How to Find Consett Telescopes

Thanks to our writer Gaia for this post. ‘The Telescopes’ are a local landmark in Consett, County Durham and something my kids love to visit. As they’re located on the Coast 2 Coast cycle route we normally take the bikes for a little ride while we’re there. If you’ve never seen them before they’re definitely worth a visit and one to tick off the list along with the Giant Spoon in Cramlington.

How to Find Consett Telescopes


Terris Novalis (Consett Telescopes)




Location & Parking at Consett Telescopes

The telescopes are on the Coast to Coast cycle route on the outskirts of Consett in County Durham. You can see them from the road or get right up close to them (my kids love climbing on them!) Dog walkers, cyclists, kids and adults all comfortably and respectfully share the path through the picturesque County Durham countryside. 

Accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

How to Find Consett Telescopes
How to Find Consett Telescopes


If you’re travelling by car the best place to park is Hermiston Retail Park carpark which is just across the road from the telescopes. The maximum stay there is 3 hours and there is no minimum spend (shops there include Morrisons, Matalan, Sports Direct, Costa etc).


Hermiston Retail Park

Front Street




Public transport to Consett Telescopes

The closest bus stop to Consett Telescopes is Derwentside College, which is an 8 minute walk from the Telescopes. For more regular buses get one to consett bus station and then either walk (which will take around 20 mins) or get a connecting local bus. 


History of Consett Telescopes

The sculptures are called ‘Terris Novalis’ and were sculpted by Turner Prize winner Tony Cragg. They are a homage to the region’s history and are 20 times the size of the instruments they represent.

If you look closely you’ll notice that they have different animal legs which represent local coats of arms. The telescopes sit on the former site of the Consett Steelworks, which used to be the largest steelworks in Europe.


My kids love to climb on them and run down the grassy hill next to them before and after going for a bike ride. There isn’t a lot to do other than admire the sculptures and go for a walk or ride here, but there are other things to do nearby (listed below).

Although there are no benches to sit on at this particular spot you could take a picnic and a blanket if it’s a nice day, or visit one of the local independent cafes. Here are our favourites:


Cafes near Consett Telescopes

  • Hownsgill Tearoom

A mile south of the Telescopes following the cycle path (and just before the viaduct) there’s a little tearoom which gets good reviews


  • Knitsley Farm shop and café

This fantastic farm shop is only 1.7 miles from the Telescopes via cycle paths. You can sit outside and have a lovely lunch or coffee and cake in their cafe.


  • Maddison’s

If you head into the centre of Consett you will find fantastic coffee and food in Maddison’s café on front street.



Other things to do near Consett Telescopes

  • Hownsgill Viaduct

If you continue on the cycle path south for just over a mile you end up at the stunning Hownsgill Viaduct.


  • Consett & Blackhill playpark

You could combine a trip to Consett Telescopes with a play at the new playpark in Blackhill and Consett park. This playpark is just over a mile away and can be accessed via cycle paths.


  • Allensford Country Park

Allensford is close to Consett Telescopes so if you’re driving you could easily combine the two. You can read my guide to visiting Allensford Park here.

  • Old Transformers Leadgate 
A few readers have recommended that it's easy to combine here with a visit the Old Transformers models near Leadgate too. You can find out more here. 

 Or if the weather takes a turn for the worse, check out these rainy day ideas in Consett.


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