National Route 14 runs from Darlington in County Durham north-east to Hartlepool, then north-west through Durham to Consett and routing back north-east to South Shields along the south side of the River Tyne. The route is described here from Darlington to South Shields but is signed in both directions. Where no printed map is available for a particular section please use the Sustrans online mapping.
The route is entirely open with much of the route traffic-free along disused railway paths. A section through Stockton-on-Tees and another section from Wingate to Hasell share the route with National Route 1. Between Stockton-on-Tees and South Shields the route is also known as the Three Rivers Cycle Route.
Darlington to Hartlepool
Following an old railway line out of Darlington to Middleton St George, the route continues via a combination of on-road and traffic-free sections to Stockton-on-Tees. After a short stretch on National Route 1 through Stockton, Route 14 heads to Hartlepool. Over 50% of the route between Stockton and Hartlepool is traffic-free.
Hartlepool to Durham
Following a mixture of traffc-free and on-road route through Hartlepool, Route 14 heads away from the coast on a continuous disused railway line, sharing with National Route 1 (also part of EuroVelo 12) for part of the route, as far as Haswell in County Durham. From Haswell, mainly on-road routes take you west into Durham.
Durham to South Shields
Shortly after leaving Durham heading west, National Route 14 follows the Lanchester Valley Railway Path to Consett, continuing on disused railway paths to where it meets the River Derwent and then the south bank of the Tyne towards South Shields. Some short sections along the Tyne are on road but otherwise this whole stretch is a fantastic unbroken traffic-free path.