Penshaw Monument

Penshaw Monument

Penshaw Monument is a National Trust property in the North East of England. It’s a familiar sight for people who live here as it’s visible from miles around. It isn’t a day out in itself, but you can pair it up with another activity nearby, like the North East Aircraft Museum, or, if you want to make the most of your NT membership you could visit Washington Old Hall.

Day out with toddler at Penshaw monument in Sunderland

You can park off the main road at the bottom of Penshaw Hill. From here there are a network of paths which take in the whole site including Penshaw Wood. However, we headed straight up the steps to the Monument.
Penshaw monument
Penshaw monument in Sunderland

Standing on top of the hill, there’s a fantastic panorama of the North East. If it’s a clear day you might be able to see as far as the Cheviot Hills 50 miles away, or spot the spire of Durham Cathedral to the South.

At the top of Penshaw Monument, on weekends only between Easter and September, you can climb up a hidden staircase in one of the pillars and get even higher, for even more spectacular views. We didn’t go up because Noah found my purse at home and took all the cards out, including my National Trust membership card! Oops!

Note that you don’t need a membership to visit the monument – you only need to show your card if you want to go up inside the pillar to the roof.

Brown cows at Penshaw monument

When we visited there were two brown cows and a calf at the bottom of the hill. Although the calf had a tag on its ear, I think it was quite a young calf, because the placenta was on the path a short distance away from the trio. Noah began moo-ing as soon as he saw them, but James insisted they were horses. So funny; how does that happen?!

Penshaw monument national trust in Sunderland image
We had such a gentle time here; it felt great to be outdoors. James found a stick and sidled up to dogs he saw to see if any wanted to play with him. At last, a dog owner said their collie would prefer a ball, and they let James throw the ball a few times for the dog to eagerly fetch.

Penshaw monument national trust in Sunderland image

It was also fun to run around the base of the monument, counting the lights and checking if any were switched on.
I can recommend a visit to Penshaw Monument. I think it’s a bit like the Angel of the North – you live near it, and see it regularly, but it takes a number of years to actually build up to visit!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



  1. May 7, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    I’ve never visited Penshaw Monument although we have been very close and played in the park that’s near the bottom. We will definitely give it a go soon – worth it for the views I reckon. We’ll try to remember our NT cards #LoveNorthEast

  2. entertainingelliot
    May 7, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Thats an impressive looking monument! I love the National Trust, there are some really lovely places to visit aren’t there. Well worth the membership! #daysoutwithatoddler

  3. May 7, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Its not too far for us so we’ve been quite a few times. It’s always good to have a wander up to the monument and then laze on the grass at Herrington Park with an ice cream


  4. May 8, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Got to love toddler logic. Your little one looks like King of the Monument in one of your photos. #daysoutwithatoddler

  5. May 9, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    What a great place to go and explore. The architecture looks amazing and so perfectly preserved. It looks like you weren’t the only ones venturing up there and I can see why it looks so safe and off the beaten track. Those calves looks adorable and as you say very new born. Thank you for sharing your lovely visit on #CountryKids

  6. May 18, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Sounds like a great place to visit. I like a trip with an objective, so getting to the top of the hill to see the monument would have been enough as part of a quick morning stroll – but now i know there are actual stairs inside one of the pillars and you can go to the top – i am completely sold. I remember when we were occasionally allowed to the top of the church up all the steps – it was such a unique experience – this sounds similar! #daysoutwithatoddler

  7. May 20, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    I bet Arlo would like that too and we’ve not been to Washington Old Hall so I should do that trip combo! And you are right I’ve still never seen the Angel up close! #daysoutwithatoddler

  8. May 24, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    In all my years of living so close by and visiting I never knew you could go inside! Thanks for linking up with #LoveNorthEast

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