The Active Sunderland BIG Walk returns for 2018 on Sunday 30 September and once again offers a superb opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover a beautiful hidden corner of rural Wearside.

Last year over 400 participants took part in The BIG Walk, and this year organisers are encouraging everyone from regular walkers to visitors enjoying a day out, to come along and take part.

Starting at 10am, the revised routes of three, seven, and 11 miles all begin and end at Herrington Country Park.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, said: “The Active Sunderland BIG Walk is a very popular event in the Active Sunderland programme of participation events and this year has some outstanding routes on offer.”

“The walk is a fantastic, inexpensive and active opportunity for everyone to have a great day out surrounded by our beautiful scenery.

The routes give everyone the opportunity to see nature, find out more about local history and of course make new friends. It is a perfect event for those who would like to escape the hustle and bustle of modern city for a few hours”

The three mile route is ideal for beginners, families or those with mobility issues and involves an optional scavenger hunt trail around International Green Flag award-winning Herrington Country Park.

The trail provides the perfect chance to discover more about the history and nature of one of the city’s finest and largest outdoor spaces.

Both the seven mile and 11 mile routes take in the beautiful Wear Valley behind Penshaw Monument.

The longer route crosses the river at Cox Green before heading beneath the spectacular Victoria Viaduct before once again crossing the river using the historic Penshaw-Fatfield Bridge which dates back to the 1890’s and is the oldest river crossing overseen by the City Council.

This area of unspoilt countryside is home to a rich mosaic of habitats and wildlife and is a fantastic place to walk, with mile upon mile of footpaths through open countryside, ancient broadleaf woodland and along the banks of the River Wear.

This year’s sponsor is Everyone Active, who manage the city’s leisure facilities on behalf of Sunderland City Council.

Earl Spencer, Everyone Actives Area Sales Support Manager said: “We really enjoy getting involved with Active Sunderland, especially the BIG Walk. This is our second year sponsoring the event and it gives us the perfect opportunity to engage with the Sunderland community on a wider scale”.

He added: “We believe that fitness can come in many forms and walking is the perfect activity in terms of how many people it can appeal to. Everyone can do it so it is great for every generation young or old”

The BIG Walk will start at 10am on Sunday 30 November at Herrington Country Park. Entries are now open online and the £10.00 entry fee includes a technical tee-shirt, Active Sunderland medal and a goody bag.

To enter the Active Sunderland BIG Walk and for further information please go to www.activesunderland.org.uk

You can also email active@sunderland.gov.uk or check the Active Sunderland Facebook page for all the latest news.

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