Causey Arch is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world and literally just down the road from our house. It was built between 1725-26 to link the Tanfield collieries to the main waggonway on the River Tyne to transport coal.
The Tanfield Railway runs through the Causey Arch area. It’s the oldest railway in the world and you can still ride on it. It’s not on every day so you do need to check the timetables if you’re wanting to travel on the train while you’re there.
There are two routes to get to the arch itself, one which is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs while the other is probably slightly quicker but has quite a lot of steps.
There’s a replica of an 18th coal waggon just prior to walking over the top of the arch itself with some plaques giving historic details about the area and the coal mining era.
There’s a good sized car park which is free all year round with plenty of picnic benches and grassed areas to sit.
Just off the car park there’s a little cafe which sells homemade cakes and goodies. I can’t comment on whether it’s nice or not as we only had no cash, only cards and they don’t accept them. We didn’t miss out though, after we left, we drove a little way along the road on the hunt for cake and visited Birkheads Secret Gardens and nursery where there’s a lovely little cafe tucked away.
Overall Causey Arch is a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny day. There’s plenty of grassed areas for children to run around (though keep a close eye as there’s only a small tunnel between the car park and a very busy main road), some nice walks and plenty of places to picnic.
Best of all it can be a completely free day out.