81.83 ha (202.20 acres)

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Explorer 308
OS Landranger 88

Planted in 2009 as an extension to Elemore Woods, White Hill Woods is an 81.8-hectare (202.2-acre) new woodland and a haven for local wildlife. The woods have an extensive network of interlinking paths and open spaces.

Follow Salter’s Lane, an ancient packhorse route, along to Cherry Garth with its rare limestone grassland, and on to Elemore Woods, enjoying the area’s abundant birdlife as you go. Listen out for the hammering of woodpeckers early in the year, and watch for buzzards soaring and kestrels hovering over the open areas.


  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Spring flowers
  • Grassland

How to get to White Hill Woods

The 81.8 hectares (202.2 acres) that make up White Hill Woods are located in South Hetton, just south-east of Hetton-le-hole.

From the A1, take exit 62 onto the A690 towards Sunderland. After 2.8km (1.7 miles), turn right onto Robin Lane and continue onto Hazard Lane. Turn right onto the B1284, taking the second exit on the first roundabout and second exit on the second roundabout onto the A182. Follow the A182 to the High Street, and continue before you turn right for Salters Lane, where you will find the entrance to the wood.

The nearest train station is in Seaham, 7km (4.3 miles) from the wood. Take the bus indigo 202 from York House, New Tempest Road to South Hetton Road.

Visit National Rail for more information.

There are bus stops on the A182 on both Easington Lane and South Hetton, a few minutes’ walk from the woods.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

There are four pedestrian kissing gates along South View Road in Easington Lane and another at the wood’s main entrance next to the junction of the B1280 and the A182. A flight of steps down from the B1280 provides further access from the south-east; and another kissing gate entrance to the north-west provides access off the track running southwards from Elemore Vale.

The wood has an extensive network of interlinking paths, rides and open spaces, and there is a public footpath from Elemore Woods. All other routes on site are permissive, including one for horse riders.

There is no car park, but parking is available in South Hetton, close to the wood. Parking on South View is not recommended as this road is very narrow.

There are public toilets 1.2km (0.75 miles) away on Front Street (A182) in South Hetton, next to the church, which are open between 9am and 5pm.

A RADAR toilet is available at the Primary Care Offices on Seaside Lane in Easington (open during office hours), which is 6.2km (3.9 miles) from the wood.

Wildlife and habitats


The grassland and woodland habitats at White Hill Woods provide an important home for wildlife in the area. Limestone grassland at Cherry Garth provides a species-rich habitat for a variety of invertebrates, particularly butterflies, such as purple hairstreak, orange-tip, common blue and ringlet.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

White Hill Woods extend and buffer the neighbouring Elemore Woods and create a continuous corridor of woodland stretching for 4km (2.5 miles) between Easington Lane in Tyne and Wear and Littletown in County Durham. Prior to planting, most of the site was arable farmland.

Today, the site boasts a wide range of native broadleaves, creating vital woodland cover for people and wildlife.

Look out for:


Take a walk and enjoy the varied habitats in White Hill Woods. The route leads you to Cherry Garth, a rare limestone grassland habitat in the woods.


History of White Hill Woods

Salter’s Lane, an ancient route for packhorses carrying salt from the salt pans of Wearmouth to Durham, runs along the eastern side of the woods.

We purchased the site in 2008 with financial assistance from County Durham Environmental Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, SITA Trust, Biffa Award, the local community and Woodland Trust members. Establishment of the new woodland is being funded with the help of these organisations and the Forestry Commission.

Things to do in White Hill Woods


An orienteering course runs through White Hill Woods and Elemore Woods. You can approach it from Easington Lane, Elemore Vale or Littletown. Some of the control sites are on steep slopes.


White Hill Woods Management Plan

PDF  (142 KB)