It's no secret that walking is brilliant for your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. 

Going for a walk in picture-perfect countryside can improve mood and comes with plenty of positives.

Darlington isn't short for great walking routes, from river paths to public footpaths and from hill walks to heritage routes.

Now that Spring is here, we have pieced together five walking routes that you can do this Spring in the area.

Here are the five best Darlington walking trails to do this Spring time:

Hurworth and Croft Circular

Explore this 10.1-km circular trail near Darlington. It's generally considered a moderately challenging route. This is a popular trail for hiking, running, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of the day. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.

According to walking website All Trails: "This is a pleasant town and countryside trail taking in the streets of Hurworth-on-Tees, the paths along River Tees, and some farmland tracks. Enjoy the views over the water and fields and keep an eye out for wildlife. Take care of the rougher sections of this trail, especially in wetter conditions. Appropriate footwear is advised. Care is also needed on the paths at the golf course."

Take a look at the route here.

Harrowgate and River Skerne

This 8.4km route is also circular and is considered a moderately challenging route, which takes around two hours and three minutes to complete. The trail is open year-round and dogs are welcome, but must be on a lead.

This route is described as: "This scenic trail provides an incredible and peaceful experience with stunning views. The landscapes offer breathtaking and diverse scenery. While hiking along the course, you can engage in various outdoor activities. You may also spot some local wildlife and plants. The trail is easy to find and follow, making it accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities to enjoy unforgettable moments."

Take a look at the route here.

Broken Scarr Picnic Area to Teesdale Way Short Loop

A 6.0-km circular trail near Darlington, generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of one hour and 17 minutes to complete. The best times to visit this trail are May through November.

All Trails describes this route as: "A peaceful walk through farmland with nice river views. It is a very dog-friendly route as it is fairly short and flat and has areas for dogs to play and swim. The path around the fields is marked. Park in the Broken Scarr car park and the route will follow the River Tees on the way back. You can have a picnic in the park near where you parked."

Take a look at the route here.

Middleton One Row to Sockburn

Considered one of the longest routes on this list, this 14.6-km circular trail near Darlington will take an average of three hours and 35 minutes to complete. The best times to visit this trail are February through June.

It has been described as: "This enjoyable walk through woods and farm fields is easy-going and easy to follow. The path runs close to the River Tees in sections. Beware the walk can be very muddy in places, so appropriate footwear is highly recommended. It's great to be able to have the dog off the lead the majority of the way round. Enjoy reconnecting with nature."

Take a look at the route here.

River Tees Circular

From a tough route to an easy one - this River Tees route is a 5.1-km circular trail, which will take an average of one hour and 13 minutes to complete. 

It is described as: "This is a great opportunity for an easy and enjoyable walk in the beautiful countryside along the River Tees. The route is mostly flat and suitable for people of various abilities. However, some areas may become muddy during the wetter months, so it's advisable to wear appropriate footwear and clothing layers for maximum comfort. It's worth noting that there is a long stretch of the route that follows the pavement of main roads."

Take a look at the route here.