As well as taking the walker almost round the circumference of the village, this walk offers views only available to those who leave the main roads, especially along the riverbank section. The section of the Teesdale Way alongside the riverbank was used by lead miners heading to their work. There is an abundance of wildflowers in the Spring on the riverbank alongside birdlife only found by fast flowing water. There are a number of stiles and uneven surfaces, and stout footwear is recommended. Visitors to Leekworth Campsite can also use this walk to avoid using the road to get into the heart of the village. The fields between the Campsite and Leekworth Gardens are often home to grazing animals and dogs should be kept under close control at all times. Always remember the Countryside Code.
From the Bainbridge Fountain turn left into Market Place, towards Alston pass the Market Cross on your right. Keep left on the main road, then turn left, just before the former company school, and follow the footpath down towards the River Tees. Cross the Hudeshope Beck footbridge and then over Bridge Street onto the Teesdale Way. Follow this path, cobbled in places, past the gauging station used for recording water flow in the river. The row of terraced houses on your left used to be the homes of employees of the London Lead Company. The footpath continues along the riverside and past a low stone wall in the river bank, opposite an attractive wood of beech trees. Go along the edge of two fields with the Leekworth Campsite to your left and follow the path along the river’s edge. With its rocky outcrops, this is a good spot for looking for the dipper, with its large white breast. This a bird often found by fast flowing rivers, in summer, you may also see and hear common sandpipers.
After a narrow section of path above the river rocks, turn left at the end of a stone wall. Leave the Teesdale Way here and go left across the field to a stile in another stone wall. Continue along the next field edge to a way mark post where you turn left along the line of the field furrows. The prominent furrows are cultivation terraces from an earlier style of farming. Over to your left is a fine view of Teesdale with the distinctive wooded knoll of Kirk Carrion, site of an ancient burial mound, in the distance.
Keep straight across the field to a stile and then bear slightly left and down to another stile and then into the next field. Head down towards the corner of a wall, go over a small flagstone bridge and, keeping the wall on your right, walk to a stile next to a gate and then along the road through Leekworth Gardens. At the main road, cross, turn right and take the footpath between California Row and Town End which will lead you up to the playground, turn left into Wesley Terrace and arrive back to your starting point by the Bainbridge Fountain.