IF you enjoy woodland walks with views of the river, this is the route for you.

Witton-le-Wear is a beautiful County Durham village with a fascinating history.

Sitting on above a wooded valley on the north bank of the River Wear, six miles north west of Bishop Auckland. It retains its original medieval layout, overlooking a sloping village green.

The settlement's name is Anglo Saxon for "farm in or near Woodland" and Witton-le-Wear had a part to play in connecting the area to the Stockton and Darlington Railway, boosting economic fortunes and bringing employment.

Mining and the production of pig iron and cement centred on the area and was distributed thanks to the railway network to all parts of Britain.

Our Country Life walks writer Mark Reid takes us on a lovely walk from Witton-le-Wear, skirting round Witton Castle to Witton Park, through dense woodland and along the riverbank.

Mark Reid has produced 17 successful walking guidebooks, including the acclaimed ‘Inn Way’ and ‘Walking Weekends’ series covering all of the national parks of Northern England.

He is also a Mountain Leader and Outdoor Instructor and offers map reading courses, navigation skills weekends, guided walks and outdoor adventures in the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and beyond.

As always when venturing out for a country walk, make sure you are wrapped up warm.

And to find out more about Mark Reid's walks, click here.