Rainton Meadows


Come along and visit our beautiful nature reserve, escape for a few hours of tranquility and enjoy a leisurely stroll in the peace and quiet. Perhaps catch a glimpse of our wildlife or enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee in our coffee shop.



Everyone is welcome at our reserve; bring along the whole family for a few hours on the reserve; we have accessible paths to explore the woodlands or admire the lakes and wetlands the dragonflies love so much.

For wildlife enthusiasts & bird watchers there is always a great opportunity to enjoy the natural habitats of our varied wildlife. You may catch a glimpse of all five British owls and over 200 other species of birds. The reserve also attracts many mammals, amphibians and insects like butterflies.

If you wish to find out more about Rainton Meadows nature reserve or the neighbouring nature reserve Joe’s Pond, take a look at our reserves pages.


Our Opening Times

Car park: 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri, 11am – 4pm on weekends and bank holidays except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Visitor Centre: 9am – 4.30pm Mon – Fri, 11am – 4pm weekends and bank holidays except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

The Coffee Shop is open from 11am – 4pm every day (except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)



We provide great accessibility; for Disabled parking the bays are located just outside the visitor centre. There are disabled toilets and everything is on level ground for wheelchair access and friendly assistance is always available should you require it, please ask.

We welcome cyclists, if you are cycling in; there are bike racks to lock your bike onto.

We have clean and accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.

Our well stocked and relaxing Coffee Shop provides hot and cold drinks, confectionary, crisps and a great range of fun and educational wildlife related products you may like to buy.

(Our coffee shop relies on support from volunteers, so if you’d like to get involved please call the Trust on 0191 584 3112.) We would greatly appreciate and welcome your support.


How to Find Us

By Bus

Bus routes 20A and 35A stop at Rainton Bridge, 10 minute walk from there. To plan your journey have a look at the Traveline North East website.

By Car

Situated midway between Durham and Sunderland off the A690. Follow the brown signs for Rainton Meadows just South of Houghton-le-Spring or alternatively leave the A1(M) at Chester-le-Street and head west on the A183/A1052 or simply type our postcode DH4 6PU into your sat nav.


For further information please call us on (0191) 5843112.

Durham Wildlife Trust

Rainton Meadows

Chilton Moor


Tyne & Wear