk may be muddy so stout shoes are recommended.

Walk details