Sugley Dene is bordered to the north by the former site of Hadrian’s Wall, now the A69, and to the south by Hadrian’s Way national trail and cycleway. The Vallum, a demilitarised zone along the length of the southern side of Hadrian's Wall, runs through the middle of the site.
The Dene is a fairly narrow and steep sided wooded valley which is worth searching out and investigating. A semi-natural ancient woodland, site of nature conservation interest and proposed local nature reserve, is home to a surprising amount of wildlife and native woodland plants. Split in two by Neptune Road the northern and southern ends of the Dene are totally different.
The northern end of Sugley Dene is dominated by spectacular beech trees towering above the footpaths and the stream, Sugley Burn. Their impressive canopy shades out sunlight from the woodland floor and bare earth banks are common here. The southern end of the Dene, by contrast has oak, ash and hazel trees allowing the light through to plants including native bluebell, wild garlic and lesser celandine.
There are no facilities here whatsoever and on my visit a few of the boardwalks were in a serious state of disrepair (see photos below) making it accessible only to the fittest people due to the climbing involved to get around the broken bits. If or when they get fixed up it would be a pleasant stroll for most people though.
Edit: I revisited Sugley Dene again in June 2009 and all of the broken paths had been fixed up. One thing worth a mention though is that the paths are still quite slippy in parts which is down to shading from the trees but they are passable with care.
I would also advise that you enter the Dene through a small gate at Avalon Drive just off the A69 just west of the junction with the A1 western bypass then you can follow a gentle downhill path most of the way. See map below.
Without a doubt Sugley Dene is of Newcastle's best kept secrets and well worth a visit.
Sailors spruce up local beauty spot
Newcastle City Council - Sugley Dene
View Sugley Dene in a larger map