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Active Valleys

At Active Valleys, we want to get Deerness Valley residents of all ages moving, improving health and wellbeing!

Whether it’s taking the bike out for a muddy ride, searching for nature with the kids, taking a stroll for a catch up with friends, or even joining a nearby aerobics class or boxing club, the railway path is a perfect place to get some fresh air, exercise and discover new things.

But what else can you discover along the way? There are so many clubs, activities and organisations that can help you not only get active but also make friends and try new things along the path.


About Active Valleys

Active Valleys is a new and exciting Sport England funded initiative to build healthier, more active communities in the Deerness Valley. An active lifestyle benefits the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals along with creating a better connected, more resilient community. 

This new initiative brings together a group of local organisations who are working together to achieve one goal – to improve physical activity in the area. Active Valleys is a number of villages connected by an old railway path. We want local residents of all ages to use the route to be active. Deerness Valley includes the following villages; East Hedleyhope, Waterhouses, Esh Winning, Ushaw Moor, Broompark, New Brancepeth, Brandon, Bearpark and the grounds of Ushaw College. 

As part of Active Valleys there are a wide range of things happening and we hope that by showing all the fun, family-friendly opportunities available along the Deerness Valley Railway Path we can help you get moving

Things to do

The Active Valley area has community halls, a sports centre and a dedicated gymnastics facility. The Deerness Valley Railway Path is a valuable asset which follows the route of the River Deerness through a mixture of arable and grazing land, woods and meadows. It incorporates the villages of Broompark, Ushaw Moor, Esh Winning, Waterhouses and East Hedleyhope. 

Did you know

The railway line was opened in 1858 and carried coal out of the Deerness Valley for nearly 100 years until the line closed in 1951. Today, the line has been completely transformed and reclaimed, following the route of the River Deerness through a mixture of arable and grazing land, woods and herb rich meadows. You may see a variety birds including herons, woodpeckers and jays, some colourful butterflies, and all sorts of other wildlife from a hare to roe deer. The route length is 8.5 miles (13.5km), and it is suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users.

There are various walking, running and wellbeing sessions that also operate in the Valleys, via Walk Durham, Run Durham and Ways to Wellbeing.

The Valley has a wide range of sports clubs, which cater for both adults and juniors such as football, cricket, gymnastics, boxing, table tennis, running and karate. Take a look at our leaflet to see the full list of provision available. 

Due to the Government guidelines regarding COVID 19 some activities may have changed or not currently be available.  Please check with the provider or facility before attending.

There are pathway improvements being made to various routes of the Deerness Valley Railway Path. As part of this work, new way markers and people counters will be installed to make the routes more accessible.  

Mobile Adventures is an award-winning app that gets you moving while having fun! Whether it be with your family or friends, it will take you on a fun journey around Active Valleys.  We have launched our FREE family game at Broompark Picnic area so you and the family can have a fun interactive walk exploring Railway Path! 

Download the free app Mobile Adventures and navigate around the game unlocking fun tasks and challenges earning points for your team in this exciting and unique activity.


Active Valleys Broompark – Family Game 

Game Code: 342728679417 


Mobile adventures – but for teens!

Teenagers of Deerness Valley – Mobile Adventures is coming to Broompark Railway line just for you! Get involved in this free, fun and unique game! With Tik Tok, YouTube, social media challenges along with fun trivia on music, sport, movies and chocolate, you’ll have a great time exploring Broompark Railway line!

Download our app for free! Just search ‘Mobile Adventures’ & look for the green icon


Open the app and press ‘Scan QR Code’ then scan this QR code or enter game code 971479460778

When you are ready to start, put in a team name & press ‘Join Game’ – complete the ‘Tap here to start’ then visit the hotspots on the map to earn points!


Bearpark Active Trail!

Deerness Valley – Mobile Adventures is coming to Bearpark with a trail to keep you active! Get involved in this free, fun and unique game! Explore Bearpark and take on a range of physical activity challenges through your phones GPS! This game is all about moving more and getting your heart rate up!


Download our app for free! Just search ‘Mobile Adventures’ & look for the green icon


Open the app and press ‘Scan QR Code’ then scan this QR code or enter game code 931049208382


When you are ready to start, put in a name & press ‘Join Game’ – complete the ‘Tap here to start’ then visit the hotspots on the map to take on the challenges!

Be sure to maintain social distancing

Now, more than ever, it is important that we stay active – as long as you feel well enough. Even small amounts of activity will have a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

If you’re spending more and more time at home, and if you feel well, there’s a wealth of free online content to help you get active – we have collated some of this at www.countydurhamsport.com/stay-active-at-home/

Have you seen our list of free Webinars?

They are open to everyone and start at 6pm.

Select the link below to sign up: 

Developing Resiliently Active Young People – 26th May


The workshop will outline the role of resilience in encouraging lifelong participation in sport and physical activity. The workshop will provide insight into the theory of resilience and how coaches / session leaders can play a role in developing it within the young people they work with. Building resilience can help to increase retention in Doorstep Sport sessions and also support young people to transition into new activities and new settings.

Managing Challenging Behaviour – 30th June


This 2.5 hour workshop explores how Doorstep Sport can be used as an engagement tool to address social exclusion, anti-social behaviour and community tension and build stronger communities. Participants learn the characteristics of ‘hard to reach’ young people and how to effectively engage with them. They are shown how to recognise the causes and triggers of anti-social behaviour and they explore the development of tools and skills that enable young people to take ownership of their issues and effectively manage challenging behaviour

5 Ways to Well-being – 28th July


This live 1.5-hour webinar is a great opportunity for you to spend a bit of time thinking about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of young people you work with during these very challenging times. The session will be based on the 5-ways to wellbeing and how we can make small changes in our lifestyles to look after ourselves and each other. Come prepared to get involved in some fun, light-hearted activities that may be useful to use try out with other colleagues, youth groups and partners you are working with. Select

Keep up to date with @active_valleys on social media ​


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Active Valleys
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