Car parking


Allen Banks & Staward Gorge: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 3

Pied flycatcher © NPAP
In spring and early summer the ancient woodland at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge bursts with the songs of birds such as the wood warbler and willow warbler, song thrush and wren. At quieter times of year these woods are still well worth a visit. In autumn the trees are a blaze of orange and yellow while rich clusters of fungi decorate the woodland floor. Even in winter, the activity of resident woodland birds provides a welcome contrast to the comparative quiet of the surrounding countryside.
Location:
The National Trust car park at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge (NY797641).
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Allendale Golf Club Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Allendale Golf Club has been recognised as a great place for amateur and professional astronomers to stargaze. With wide open views of the horizon and a location away from the light pollution of towns and cities, the skies are incredibly dark. Under a clear night sky, the major constellations can be seen and the Milky Way is also visible to the naked eye. During organised stargazing events the club room is the perfect place to get warm and discuss the latest astronomical news and sightings. The facilities here are suitable for disabled visitors and there is good access to the viewing area from the car park. For more information on events, visit www.northpennines.org.uk. The golf course is popular due to its remote and quiet location and stunning views over the East Allen Valley, as well as some interesting and challenging holes - www.allendale-golf.co.uk
Location:
Located just off the B6295, approximately 1.5 miles south of Allendale Town.
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale Market Place Visitor Information Point

Allendale is a perfect stopping point for a journey around the North Pennines. Pop in to the visitor information point in Allendale Market Place to discover places to visit, eat and stay. From the Market Place you can set out on foot along the river or head up to on to the fells for panoramic views.
Location:
The Information Point can be found in Allendale Post Office
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Allendale to Allen Banks: Electric Bike Route 1

Allendale ©
A 20 mile circular route that takes you from the centre of Allendale, through rural Northumberland, to reach the spectacular ancient woodland at Allen Banks. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Circular route starting at Allendale Post Office (NY837558 / NE47 9BJ).
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale: Cycle Route 1

West Allen Valley © NPAP/Andy Lees
This 34-km cycle route is a circuit of the East and West Allen Valleys. It is best cycled anti-clockwise. The southern section is part of the C2C Cycle Route and provides an easy link to Allenheads. A shorter circuit is possible, diverting from the main route at Hartleycleugh and crossing Dryburn Moor and continuing down into Allendale. Along this route two chimneys can be seen which are remnants of Allendale's mining heritage. Flues and chimneys formed part of the condensing process, and took fumes from the smelt mills up the valley. Valuable deposits of lead collected within the flues, and periodically small boys were sent through to collect it - not a pleasant job! Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in Allendale in the East Allen Valley (NY837558 / NE47 9BJ).
Distance:
34 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale: Cycle Route 2

Chimney on Dryburn Moor © NPAP
This 15-km route follows the upper valley roads but is generally less demanding than the other 3 Allendale routes, despite one very short and extremely steep hill at Acton Burn. This is followed by a series of generally upward undulations leading to a glorious descent back into Allendale. A longer alternative route takes in both Dryburn Moor and a part of the C2C Cycle Route across Swinhope Moor. The remains of an early 17th Century bastle house called Rowantree stob can be seen off the cycle route near Pry Hill Farm (NY839512). These fortified homes were built by landowners to protect their families and livestock from Border Reivers. You can visit the bastle ruins by following Isaacs Tea Trail - a public footpath. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in Allendale in the East Allen Valley (NY837558 / NE47 9BJ).
Distance:
15 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale: Cycle Route 3

Stobbs Cross above Allendale © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
This 14km route is for the more adventurous cyclist, with a steep ascent and descent to cross the River East Allen at Oakpool. Several continuation options are available at Keenley. Nearby is Keenley Chapel the oldest Methodist Chapel in the Allendale area and it is one of the first to be purpose-built in the North East. It was built in 1750, rebuilt in 1875 and is still in use. Many Methodist chapels, some now converted for domestic or other uses, can be seen throughout the AONB. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in Allendale in the East Allen Valley (NY837558 / NE47 9BJ).
Distance:
14 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale: Cycle Route 4

Allendale ©
This 15km mountain bike route uses several sections of quiet minor roads as part of the itinerary. There are various options to extend or shorten the route according to time, energy and conditions. The route passes alongside several upland hay meadows which are a rare and internationally important habitat because of their high wildflower and grassland species diversity. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in Allendale in the East Allen Valley (NY837558 / NE47 9BJ).
Distance:
15 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Allendale: Hay Time Walk 1

Great burnet © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
Take a 2 hour walk around South Wooley Farm in Allendale and get close to one of the world’s rarest and most endangered habitats, Upland Hay Meadows. There are only about 11 square kilometres of upland hay meadows left in the whole of the UK. Just under half of these are here in the North Pennines Area of Oiutstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark. This walk takes you along country lanes and public footpaths through, or alongside, several hay meadows on the farm. Please keep to the paths, leave gates as you find them and keep dogs under close control, preferably on a short lead.
Location:
Starting from the car park in Allendale Town (NY837558).
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Recreation opportunities:

Allenheads Geotrail

Above Allenheads © NPAP
The landscape around Allenheads has been over 300 million years in the making. From tropical seas and deltas to minerals and miners – all have played their part in shaping this beautiful landscape. This 5km circular walk will introduce you to some of the special features of the landscape around Allenheads. By spotting clues in the moors, fields and buildings you’ll find out how to read the landscape and discover more about its fascinating past.
Location:
Starting from Allenheads car park (NY859453 / NE47 9HJ) in the East Allen Valley.
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Allenheads, Cowshill & Middlehope Moor: Electric Bike Route 10

Cottongrass on the moors above Allenheads © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 24km cycle route starts in Allenheads and takes you across to Weardale in a grand loop. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Starts and finishes in Allenheads in the East Allen Valley (NY859453 / NE47 9HJ)
Distance:
24 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston & the South Tyne Valley: Electric Bike Route 6

The South Tyne Valley © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
This 32km cycle route starts in Alston and explores the glorious South Tyne Valley. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
This route starts and finishes at the South Tynedale Railway/the Hub Museum in Alston (NY716467 / CA9 3HN).
Distance:
32 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston Moor Walkers are Welcome

Walking on the moors above Alston © Alston Walkers are Welcome
Alston Moor Walkers are Welcome has been part of the UK Walkers are Welcome Network since July 2013. One of its aims is to promote Alston Moor as a destination for walkers for both visitors and local people by providing information on local walks, the area in general and the facilities available. It also leads monthly walks and is involved with the Greg’s Hut Association, who maintain Greg’s Hut, an old lead-mining building high up on Cross Fell now a mountain bothy. A second aim is to work with the local council regarding the maintenance, improvement and signposting of the footpaths and facilities for walkers on Alston Moor. We would therefore welcome feedback from walkers on any walks they have undertaken in the area, in particular on any problems they may have encountered.
Location:
Based in Alston in the Cumbrian North Pennines. Visit website or call Guy Harmer on 07515 881548.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Alston Packhorse Trail - Horse

Riding the Alston Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 29km (912m of ascent) circular horse riding route (30% off-road) starts and finishes in Nenthead. You’ll travel through a landscape rich with echoes of the area’s lead mining past. Passing through the small town of Alston and the villages of Nenthead and Garrigill, as well as over the high moors, it’s a route of contrasts.
Location:
Starts and finishes at Nenthead Mines car park (NY781436 / CA9 3NR - nearest).
Distance:
29 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Alston Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

Alston Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 29km (912m of ascent) circular mountain biking route (30% off-road) starts and finishes in Nenthead. You’ll travel through a landscape rich with echoes of the area’s lead mining past. Passing through the small town of Alston and the villages of Nenthead and Garrigill, as well as over the high moors, it’s a route of contrasts.
Location:
Starts and finishes at Nenthead Mines car park (NY781436 / CA9 3NR - nearest).
Distance:
29 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Alston Training and Adventure Centre

The Alston Training and Adventure Centre is a family run centre offering a range of options from a full package of outdoor activities based at our residential centre. These are led by our highly skilled, experienced and qualified staff and are ideal for school and youth groups. The vast majority of the activities are carried out in the natural environment of the North Pennines. These activities include climbing, abseiling, canoeing, mine exploration, gorge walking, problem solving and team building. Alston Training and Adventure Centre offer facilities for ski hire and accommodation for those travelling further and wishing to stay for a weekend or mid-week break when the slopes are open. We stock a range of skies from children’s (100) to adult (190) These can be hired on a daily or weekend basis. We also offer accommodation only for groups who wish to carry out their own programme of activities be it a mine exploration group, university canoe club or a walking group wishing to explore new areas. The centre is also highly popular for cyclists on the C2C route and walkers on the Pennine Way.
Location:
Garrigill, Alston

Alston, Garrigill & Nenthead: Electric Bike Route 7

South Tyne Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 24km cycle route starts in Alston and is essentially a grand tour of the South Tyne and Nenthead Valleys. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
The route starts and finishes at the South Tynedale Railway/the Hub Museum in Alston (NY716467 / CA9 3HN).
Distance:
24 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston, Nenthead & Carrshield: Electric Bike Route 8

West Allen Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
Starting from Alston this cycle route explores the West Allen Valley before returning along the Nent Valley to the start. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Starts and finishes at the South Tynedale Railway/the Hub Museum in Alston (NY716467 / CA9 3HN).
Distance:
32 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston: Cycle Route 1

Alston © NPAP/Shane Harris
This major, 56km-long, road cycling circuit will take most people a full day to complete as it tackles a number of major hills and a good level of fitness is needed. With lots of steep ups and lots of steep downs on a route which offers fantastic panoramic views of the wild and wonderful North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark. Strenuous grade requiring fitness and stamina but what a circuit! Alston developed at the cross roads of major trans-Pennine routes - as a service centre and busy lead mining town. Many of its cobbled streets and the market cross still survive. Distinctive ‘bastle’ derived houses can be seen throughout the town with stone steps up to first floor level. Today the parish of Alston Moor is a thriving community of 2,000 people. When it was at the heart of the world’s largest lead producing area, however, its population was five times greater! Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
56 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston: Cycle Route 2

Alston main street © NPAP/Elfie Warren
This 27km road route is an anti-clockwise circuit which joins the C2C Cycle Route at Leadgate and follows its road option to Nenthead. This involves the very steep ascent and descent of Flinty Fell for which walking the steepest section is often the best option! The return to Alston varies slightly from the latter stage of Alston Cycle Route 1. Alston to Garrigill has some uphill sections matched with descents; the last third being generally easy. Alston developed at the cross roads of major trans-Pennine routes - as a service centre and busy lead mining town. Many of its cobbled streets and the market cross still survive. Distinctive ‘bastle’ derived houses can be seen throughout the town with stone steps up to first floor level. Today the parish of Alston Moor is a thriving community of 2,000 people. When it was at the heart of the world’s largest lead producing area, however, its population was five times greater! Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
27 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston: Cycle Route 3

Above Garrigill in the South Tyne Valley © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This 28km mountain bike route is broadly an off-road version of Alston Cycle Route 2 as it shadows the circuit wherever there are suitable sections of off-road available. Fairly strenuous but with several alternatives to shorten. Alston developed at the cross roads of major trans-Pennine routes - as a service centre and busy lead mining town. Many of its cobbled streets and the market cross still survive. Distinctive ‘bastle’ derived houses can be seen throughout the town with stone steps up to first floor level. Today the parish of Alston Moor is a thriving community of 2,000 people. When it was at the heart of the world’s largest lead producing area, however, its population was five times greater! Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
28 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Alston: Cycle Route 4

Above the West Allen Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 29km mountain bike route links available off-road sections with quiet country roads (as well as one unavoidable stretch of the A686). This figure-8 route permits either loops to be used as a single circuit which together make up a superb tour of some of Alston’s historical access routes. It's a fairly strenuous ride but is always scenic! Alston developed at the cross roads of major trans-Pennine routes - as a service centre and busy lead mining town. Many of its cobbled streets and the market cross still survive. Distinctive ‘bastle’ derived houses can be seen throughout the town with stone steps up to first floor level. Today the parish of Alston Moor is a thriving community of 2,000 people. When it was at the heart of the world’s largest lead producing area, however, its population was five times greater! Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
29 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Ark on the Edge - Animal Rescue Centre, Teesdale

Ark on the Edge © Ark on the Edge
Ark on the edge is an animal rescue centre and sanctuary and has a fully equipped wildlife education centre and a mile-long nature trail. The centre offers courses in animal care and group visits are welcome. It is open to the public to visit, see the animals, walk the nature trail, or you can do a spot of pond dipping. Ark on the Edge welcomes disabled visitors, call for details (01833 630505).
Location:
Woolley Hill Farm, Woodland, Co. Durham, DL13 5RX (NZ044249)
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Arragon's Cycles

Cycling in the North Pennines © Gearoid Murphy/NPAP
Arragon's Cycle Centre is an established business, having traded for over 40 years. We believe our team is equipped with the skill & experience to assist with all things bikes in the most professional manner. Between us, we ride and own tandems, single speed fixed wheels, folding bikes, mountain bikes, racers, touring bikes, time trial bikes… Our workshop facility is open to view. The rest of the room is home to mechanical accessories and practical bits. The second of our showrooms displays clothing and accessories and our two cycle showrooms offer a full range of industry leading cross country and road bikes, family cycles, leisure, fitness and touring bikes. If you are cycling one of the many routes that pass by our shop call in for spares, a speedy 'pitstop' service or a chat and you will be made very welcome.
Location:
2 Brunswick Road, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7LU.
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Ashes Quarry Geotrail

Ashes Quarry above Stanhope in Weardale © NPAP/Neil Diment
Here, for 70 years and more, hundreds of men toiled by hand with simple tools to dig the Great Limestone out of the Weardale fells, just a short distance from the centre of Stanhope. They left behind a huge, mile-long hole in the ground which today, over 60 years since they downed tools, nature is slowly reclaiming. This 2-mile circular route follows the paths the quarrymen would have once taken to work. It rewards a bit of a climb at the start with fantastic views over Stanhope and a fascinating insight into Weardale's industrial past.
Location:
Starting from the Durham Dales Centre car park in Stanhope (NY996392 / DL13 2FJ).
Distance:
3 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Balderhead Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Balderhead Reservoir has been recognised for the quality of the night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. It is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
From Barnard Castle follow the B6277 to Romaldkirk and then follow the Balderhead road via Hunderthwaite. The reservoir is signposted at the entrance to the car park approximately 4.5 miles along this road. Car park on the NE side of the reservoir.
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Baldersdale Packhorse Trail - Horse

Baldersdale Packhorse Trail © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
This circular 18km (60% off-road) horse riding trail has 370m of ascent and starts from the south side of Hury Reservoir. It initially follows the banks of Hury and Blackton Reservoirs in remote Baldersdale, before striking off over the moors on the Pennine Way.
Location:
Starts and finishes from the Northumbrian Water car park on the south side of Hury Reservoir (NY966192 / DL12 9UP - nearest).
Distance:
18 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Baldersdale Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

Baldersdale Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This circular 18km (60% off-road) mountain biking trail has 370m of ascent and starts from the south side of Hury Reservoir. It initially follows the banks of Hury and Blackton Reservoirs in remote Baldersdale, before striking off over the moors on the Pennine Way.
Location:
Starts and finishes from the Northumbrian Water car park on the south side of Hury Reservoir (NY966192 / DL12 9UP - nearest).
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Baldersdale: Hay Time Walk 3

Species rich meadow © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
This short walk in Baldersdale visits some of the most spectacular hay meadows in the North Pennines. It also passes close to Hury Reservoir, a popular site for over-wintering wildfowl such as mallard, teal, tufted duck and goosander. The best time to see the flowers is between April and August. Meadows are great for water voles as they favour stream sides with a wide range of flowering plants. The North Pennines is one of their last strongholds
Location:
Starting from the small car park at Fiddler House (NY971189).
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale: Taste Trail

Tees Railway path © NPAP/Shane Harris
This route (walk, cycle, horse ride) takes you along the old railway line that serviced the stone quarrying industry in Teesdale. The route start is close to Barnard Castle, although you can pick it up at a number of points along to way - splitting it into shorter sections. This guide has been written as a linear route but if you choose to walk it is possible to make shorter circular walks connecting up with other footpaths including the Teesdale Way. The majority of the path is along the old railway line. The section of the railway line from Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale was built by the Tees Valley Railway company during 1868 with stops at Cotherstone, Mickleton and Romaldkirk. There are two major engineering features on the line the Lunedale and Baldersdale Viaducts, you will pass over both these on this route. The decline of this section of railway started in the late 1950s and the line was earmarked for closure as part of the Beeching cuts with the last train running in April 1965.
Location:
Starting from Deepdale aqueduct layby on the B6277 outside Barnard Castle.
Distance:
16 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Baybridge Picnic Area

The River Derwent runs alongside this small picnic area. The river used to be the boundary between County Durham and Northumberland. Hundreds of years ago the river changed its course but the boundary stayed the same and this is why the picnic site, although north of the river, belongs to Durham County Council. The sound of the flowing water is very peaceful and this is a nice place to stop and have a picnic. While sitting, look out for dippers and kingfishers by the water and buzzards flying overhead. Baybridge is an ideal starting point for local walks. Within easy reach are moorland walks, woodland walks through places such as Deborah Wood and Gibraltar, wonderful riverside walks to Derwent Reservoir and an easy access route to the historic village of Blanchland.
Location:
Baybridge is located near the B6306 near Blanchland. From Blanchland head west for 0.5 mile. The site is signposted from the road. The nearest postcode for GPS navigation is DH8 9UB,
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Beamish Museum

A view of our Edwardian Town Street © Beamish Museum
Beamish Museum is a living and working open air museum that shows what life was like in the Geordian, Edwardian and Victorian eras. Beamish stands in 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside. Within our site you will find Pockerley Old Hall, The Town, Rowley Station, The Fairground, Home Farm and The Pit Village. With so many things to see, Beamish is a wonderful day out for people of all ages.
Location:
Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham, DH9 0RG.
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

BECKs Training at Deneholme

Deneholme © BECKs Training
Tony and Linda Beck run BECKs Training Ltd, headquartered at their outdoor activity centre and group accommodation venue Deneholme in Allendale. Traditional adventurous activities are delivered within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and beyond in rural Northumberland. Activities are facilitated to groups of at least 8 people and they include ghyll scrambling and gorge walking, mine exploration, rock climbing and abseiling, canoeing and raft building. Mountain biking, bush craft orienteering and navigational fell walks, archery and high ropes activities. All activities are facilitated by experienced, local instructors who hold all the relevant NGB qualifications, are additionally in house and site specifically trained and have undergone all required checks to work with children and adults alike. They are passionate about their activity, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about passing on their skills. BECKs can provide transport and packed lunches, whilst always providing all relevant equipment – no prior experience is required.
Location:
Deneholme, Allendale in the East Allen Valley

Blackton Reservoir: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 14

Oystercatcher © NPAP
The meadows, pastures and allotments of Baldersdale support large numbers of breeding waders which make an impressive sight during the spring and summer months. Like all areas of open water in the North Pennines, Blackton Reservoir also provides a refuge for wildfowl during the harsh winter months. This area is therefore worth a visit at any time of year.
Location:
Starting from the small car park at the road end (NY935176).
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland

Blanchland © NPAP/Shane Harris
The small village of Blanchland, with its honey-coloured cottages, is perhaps the most attractive settlement in the North Pennines. Blanchland means 'white lands' - almost certainly a reference to the white habits (cloaks) of the Premonstratesian monks of the Abbey. The village has a tea room, shop, pub, childrens' playground and easy access walks.
Location:
Blanchland in the Upper Derwent Valley (NY966504).
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland and Derwent Reservoir: Electric Bike Route 9

Derwent Reservoir © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 30km grand tour of Derwent Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley is a delight to ride. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Starts and finishes in Blanchland in the Upper Derwent Valley (NY965503 / DH8 9SP)
Distance:
30 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Blanchland Geotrail

Blanchland © NPAP/Shane Harris
The landscape around Blanchland has been over 300 million years in the making. From tropical seas and deltas to glaciers, minerals and miners – all have played their part in shaping this beautiful landscape. This 6km circular walk will introduce you to some of the special features of the landscape around Blanchland. By spotting clues in the moors, fields and buildings you’ll find out how to ‘read’ the landscape and discover more about its fascinating past. The sections opposite give some background information about how the local rocks and minerals formed, and tell you a bit about the area’s mining heritage.
Location:
Starting from Blanchland car park (NY964504 / DH8 9TA - nearest).
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland Packhorse Trail - Horse

Blanchland Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 21km circular horse riding route is 70% off-road and enjoys 1,027m of ascent. It starts at Baybridge, close to the village of Blanchland. You’ll follow the Carriers’ Way across Bulbeck Common, alive with the evocative calls of wading birds in the spring and early summer.
Location:
Starts and finishes in the Baybridge car park (NY957499 / DH8 9UB - nearest).
Distance:
21 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

Blanchland Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 21km circular mountain biking route is 70% off-road and enjoys 1,027m of ascent. It starts at Baybridge, close to the village of Blanchland. You’ll follow the Carriers’ Way across Bulbeck Common, alive with the evocative calls of wading birds in the spring and early summer.
Location:
Starts and finishes in the Baybridge car park (NY957499 / DH8 9UB - nearest).
Distance:
21 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland: Along the river bank (A trail of three tails!)

Blanchland in bloom © NPAP/Shane Harris
This short walk takes you from the village of Blanchland along the River Derwent to the hamlet of Baybridge and back. You'll walk back to Blanchland through lovely mixed woodlands and perhaps get a glimpse of the elusive Water Vole - if you're really, really lucky! The path may be wet and muddy in places and you will come across exposed tree roots.
Location:
Staring from Blanchland car park (NY964505).
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Blanchland: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 5

Dipper © NPAP
This short walk from the attractive and historic village of Blanchland combines both woodland and river habitats. Birds such as coal tit, goldcrest and dipper are active throughout the year. During the breeding season, more elusive species such as the pied flycatcher and spotted flycatcher can also be seen. Blanchland is sited within the remains of a monastery founded by Premonstratensian Monks in the 12th century. The Lord Crewe Arms hotel was originally built as the Abbot’s lodge, guest house and kitchens of the Abbey.
Location:
Starting from the car park in Blanchland (NY964505).
Distance:
3 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Bowlees Picnic Area

Gibsons cave © NPAP/Beck Baker
Bowlees picnic area is found is located in a beautiful part of Upper Teesdale. There are four small waterfalls and a riverside footpath leading to Summerhill Force and Gibson’s Cave; Gibson was a 16th century outlaw who lived behind the waterfall to stay hidden from the law. There are plenty of places to sit in quiet contemplation surrounded by the sound of cascading water. Look for the white breast of the dipper bobbing in and out of the water searching for food or the buzzard soaring above your head. The old limestone quarry contains many limestone-loving wildflowers, including seven species of orchids, knapweed and wild thyme. These plants attract butterflies and other insects, which are prey for magnificent dragonflies.
Location:
The picnic area is located in the car park behind Bowlees Visitor Centre off the B 6277.
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Bowlees Visitor Centre

Bowlees Visitor Centre    © NPAP
Bowlees Visitor Centre, run by the North Pennines AONB Partnership, is a fantastic base for exploring Upper Teesdale, with footpath links to Low Force, High Force, Newbiggin and the Pennine Way. The Centre provides information and displays on the geology and landscape, wildlife and people of Upper Teesdale and the wider North Pennines. You'll find a delicious range of food and drinks and our shop stocks nature inspired gifts and books. You'll find a range of special events are running at the Centre throughout the year. You can also hire the venue for family get-togethers, parties and meetings. We have a range of outdoor cooking facilities which can be pre-booked. The Centre is dog-friendly and you'll find free Wi-Fi access, an iGlass (24-hour information touch screen) and an electric car-charging point. Follow the Richard Watson Trail from the Centre - a 2¾-mile circular route exploring the life and times of Richard Watson, Victorian lead miner and poet. The most popular walk is probably the High Force-Low Force Round. The Centre is also an official Dark Sky Discovery Site.
Location:
Newbiggin, Bowlees, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0XE (grid ref - NY906281). 01833 622145.
Area:
Facilities nearby

Bowlees Visitor Centre Dark Sky Discovery Site

Bowlees Visitor Centre Dark Sky Discovery Site ©
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Bowlees Visitor Centre has been recognised for the quality of its dark night skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze.
Location:
Newbiggin, Bowlees, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0XF. 01833 622145.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Bowlees Visitor Centre, Middleton-in-Teesdale & Grassholme Reservoir: Electric Bike Route 11

Middleton-in-Teesdale © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 27km road route starts at Bowlees Visitor Centre and explores Upper Teesdale. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Starts and finishes at Bowlees Visitor Centre in Upper Teesdale (NY906282 / DL12 0XE)
Distance:
27 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Bradley Burn to Hamsterley Forest: Electric Bike Route 13

Bradley Burn Farm Shop & Cafe ©
This 23km out and back route takes you from Bradley Burn in Weardale to Hamsterley Forest and back again. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
This route starts and finishes at Bradley Burn Farm Shop and Cafe (NZ105363 / DL13 3PA).
Distance:
23 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Brampton and Haltwhistle Cycle Tour

Hadrian's Wall © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This cycle tour heads north from Alston exploiting the breach in the Pennines cut by the River South Tyne to explore the stretch of Hadrian's Wall between Brampton and Haltwhistle. It is a full on cycle tour that covers some busy sections of road as well as quiet fell lanes. The height gain and distance covered are fairly substantial, so to enjoy it you need to be an experienced cyclist. The rewards this challenging route are plentiful and range from outstanding views of classic Pennine landscapes, through to fascinating Roman Remains. Originally published as Route 1 in the Biking around Alston: 5 do-in-a-day rides in the North Pennines AONB (2012).
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
75 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Brough Scar

Laybacking on Eden Valley limestone © Ron Kenyon
Brough Scar is the name given to the limestone escarpment near Brough. The Main Buttress gives by far the best climbing offering very steep and fingery routes through bulging rock. This crag was first developed by Robin Curley and his gang from Appleby in 1984.
Location:
Park near the quarry above Brough and follow the main track up the fellside to a small quarry. Follow a path along the fellside to below the crag. The crag is on Access Land. There are 8 routes here ranging from E1 to E4.
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Burnhope Head: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 7

Merlin © NPAP
Even in the depths of winter the heather moorland at Burnhope Head is home to large numbers of red grouse. Seeming to catapult from the heather in display whilst giving their loud “get back, get back” call, red grouse are a dramatic sight. During spring and summer their numbers are swelled by a multitude of breeding waders and the moorland seems to burst with life. With sweeping views all around, this is always an impressive walk.
Location:
Starting from the large lay-by near Dead Friars Stone (NY973453).
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Burnhope Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 ©
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Burnhope Reservoir has been recognised for the quality of the night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Burnhope Reservoir is one of the smaller reservoirs in the area. It's found in Upper Weardale just west of Ireshopeburn. This is a quiet spot and great for wildlife. Permissive paths around the reservoir edge pass though plantations and woods with fantastic views across moorlands.
Location:
Follow the A689 westwards up Weardale. Take the second left hand turn in Ireshopeburn. After a mile, turn right down a gated lane
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Canoes, Mountains and Caves

Mine exploration in the North Pennines © Canoes, Mountains and Caves
Canoes, Mountains & Caves is run by husband and wife team: Mal & Marion Tabb. Based in Carlisle, Cumbria they offer outdoor activities across northern England. In the North Pennines they offer mine exploration trips as well as climbing. The under world is a speciality - from a gentle introductory half day/evening to more challenging vertical trips in the area. Adventurer or mine historian - make use of our local knowledge and up to date gear to enjoy your underground adventure.
Location:
Canoes, Mountains and Caves are based in Carlisle. Their mine exploration trips are often in the mines around Nenthead on Alston Moor in the Cumbrian North Pennines. Contact Mal and Marion on 01228 319894 / 07539 733681 / cmcmmt1@gmail.com for details and advice.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Facilities nearby

Cardunneth Pike Open Access Walk

Walkers above Castle Carrock reservoir © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
A classic ridge walk following the spine of Cumrew Fell, taking in two of the best viewpoints in the area. The route uses low level right of way for the outward journey, with a range of occupational tracks and desire lines tracks being used for the high level return leg. Part of return leg crosses open access land on a managed grouse moor, over which dogs are not allowed.
Location:
Starting from Castle Carrock village in the vicinity of The Weary Inn.
Distance:
18 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download GPX file:

Coatenhill Canoes

Coatenhill Canoes © Coatenhill Canoes
Canoe Building Courses Coatenhill Canoes run courses in the Allen Valleys where participants can construct an open timber canoe from scratch. All materials are provided for the courses. After four days building you can take away your canoe ready to paddle!
Location:
Sinderhope and Ninebanks Youth Hostel
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Cow Green Geological Trail

Cauldron Snout on the River Tees © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
The trail will introduce many of the rocks which make the Teesdale landscape so special and which make the dale a haven for rare and interesting plants. This trail is within Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR), an internationally important place for wildlife and earth heritage. The NNR is managed by Natural England in partnership with Raby and Strathmore Estates and local farmers. Do examine the rocks, minerals and plants you will see along the way but please do not collect them: leave them for others to enjoy.
Location:
Starting from Wheelhead Sike car park at Cow Green.
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Cow Green Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Cow Green Reservoir has been recognised for the fantastic quality of its night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Cow Green Reservoir is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
From Middleton-in-Teesdale head up the dale to Langdon Beck on the B6277. Turn left onto a small road (signposted Cow Green Reservoir) and continue along here for approximately 2 miles to a car park.
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Cowshill (Weardale): North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 8

Short-eared owl © NPAP
The pastures and allotments in Upper Weardale form a distinctive fringe around the edge of the heather moorland. Typically tussocky with clumps of rushes, these grasslands are an important nesting habitat for wading birds and large numbers can be seen and heard during the breeding season. The adjacent moorland is home to red grouse and golden plover and may sometimes be graced by the presence of a short-eared owl.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Cowshill (NY856406).
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Cowshill to Killhope

Killhope Wheel © Killhope Lead Mining Museum/David Williams
This walk is a natural extension to the Weardale Way. The trail weaves its way from the small village of Cowshill through scattered farms in the upper dale, typical of the miner-farmer landscape, before entering a conifer woodland surrounding the Killhope Lead Mining museum. Killhope Lead Mining Museum visitor centre is wheelchair accessible, has accessible toilets and a wheelchair accessible wildlife hide, a great spot to see Red Squirrels!
Location:
Starting from Cowshill or Killhope Lead Mining Museum.
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Cross Fell Mountain Bike Ride

View from the Pennine Way on the way to Cross Fell © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
Cross Fell and its near neighbour Great Dun Fell are ringed by an amazing network of high level bridleways. They cross wild and exposed moorland and reach a considerable height making them the highest mountain biking routes in England outside of the Lake District. This route is not for the faint-hearted, particularly first timers to the area as it crosses high and exposed moorland and the distances and height gain involved are considerable. The best introduction to the style of riding they offer is to tackle the out and back ride up the bridleway that climbs the northern shoulder of Cross Fell from the Pennine village of Garrigill. There is a fair amount of height to gain on this route but it is achieved over 11 kilometres which gives most of the climbs a moderate and mostly cycle-able gradient. Originally published as Route 5 in the Biking around Alston: 5 do-in-a-day rides in the North Pennines AONB (2012).
Location:
Starting and finishing in Garrigill (NY744415 / CA9 3DS) in the South Tyne Valley.
Distance:
22 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Derwent Gorge: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 6

Redstart © NPAP
The upland oak woodland of the Derwent Gorge is a dramatic relic of the once extensive forests of the North Pennines. Now a National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England, this woodland contains many interesting and unusual plants such as sweet woodruff, enchanters’ nightshade and wood bitter-cress as well as a great range of resident and migratory birds. Views across the woodland canopy from the gorge sides are impressive and are excellent for bird watching. The walk begins on the edge of the wood in an area of arable farmland, offering opportunities for you to see both farmland and woodland birds.
Location:
Starting from the grassy parking area at the crossroad between Wallish Walls and Crooked Oak (NZ057500).
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Derwent Reservoir

Big Fish © NPAP/Jon Charlton
Derwent Reservoir is Northumbrian Waters most popular fishery, with anglers liking the combination of lots of bank space and the chance to catch specimen trout weighing up to 20 lbs. Throughout the season a number of tagged fish will be stocked with special prizes awarded to those anglers lucky enough to catch them. In addition, there is a designated pegged area for coarse anglers who can expect to catch some quality roach. Derwent is suitable for disabled anglers and visitors. On site they have an excellent shop stocked with everything you need for a day's fishing including rods, reels, tackle, accessories, clothing, worms, bait, ice creams and refreshments including cold drinks. Environment Agency rod licences are also on sale at this fishery. For those not fishing, there are several picnicking and play areas, plus spectacular walks along the north and south shores and across the dam. A wheelchair accessible trail runs from the south end of the dam along to Pow Hill Country Park and from the north shore of the dam wall to Millshield picnic site. Permits can be purchased online through the Fishpal website (www.fishpal.com/NorthumbrianWater).
Location:
Located just off the A68 and four miles west of Castleside, turn south at the Manor House pub and follow the road into the valley
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

Derwent Reservoir - Walks, rides and wildlife

Derwent Reservoir © NPAP/Shane Harris
Derwent Reservoir is within the North Pennines AONB and, after Kielder, is the second largest reservoir in the region. There is a multi-user path from Pow Hill Country Park (south shore) to the dam at the eastern end of the reservoir and then round the north shore to Millshield Picnic Area. You can find out more about the reservoir, its wildlife and its history as you go, on foot or by bike. Cyclists can make a longer circular route around the reservoir by combining the shore path with local roads.
Location:
Derwent Reservoir is in the north-eastern part of the North Pennines AONB, between Blanchland and Edmundbyers - the south shore is in County Durham and the north shore is in Northumberland. Start from Pow Hill Country Park (NZ011517 / DH8 9NU - nearest) or Millshield Picnic Area (NZ013532 / DH8 9PT - nearest).
Distance:
3 km
Facilities nearby
Interests:

Derwent Reservoir and Pow Hill Country Park

Couple walking at Pow Hill Country Park © NPAP
Welcome to Derwent Reservoir and Pow Hill Country Park! This leaflet is one of a number of ways in which you can find out about the wildlife and history of Derwent Reservoir and Pow Hill Country Park. The heathland around the reservoir is a haven for reptiles like Adders, Slow Worms and Common Lizards. The reservoir is also important to many species of birds which use it as a migratory stop over and breeding site.
Location:
Routes starting from either Derwent Reservoir car park or Pow Hill Country Park car park.
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Derwent Reservoir: North Pennine Birdwalks - Site 1

Black headed gull © NPAP
Derwent Reservoir can be an interesting place to watch birds at any time of year. Wildfowl such as greylag goose, mallard, teal and tufted duck may be seen year-round, their numbers being swelled during autumn and winter by wigeon, pochard and goldeneye. Large flocks of gulls also congregate on the reservoir during the winter, most notably black headed, common and herring gull. Other species of interest include grey heron, goosander, cormorant and great crested grebe.
Location:
Multiple viewing points around the reservoir.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Derwent Sailing Club

Sailing at Derwent Reservoir © charlie Hedley/Natural England
Located at Derwent reservoir, the Derwent Sailing Club has excellent facilities including a two storey club house with bar and restaurant. The club is a RYA training centre.
Location:
Derwent Reservoir
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Discover Mid Teesdale - routes to walk, cycle and ride

Walking the Tees Railway Path © NPAP/Shane Harris
Mid Teesdale sits between the two market towns of Middleton and Barnard Castle. The River Tees meanders its way through this beautiful dale, which is surrounded by the high moorland of the North Pennines. The area has a wealth of history and nature waiting to be explored, with attractive villages from which to base your visit. This publication will help you to discover the area and its main settlements at a leisurely pace, with six routes for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Location:
Routes starting from either Mickleton (NY967233 / DL12 0JN - nearest) and Middleton-in-Teesdale (NY947254 / DL12 0SH).
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Dryburn Moor & East Allen: Electric Bike Route 3

West Allen Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 33km route takes you from the mining village of Allenheads, over to the West Allen via the C2C and onto Dryburn Moor. From there you get stunning views of the East and West Allen, and looking north, the Scottish Boarders. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Circular route from The Hemmel Cafe, Allenheads (NY859453 / NE47 9HJ).
Distance:
33 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Dufton Geotrail

Walker crossing clapper bridge near Dufton Pike © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
Welcome to a special landscape shaped by millions of years of natural processes and thousands of years of human activity. The landscape around Dufton has been nearly 500 million years in the making and contains some of the oldest rocks in the North Pennines. From explosive volcanoes and tropical seas to deserts, glaciers and miners — all have helped shape this beautiful landscape. This circular 6km walk around Dufton Pike will introduce you to some of the special features of the landscape. By spotting clues in the hills, valleys and buildings you’ll find out how to read the landscape and discover more about its fascinating past.
Location:
Starts and finishes from the car park in Dufton village (NY689249 / CA16).
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:
Download:

Dufton Pike Open Access Walk

Dufton Pike © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
The picturesque village of Dufton nestles quietly on the western flank of the North Pennines overlooked by the pyramidal Dufton Pike, which is the focus of this walk. Despite the relatively short distance, this is a mountain walk in miniature and is perfect for when you have al lout a few hours to spare. The short sharp climb is ample payment for the reward at the summit: an extensive panorama across the Eden Valley to the distant Lakeland Fells, and unique view of the main Pennine Scarp lying close by.
Location:
Starting from the village green in Dufton village which is approx 3½ miles north of Appleby-in-Westmorland. Parking available in the small car park just off the village green (NY689249).
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download GPX file:

Dufton Pike: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 11

Wheatear © NPAP
Soaring above the Eden Valley, the North Pennine escarpment is a striking feature above Dufton. This walk circumnavigates Dufton Pike, offering dramatic views of the limestone crags of Great Rundale. Ideal habitat for buzzards, these birds are regularly seen in this area. More elusive, the ring ouzel may also be found, singing from one of the gnarled hawthorn trees that dot the hillside.
Location:
Starting from the car park in Dufton (NY689249).
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

East Allen Valley Wildflower Walk

Allenheads © © NPAP & Elizabeth Pickett
A lovely 5.5 mile (9km) walk from Allenheads exploring the wonderful wildlife of wildflowers in the East Allen Valley. This circular walk will introduce you to some of the special plants of the North Pennines and the creatures that depend on them. Along the way you'll discover plants that are adapted to the harsh conditions of the area and get a bee's-eye view of finding food.
Location:
Allenheads parking area
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

East Allen Views: Electric Bike Route 2

Electric biking in the East Allen Valley © NPAP/Andy Lees
A short route that takes you out of Allendale Town where you can get some of the best views of the East Allen Valley. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Circular route starting from Allendale Post Office (NY837558 / NE47 9BA).
Distance:
12 km
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Egglesburn Wood

Dipper © www.northeastwildlife.co.uk
This woodland came into Durham County Council ownership when the sand and gravel quarry closed in the mid 1960s. Since that time the trees have seeded into the quarry and we now have mixed broadleaved woodland. Eggleston Burn runs along the western edge beside the old sand quarry. In the summer sand martins nest in the cliff face and can be seen from the bottom path. Other birds to watch out for are dippers and birds of prey such as red kite and buzzard. Deer and badger occasionally stray through the wood and many rabbits burrow through the soft sandy soil. Every now and then an otter is sighted on its journey along the river. There are fantastic views over Teesdale and Mickle Fell, which, standing at 788m, is the highest hill in County Durham.
Location:
1 mile west of Eggleston on the B6282 between Eggleston and Middleton-in-Teesdale. The entrance is next to Egglesburn bridge. Nearest postcode for GPS navigation is DL12 0BD. There is limited parking at the entrance.
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:
Download:

Epiacum Roman Fort

Ramparts at Epiacum Roman Fort © Epiacum Heritage Ltd
At 330m (1050ft) above sea level, Epiacum (Whitley Castle) is the highest stone-built Roman fort in Britain. It housed a garrison of about 500 men, and was probably built to control mining for lead and silver. Although we have yet to discover evidence for Roman mining in the North Pennines, archaeologists agree that it must have taken place here. The Roman road known as the Maiden Way (between the forts at Kirkby Thore, in the Eden Valley, and Carvoran, on Hadrian’s Wall) passes close by the Fort. A trail leaflet is available at the car park (1 hour, rough terrain)
Location:
Epiacum Roman Fort is in the South Tyne Valley three miles north of Alston / 3 miles south of Slaggyford. It can be accessed either from the Pennine Way which passes alongside it or from a small car parking area (honesty box donations) below the Fort on the A689.
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Epiacum Roman Fort (aka Whitley Castle): Alston through the ages

Epiacum from the air © English Heritage
This historic walk takes you from Alston along the Pennine Way up to the Roman Fort at Whitley Castle (Epiacum Roman Fort). If you are keen to walk and discover more, the route continues past Kirkhaugh church to Alston. After the church you can: Carry on the full route to Alston. Go back to Kirkhaugh station and walk back along the railway; Have a cup of tea on board and ride the train to Alston
Location:
Starting from the South Tynedale railway car park in Alston (NY716467).
Distance:
12 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Errington Reay Pottery

Elegant handmade pots © Errington Reay Ltd
Errington Reay is the last commercial pottery in Britain producing salt glaze garden pots. We still only practice traditional ways of hand throwing which together with specialised salt glazing give Errington Reay pottery it’s truly unique textured finish. Visitors are made welcome at the pottery where they can view the large selection of garden pots. Ample parking is available and a good range of quality seconds can be purchased from the shop.
Location:
Errington Reay - Outstanding Handmade Pottery, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7HU.
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Fleece with Altitude

Fleece with Altitude © Gabriel Langley
Ellie keeps a small, varied flock of sheep, purely for their wool, at her smallholding high in Upper Weardale - hence the name 'Fleece with Altitude'. The smallholding is a former lead miner's smallholding. It is off-grid and powered entirely by renewable forms of energy - wind, sun and wood. All animals on the smallholding are loved and pampered and live out their natural lives in the haymeadow and pasture. Ellie has a workshop on the smallholding from where she makes felt and teaches workshops. In addition she has a beautiful attic studio in a 350 year old former manse house, The Hearth in Northumberland, from where she sells her work and also teaches workshops. Visitors to Ellie's workshop and studio are welcome.
Location:
Ellie is based at Slackhouse Farm in Upper Weradale. She also has a studio at the Hearth Arts Centre and Cafe in Horsley (NE15 0NT).
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Frosterley - in search of Frosterley Marble

Frosterley Marble © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
These three walks (2, 5 and 7.5km) look at some of the old quarrying remains of Frosterley and their effects on the landscape here in Weardale. Each walk follows the same outward journey from Frosterley Station on the Weardale Railway.
Location:
Starting from the railway station in Frosterley, Weardale
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Garrigill Round

Moorland above the South Tyne Valley © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This is an easy circular afternoon walk along the banks of the River South Tyne between the small village of Garrigill and the market town of Alston in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is rich in mineral and in particular lead deposits, and mining over the centuries has heavily influenced the landscape. At its peak Garrigill was home to 1000 people mainly employed in the lead mining industry. Now its population is around 200. The village name was originally Gerard’s Gill (gill being the Norse word for a steep sided valley).
Location:
Starting from the green in Garrigill.
Distance:
14 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

Garrigill: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 10

Common sandpiper © NPAP
The South Tyne is a narrow, fast flowing river as it tumbles north from the village of Garrigill. Travelling along its bank, this walk offers you the chance to see species such as common sandpiper, oystercatcher and grey wagtail. The surrounding fields abound with breeding waders during spring and summer and during winter large flocks of fieldfare and redwing may be seen.
Location:
Starting from a small parking area in Garrigill next to the red phone box (NY745416)
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Gelt Boulder

View of he Eden Valley from Cumrew © Ron Kenyon
This is a 6 metre high boulder which is situated on the side of the River Gelt, first climbed by Stewart Wilson in the 1970s. It is made of a fine grained quartzite and there are a total of 10 routes on the boulder ranging from V0 to V2. Further information about this route can be found in the Fell and Rock Climbing Club Guidebook called 'Eden Valley and South Lakes Limestone'.
Location:
From Castle Carrock a road leads east, past two pubs, then uphill, to Geltsdale. Park at the obvious bend in the road from where a track leads down to the river, then turn right and follow the east side of the river past a natural pool to the Boulder.
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Grassholme Reservoir

Fishermen at Grassholme © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
Grassholme is firmly established as one of the top any method fisheries in the country, lying in the picturesque rolling pasture land of upper Teesdale. With four miles of bank space and many inlets and bays it offers a great variety of fishing. Grassholme also enjoys the luxury of its own local fish farm. Grassholme is suitable for disabled anglers and visitors. On site Northumbrian Water have provided an excellent lodge shop stocked with everything you need for a day’s fishing including rods, reels, tackle, accessories, clothing, worms, bait, ice creams and refreshments including hot and cold drinks. Environment Agency rod licences are also on sale at the fishery. There is a circular footpath around the lake providing magnificent views across the water and a pleasant picnicking area next to the visitor centre for you to relax at.
Location:
Take the B6277 from Barnard Castle towards Mickleton. Turn off at the western end of the village, sign posted Grassholme Reservoir. The trout fishery is roughly a mile up the road on the right
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Grassholme Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Grassholme Reservoir has been recognised for the stunning quality of its night skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to the reservoir for stargazing is only available during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk for details). Grassholme is also firmly established as one of the top 'any method fisheries' in the country.
Location:
Take the B6277 from Barnard Castle towards Mickleton. Turn off at the western end of the village, signposted Grassholme Reservoir. The main car park is roughly a mile up the road on the right.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Forest

Hamsterley Forest © NPAP/Louise Taylor
County Durham's largest forest is a mixture of woodland, meadows and forest. There are excellent walking, cycling and horse riding trails for all abilities. The forest also has a childrens' adventure playground, tea room, cycle hire, shop and downhill mountain bike course.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:

Hamsterley Forest - Black Trail

 ©
This is the most strenuous and technically challenging waymarked mountain bike trail in Hamsterley Forest. It sports steep technical climbs, smooth contouring single track and some superb rooty descents. This character stays with the trail for its entire length and boasts some great natural riding that will challenge even the best cross country bikers. It starts from the forest drive just beyond the visitor centre.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Forest - Blue Trail

Mountain biking in Hamsterley Forest © NPAP/Louise Taylor
This mountain bike trail provides you with the ideal opportunity to explore Hamsterley Forest at a leisurely pace. The first stretch to Grove House is on a wide, purpose built cycle trail, before joining the Forest Drive to Blackling Hole. This stretch and the return through the forest to the Grove, is all on loose surfaced forest road. Please exercise caution when cycling on forest roads as this is shared with other users, including timber lorries. The last two miles is on the tarmac section of the Forest Drive.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
14 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Forest - Doctors Gate

Hamsterley Forest © NPAP/Louise Taylor
Doctors Gate is a 21.8 mile circular mountain bike route, starting from Hamsterley Forest, climbing 2821ft using quiet road sections to link the off road sections. The route should be tackled clockwise - start off by going along the Grove Link. There are more road miles on this route than ideal for a mountain bike ride but the blast down the Weardale Way and the descent into the forest make up for this.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
35 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:
Download GPX file:

Hamsterley Forest - Eggleston Moors

 ©
Starting in Hamsterley Forest this lollipop-shaped mountain bike route takes you across the moors to Eggleston and back. Best ridden on a dry day when there has been a dry spell beforehand!
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
30 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Hamsterley Forest - Red Trail

 ©
A mountain bike trail for real adventurers who want to spend the day exploring the further reaches of Hamsterley Forest. The route follows the Blue Trail to the Grove before heading into the wider forest on a mixture of forest road and singletrack. Superb views await at the top of the forest overlooking Eggleston Moor before returning to the Grove via the Euden Beck on breathtaking stretches of singletrack.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
22 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Hamsterley Forest - Skills Loop

 ©
This is a purpose built mountain bike training loop. It is designed with skill development in mind to push your mountain biking to a new level. The Loop contains a multitude of features and riding options, some built in stone to mimic natural trails and others from timber in the North Shore style. Each feature has a skills tips board containing information to help perfect your technique. When you reach the bottom you can either exit The Loop or go back to the top via the climb trail. The training loop is aimed at anybody confident at riding Blue Grade trail or above, but beware it contains features of all grades from Blue to Black. The trail is not suitable for occasional/family cyclists and all riders are advised to wear suitable personal protective equipment.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Half Century

Hamsterley Forest © NPAP/Louise Taylor
The Hamsterley Half Century is a 50km (31.1 miles) circular mountain biking route within Hamsterley Forest, boasting a lung/leg busting 1300m (4300ft) of climbing (and descending).
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Distance:
50 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:
Download GPX file:

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail - Horse

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 26km horse riding route is 75% off-road and you'll climb 846m. It's a ride of contrasts - in the forest and out over the open moor. You’ll follow an old drove road on the return to the forest from Eggleston.
Location:
Starts and finishes from the Grove car park in Hamsterley Forest (NZ064297).
Distance:
26 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 26km mountain biking route is 75% off-road and you'll climb 846m. It's a ride of contrasts - in the forest and out over the open moor. You’ll follow an old drove road on the return to the forest from Eggleston.
Location:
Starts and finishes from the Grove car park in Hamsterley Forest (NZ064297).
Distance:
26 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Hamsterley Trail Guide

Deciding on a route in Hamsterley Forest © NPAP/Louise Taylor
Overview of the mountain bikes trails found in Hamsterley Forest: Blue (9 miles); Red (14 miles); Black (7 miles); Skills Loop (1 mile); Hamsterley Half Century (50km); Doctors Gate (22 Miles); and Eggleston Moors (19 miles).
Location:
Hamsterley Forest (NZ091312 / DL13 3QH).
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Hannah's Meadow Nature Reserve

Hannah's Meadow © NPAP/Shane Harris
Hannah's Meadow Nature Reserve has some of the least improved and species rich upland hay meadows in upper Durham. The meadows were previously farmed by Hannah Hauxwell, who managed the meadows using traditional methods that avoided adding artificial fertilizers or reseeding. By doing so the species rich habitat hay meadow habitat that evolved over centuries was maintained. When Hannah retired in 1988 Durham Wildlife Trust purchased her farm and they now manage it as a nature reserve. An unmanned visitor centre at the site provides information about Hannah and her special meadows. Note facilities are located at Balderhead Reservoir car park.
Location:
From Barnard Castle follow the B6277 to Romaldkirk and then follow the Balderhead road via Hunderthwaite. The reserve is adjacent to the public road a 1.5 mile east of the Balderhead Reservoir car park. The Pennine Way footpath runs through the reserve. The grid reference refers to the Balderhead Reservoir car park.
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Hartside Packhorse Trail - Horse Riding

Hartside Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 11km horse riding route starts and finishes from Hartside Top Cafe - it's 75% off-road and packs in 458m of ascent! A dramatic ride from the Pennine escarpment down into the Eden Valley and back up to the top again!
Location:
Starts and finishes from Hartside Top car park (NY646418 / CA9 3BW - nearest).
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Hartside Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

Hartside Packhorse Trail © NPAP/Charlie Hedley
This 11km mountain bike ride starts and finishes from Hartside Top Cafe - it's 75% off-road and packs in 458m of ascent! A dramatic ride from the Pennine escarpment down into the Eden Valley and back up to the top again!
Location:
Starts and finishes from Hartside Top car park (NY646418 / CA9 3BW - nearest).
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Harwood Beck and Widdybank: North Pennine Birdwalks - Site 3

Redshank © NPAP
The meadows and pastures around Harwood Beck and Widdybank are some of the best places to see breeding waders and black grouse. If you sit quietly in your car you may be rewarded with the sight of a snipe shepherding its chicks through the vegetation or a precocious young lapwing chick pecking for food in the short turf.
Location:
Static viewing from a grassy verge on the road to Cow Green Reservoir.
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Hayberries Nature Reserve

Sand martins © www.northeastwildlife.co.uk
Hayberries is a reclaimed sand and gravel quarry which is now a haven for wildlife. parts of the quarry cliff have been retained and put to good use by a colony of sand martins which arrive from Africa at the end of march. They set up home by burrowing into areas of hard sand found along the old quarry face to the west of the site. This part of the site is fenced to prevent disturbance to the birds. Please do not climb over the fence, the sand martins can be seen quite easily from the car park as they collect nesting material. The sandy soil is a rare habitat which contains specialist plants as well as invertebrates such as solitary bees and wasps. The grassland has many native species of wildflowers colonising the bare ground. Of particular note are a number of rare flowers of the Alchemilla family, commonly known as Lady's Mantle, some of which are only found in County Durham. The ponds attract large numbers of frogs and toads during the breeding season, along with many aquatic plants and insects. The woodland at the eastern end of the site is mainly sycamore with a few old oak and elm trees. You may see a variety of birds including long-tailed tits, woodpeckers, tree-creepers and heron. Buzzards circle the skies above, along with curlew and lapwing.
Location:
Hayberries is located on the B6281 between Eggleston and Mickleton, approximately 1.5 miles west of the junction of the B6281 and B6282 at Eggleston, signposted from the road. The nearest postcode for GPS navigation is DL12 9EQ.
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

High Force and Bowlees Geotrail

High Force ©
This 8km circular walk, from Bowlees Visitor Centre or High Force car park, will introduce you to some of the special features of the landscape around High Force and Low Force waterfalls. You'll discover rocks with dramatic origins, ice age features, ancient settlements, lead mining heritage and wonderful wildlife.
Location:
Circular walk which can be started from Bowlees Visitor Centre (NY906282 / DL12 0XE) or High Force car park (NY885286 / DL12 0XH) in Upper Teesdale.
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

High House Chapel

High House Chapel © Weardale Museum
Historic Methodist Chapel - High House Chapel, Ireshopeburn, is the oldest purpose built Methodist chapel in the world to have been in continuous weekly use since it was built in 1760. Writing in his book England’s Thousand Best Churches Simon Jenkins said “This is the country where the fires of Methodism took hold, fanned by an absentee Anglicanism. There are many chapels in these parts, many are early and handsome and Ireshopeburn is the best.” His chapel and society in Weardale became one of John Wesley’s favourites and the story of Methodism is well told in the folk museum next door. The chapel is open to the public during museum hours 2-5pm, Wed-Sunday, May 1st - October 31st and every afternoon in August. Also Easter and bank holidays. Services are held every Sunday at 10.45am
Location:
Ireshopeburn, Co. Durham, DL131HD.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Holwick Scar & Low Force Geological Trail

Canoeists at Low Force © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
The 4km walk will introduce you to some of the natural landscape features which make this one the most beautiful parts of Teesdale. Look out for interpretation panels along the way that highlight how the landscape has evolved.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre (NY906282 / DL12 0XE) in Upper Teesdale.
Distance:
4 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Howden Burn (Weardale): North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 13

Lapwing © NPAP
Passing through grassland and up onto heather moorland, this walk provides splendid views across the open uplands and down to the Bollihope Burn. It is a fine area to watch wading birds during the breeding season when the air is filled with their songs and displays. Redstart, great spotted woodpecker, tits and warblers can also be seen or heard in the riverside woodland.
Location:
Starting on short turf at roadside beside the Bollihope Burn (NZ005349).
Distance:
3 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Hury Reservoir

Fishermen and waterfowl © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
Hury is exclusively a fly fishery and is the ideal venue for traditional fly anglers who like to fish with wet and dry flies as well as lures. Stocked weekly, often with grown on fish from our Teesdale fish farm, Hury is a must for traditional fly fishing enthusiasts. For non-anglers, there is a circular walk around Hury. There is a picnic and play area on the south shore next to the dam wall for you to relax at. Hury is suitable for disabled anglers. Please note, from Wednesday 5 September 2012, day permits for Hury Reservoir are available to buy in person from Grassholme Reservoir, by calling 0845 155 02366 or online at www.fishpal.com.
Location:
Located in the Balder Valley, the lake can be reached from either Romaldkirk or Cotherstone on the B6277 Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale road
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

Hury Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Hury Reservoir has been recognised for the quality of its night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to Hury Reservoir is only available for stargazing during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk). Hury is also a renowned fly fishery.
Location:
Located in Baldersdale, the reservoir can be reached from either Romaldkirk or Cotherstone on the B6277 Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale road.
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Ireshopeburn (Weardale): Hay Time Walk 2

Path to the hay meadows in Ireshopeburn © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
Take a 2 hour walk in Weardale, a landscape that has been farmed and mined for centuries. This five kilometre walk close to Ireshopeburn crosses some beautiful meadows, with superb views of the surrounding moorland and villages in the dale below. The best time to go is between April and August to catch the wildflowers in full bloom. It is still a worthwhile walk outside of these times due to presence of late blooming flowers can be seen in mid Autumn and wading birds in the Spring.
Location:
The walk starts in the village of Ireshopeburn in Weardale (NY866386).
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Isaacs Tea Trail

 © Roger Morris
Isaac's Tea Trail is a long distance path inspired by the tale of Isaac Holden. Not only a tea seller, Isaac was a local philanthropist and the trail takes you past many legacies of Isaac's fundraising.
Location:
The circular walk can be accessed from many locations, 4 sections have been suggested: Section 1: Allendale Section 2: Nenthead Section 3: Alston Section 4: Ninebanks
Distance:
58 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

Washing Floor at Killhope © Killhope Museum
A visit to Killhope, the award winning North of England Lead Mining Museum, is a unique and unforgettable experience. Killhope is a fully restored nineteenth century Victorian lead mine, where you can experience for yourself the life and work of the lead mining families of the Pennine dales. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff are here to help you get the most from your visit; they are what make Killhope a multi award wining venue. Killhope is famous for its huge working waterwheel, but there is much more to Killhope. You can experience the mineshop where miners lived. You can work as a 'washerboy' looking for minerals and galena (which is the lead ore). You can see the working machinery (which Fred Dibnah admired so much) in the 'jigger house'. But above all, Killhope's award-winning mine tour is unique. From the moment you put on your hard hats, cap-lamps and wellingtons, your visit becomes an unforgettable adventure! Killhope holds the largest collection of Spar Boxes which sits alongside Magnificent Minerals and the Pennine Jewels. Two permanent commissions, Letters of Lead and Language of Lead, part of museumaker, a prestigious national project. We also have an array of art works and installations which adorn our visitor centre and site. You can stroll round Killhope's woodland paths (maybe with a nature backpack). You will see some wildlife and red squirrels. Take a break in Killhope Cafe and sample our wonderful home made soups, pasties and cakes. Our gift shop stocks a wide range of books, maps, keepsakes and souvenirs. Killhope - a great day out in the country for all the family!
Location:
Near Cowshill, Upper Weardale, Co. Durham, DL13 1AR.
Terrain:
Steep sections
Area:

Kingsway Adventure Centre

High Ropes Course © Kingsway Adventure Centre
A family run multi-activity centre based in Middleton in Teesdale. For GROUP BOOKINGS ONLY. Minimum group size - 8 people.
Location:
Alston Road, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0UU.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Knock Geological Trail

Great Dun Fell © NPAP/Shane Harris
This different rocks and landscape features along this trail tells the story of the events and geological processes that have created this landscape over nearly 500 million years of Earth history. Stout boots, warm clothing and good waterproofs are advised as even in summer the climate of the North Pennine escarpment can be harsh and cloud can descend quickly. Allow a full day for the complete walk. Use of an Ordnance Survey map and compass is recommended for this route. In places the route passes old mine workings, parts of which may be unstable. Please keep to footpaths and do not attempt to enter old tunnels or any old surface excavations. Do examine the rocks and minerals you will see along the way but please do not collect them: leave them for others to enjoy.
Location:
At the end of a minor road west of Knock (NY686288).
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Lambley and the South Tyne: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 1

Curlew © NPAP
This walk combines a number of different North Pennine habitats to dramatic effect. You will pass through an expansive area of rushy allotment adjacent to heather moorland where in spring and summer the air is alive with the sounds and sights of numerous breeding waders. The views across the South Tyne Valley are similarly impressive. By contrast, the second leg of the walk passes along the route of a disused railway line that is largely clothed in woodland, offering tantalising glimpses of the surrounding countryside and excellent opportunities to see and hear woodland birds. The walk centres on Lambley Viaduct, a stunning landscape and architectural feature from where the River South Tyne and its wildlife can be viewed from on high.
Location:
Lambley Viaduct – South Tyne Trail car park (NY679595).
Distance:
13 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Recreation opportunities:

Low Barns Nature Reserve

Red Kite © www.brianraffertywildlifephotographer/blogspot.com
Low Barns is a valuable wetland reserve and one of County Durham’s most important wildlife sites, located adjacent to the River Wear. The reserve has become important for wildlife due to the wide range of habitats including wet woodland, grassland, open water and river side, which are home to many different types of birds, mammals, plants and insects. However, Low Barns has not always been a haven for local wildlife. Originally farmland, the site underwent sand and gravel extraction until 1964 when the area was given to Durham Wildlife Trust and restored as a nature reserve. In 2003 a redundant sewage treatment works on the site was replaced with a new reedbed habitat and a boardwalk which enabled public access with minimal disturbance to wildlife. The site’s flat terrain and large accessible bird hides make it an ideal place to visit for everyone. The Visitor Centre has a coffee shop that sells light refreshments, books, gifts, locally made bird boxes and a full range of bird food and feeders from the award winning Vine House Farms. The centre and bird hides provide a wealth of information on how Low Barns was created and the wildlife it supports. Screens in the centre show images from the bird feeding station and bird boxes around the site, and there is a display of wildlife photography provided by the Low Barns Photography Group.
Location:
Durham Wildlife Trust, Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 0AG.
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Low Force Geotrail

Low Force in Teesdale © NPAP/Simon Wilson
A 2 ½ mile (4km) walk exploring landscape, rocks, fossils and mines in Upper Teesdale. This landscape, which has been 300 million years in the making, has been shaped by tropical seas, molten rock, glacial movement and more recently by people. This circular walk will introduce you to some of the special features of this landscape associated with these processes. By spotting clues in the fields, walls, crags and River Tees you'll find out how to read the landscape and discover more about its fascinating past.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre (NY906282 / DL12 0XE) in Upper Teesdale
Distance:
4 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

Low Force River Access Code of Conduct

Canoeists at Low Force © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
Code of conduct which aims to ensure that water sports enthusiasts enjoy Low Force responsibly.
Location:
Low Force in Upper Teesdale (NY903279).
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Mickelton - Grassholme Reservoir

Mickleton © NPAP
This circular 10.5km walking route takes in a tour of Grassholme Reservoir. It was published as route 3 in the Discover mid Teesdale leaflet (2007).
Location:
The route starts from the Mickleton Station car park (NY967233 / DL12 0JN).
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Micketon - Romaldkirk - Eggleston

Mickleton © NPAP
This 7.5km moderate walk route takes you from Mickleton in Teesdale on a circuit incorporating visits to Romaldkirk and Eggleston. It was published as route 4 in the Discover mid Teesdale leaflet (2007).
Location:
The route starts from the Mickleton Station car park (NY967233 / DL12 0JN).
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Mickleton - Romaldkirk - Cotherstone - Hury Reservoir

Hury Reservoir © NPAP
This 19km grand tour will really enable you to get to grips with mid-Teesdale. The route is suitable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. It was published as route 6 in the Discover mid Teesdale leaflet (2007).
Location:
The route starts from the Mickleton Station car park (NY967233 / DL12 0JN).
Distance:
19 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Mickleton - Romaldkirk Moor

Walking the Teesdale Railway Path © NPAP
This 11km circuit from Mickleton is suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It was published as route 5 in the Discover mid Teesdale leaflet (2007).
Location:
The route starts from the Mickleton Station car park (NY967233 / DL12 0JN).
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Mickleton to Middleton

River Tees © NPAP
This 8.5km circular walk is a great circuit from Mickleton in Teesdale, using the Teesdale Railway Path. It was published as route 2 in the Discover mid Teesdale leaflet (2007).
Location:
The route starts from the Mickleton Station car park (NY967233 / DL12 0JN).
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Middleton-in-Teesdale: Cycle Route 1

Grassholme Reservoir © NPAP/Simon Wilson
This 24km route is the main circuit (on the leaflet) with a choice of two shorter variations which can be selected at the appropriate junction. Each variation is worth doing in its own right for the superb scenery, the magnificent views and the stunning descents. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Be warned the roads are narrow in places with some sharp gravel-covered corners. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-in-Teesdale (NY947254 / DL12 0QB).
Distance:
24 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Middleton-in-Teesdale: Cycle Route 2

Hay meadow in Teesdale © NPAP/Shane Harris
This mountain bike route follows the first part of Middleton-in-Teesdale Cycle Route 1 but then follows an additional loop which can also be used to extend Route 1 which it re-joins. Route 2 then follows very narrow minor roads as well as off-road sections. It's memorable for its fine off-road sections although the narrow country lanes it otherwise uses are also a joy to cycle on. The gentle ascent from the valley, with the associated views and options, makes this route a good choice for a wide range of cyclists. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale (NY947254 / DL12 0QB).
Distance:
34 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Middleton-in-Teesdale: Cycle Route 3

Holwick Scar © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
This 13km road route is a gently undulating ‘there and back’ linear ride along a quiet minor road parallel to the River Tees. The beautiful cliffs of Holwick Scar can be seen along this route. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale (NY947254 / DL12 0QB).
Distance:
13 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Middleton-in-Teesdale: Cycle Route 4

Cycling in the North Pennines © NPAP/KGPhotography
This 10km route 4 follows a rectangle to the north of Middleton-in-Teesdale and is well worth doing for its scenery, views and descents - not to mention the heritage value! The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale (NY947254 / DL12 0QB).
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Murton Scar

Eric on Meal ticket at Murton Scar © Ron Kenyon
A single steep limestone wall banded by overhangs which occupies a prominent position overlooking the Upper Eden Valley. It offers few easy options and will appeal more to the lover of technical limestone. The crag was first developed in the mid-1970’s by members of the then newly formed Eden Valley Mountaineering Club, who picked the easier lines. In 1983 local young climbers from Appleby, led by Robin Curley, attacked and developed the hard lines. There are 19 routes in total ranging from HS to E3+. Further details about this crag are featured in the FRCC Guidebook called Eden Valley and South Lakes Limestone.
Location:
Park at Murton; set sights on the crag; head down and up you go. The crag is on Access Land.
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Nenthead and Garrigill Cycle Route

Nent Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 29km road and off-road cycle route provides a grand tour of the Nent and Upper South Tyne Valleys. The high rolling fells of Alston Moor are separated by two deep valleys, which hold the upper reaches of the River South Tyne and the waters of the River Nent. Both valleys display a classic North Pennine landscape that magical mixture of walled valley bottoms, pasture and hay meadows backed by rough open fell and interspersed by hamlets. They are both a delight to explore, particularly by bike, because they are endowed with quiet roads and lanes that traverse differing levels allowing intimate and far reaching views. Conveniently linking both valleys are ancient traffic free tracks. Originally published as Route 4 in the Biking around Alston: 5 do-in-a-day rides in the North Pennines AONB (2012).
Location:
Starting and Finishing at Nenthead Mines car park (NY780436 / CA9 3NR) in Nenthead.
Distance:
29 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Nenthead Mines

Nenthead Mines ©
Nenthead Mines is an important historic place at Nenthead, near Alston, in Cumbria, UK. This remote valley is covered by remains from the lead and zinc mining industry of the North Pennines, including mine entrances, dumps and old buildings. The site includes a geology Site of Special Scientific Importance and is notable for rare lichens and plants growing on the metal-rich mine dumps. Most of the valley is a National Ancient Monument. The conserved buildings on the site include a small museum and interpretation display and there is a network of paths and trackways. Carrs Mine is an old lead and zinc mine which is open to visitors on special days. Guided trips into the mine are arranged on Open Days. The Nenthead Mines Conservation Society is working with Cumbria County Council to care for, manage and maintain this historic site. Most of the valley is owned by Cumbria County Council and is managed on their behalf by the Society.
Location:
Nenthead Mines is located in the village of Nenthead in the Cumbrian North Pennines
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Newbiggin and the Carriers’ Way

Walkers on the heather moors © NPAP/Shane Harris
This leaflet is one of a series designed to help you discover the treasures of Blanchland - both natural and man-made. This attractive walk takes you from Blanchland, along the River Derwent, up on to open moorland. The moorland is exposed and can experience harsh weather. The wild landscape surrounding Blanchland bustles with evidence of people, from Mesolithic hunters to lead miners and modern land managers. Everywhere you look you see the imprint of our ancestors. Many landscape scars have been hidden by nature and it is hard to believe that in the not-so-distant past this quiet landscape was once home to major industry.
Location:
The walk starts from Blanchland car park (NY964505)
Distance:
14 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Newlands Hall and the 'Miles of Stiles'

Newlands Hall and the 'Miles of Stiles' ©
This easy circular walk starts and finishes in Wolsingham, Weardale. If you’re a fan of stiles, this is the walk for you. This relatively simple, four mile walk takes you out to the farm at Newlands Hall and brings you back across farmland where evidence of the medieval strip farming system can still be seen. The route is known locally as the ‘Miles of Stiles.’ We’ve counted thirteen stiles and ladder stiles along the route with ten of them appearing in quick succession along the ‘Miles of Stiles.’
Location:
Starts and finishes in Wolsingham from the Demesne Mill Picnic Area (nearest postcode DL13 3DB).
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Newshield and West Allendale Cycle Route

Smallburns Moor in the West Allen Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 36km road cycle route route climbs out of Alston and heads down to Nenthead before exploring the fascinating upper reaches of the West Allen Valley. It provides a solid days riding with a mix of valley lanes with some sizeable climbs on fell roads. On a misty or windy day the high points of Black Hill or Willyshaw Rigg will prove challenging to say the least, but given a blue sky and a fair breeze there can be few better spots to be on two wheels. As well as the stunning North Pennines landscape along the way there is plenty to see particularly if you are interested in industrial heritage. Originally published as Route 2 in the Biking around Alston: 5 do-in-a-day rides in the North Pennines AONB (2012).
Location:
Starting from the centre of Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN) in the Cumbrian North Pennines.
Distance:
36 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Ninebanks & East Allen: Electric Bike Route 4

Electric biking in the Allen Valleys © NPAP/Andy Lees
Enjoy this 35km cycle along the West and East Allen. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
Circular route in the West and East Allen Valleys.
Distance:
35 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Ninebanks Tower

Ninebanks Tower © Natural England/Charlie Headley
The turbulent days of the Border Reivers are evoked by Ninebanks Tower. The sandstone tower is all that remains above ground of a large medieval house, to which the tower seems to have been added in about 1520. The four storey tower has inverted shields on a second floor window lintel which possibly relate to Sir Thomas Dacre (1515 – 1526), the ruler of Hexhamshire. Ninebanks is not classed as a defensible structure because the walls are considered too thin; it may have served as a lookout.
Location:
Ninebanks village.
Terrain:
On road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

North Pennine Birdwalks Site 2: Ouston Fell

Swallow © NPAP
Whitfield Moor and Ouston Fell support large numbers of breeding waders and red grouse. This is a good place to watch displaying waders and, if you’re lucky, hunting birds of prey. It is also an excellent spot to simply enjoy the evocative calls and songs of moorland birds during spring and summer. Blocks of conifer woodland which surround the site often provide breeding sites for birds of prey. Look out for buzzards soaring overhead and listen for twittering flocks of siskins.
Location:
Static viewing from the large lay-by near the conifer plantation on the A686.
Terrain:
On road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

North Pennine Cycles

Cyclist in silhouette © K Gibson/NPAP
This bike shop has a fully equipped workshop and retail area. A variety of bikes are available to hire including mountain and kids bikes and tandems. The shop caters in particular for C2C Cycle Route riders and stocks a range of quality components and accessories including clothing, gel saddle covers, maps, guides, and essential cyclists’ drinks and nutrition. The shop is also ideal if you would like to upgrade parts or need a repair.
Location:
Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3PF (NY781437).
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: Cold Fell

Walkers on Gairs track © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
Marking the northern end of the Pennine Chain, the aptly named Cold Fell is also the most northerly mountain in Cumbria. Although this route is relatively short, it is a serious undertaking with a steep ascent and descent, coupled with terrain that is usually wet and hard going throughout the year. Nevertheless it’s still a fine walk which is full of interest with excellent views across the Border region.
Location:
Starting from car park beyond Clesketts near Hallbankgate.
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: Geltsdale

Binney Bank wood below Tarnmonath Fell © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
A good walk for days when the cloud is low, favouring a lower level circuit of the picturesque Geltsdale without the need to venture too high up. Discover remnants of the valley’s industrial past, whilst savouring the delights of her wildlife and scenery of this now tranquil Valley.
Location:
Starting from the parking verge at Jockey Shield near Castle Carrock.
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: Great Knipe

It's hard to imagine that this short, but thoroughly rewarding, 'away from it all' moorland walk lies so close to a major trans-Pennine road link. Seldom does this land attract a second glance from the thousands that pass below it each day. Contained within a Ministry of Defence ‘dry range’, this walk focuses upon an amphitheatre scarp culminating with the headland of Great Knipe, with its commanding views over the Stainmore Pass and across the upper realms of the greater Eden valley.
Location:
Starting off the A66, approx 3.5 miles to the east of Brough. Roadside parking is available on a minor road just off the A66 east-bound carriageway, at Slapestone Bridge
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: North Pennine Ridge (Northern Section)

Overlooking Geltsdale and the Tindale Fells © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
A classic moorland traverse across wild terrain with hardly a discernable path for most of the way makes this a true wilderness experience. The ridge-top fence serves as a comforting navigational aid whilst you savour the solitude, tranquillity and open grandeur of this seldom frequented part of the county. This linear route is a serious undertaking in any weather, and to help with navigation it is described in both directions.
Location:
Starting from Hartside Café off the A686 between Alston and Melmerby.
Distance:
21 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: North Pennine Ridge (Southern Section)

View of Pikes from Knock Fell © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
Following the spine of the Pennine ridge from Dufton to Hartside Pass this linear walk passes over Cross Fell which is the highest point in England outside of the Lake District. Partly following the Pennine Way National Trail and partly on pathless moorland this route rewards with stunning views throughout, especially those across the Eden valley to the distant Lakeland Fells. This linear route is a serious undertaking in any weather, and to help with navigation it is described in both directions.
Location:
Starting from the village green in Dufton village which is approx 3½ miles north of Appleby-in-Westmorland. Parking available in the small car park just off the village green.
Distance:
23 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: Talkin Fell

View down the River Gelt Valley © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This short walk is ideal for those with a few hours to spare, and serves as a perfect introduction to open access. The route follows excellent public rights of way, and distinct desire lines once you venture onto the access land. On a clear day the panorama from the top of Talkin Fell is probably one of the best you’ll get for the effort involved in getting there.
Location:
Starting from the parking verge at Jockey Shield near Castle Carrock.
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Open access walks in Cumbria: Thack Moor and Black Fell

Cottage near Hartside summit © NPAP/Simon Wilson
One of the more serious undertakings, this routes ventures onto the main North Pennine ridge, via the outlying top of Thack Moor. Tranquillity, solitude and a sense of moorland grandeur is guaranteed on the first section. A much deserved break at Hartside Café is recommended, before the return leg to Renwick following public rights of way on good tracks and paths.
Location:
Starting from Townhead, at the northern end of Renwick village towards the parish church. Roadside parking is available at the church.
Distance:
17 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Over the hill to Cowbyre Farm

Derwent Reservoir from above Blanchland © NPAP
This is a varied walk that begins with a climb up from the village of Blanchland. The walk passes through woodland and pasture with magnificent views of the Derwent Valley and Edmundbyers Common, finally dropping down to the river and returning to the village.
Location:
Staring from Blanchland car park.
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Parkhead Station Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Parkhead station was one of the first five Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the North Pennines AONB to be designated. It has been recognised as a great place for amateur and professional astronomers to stargaze. With wide open views of the horizon and a location away from towns and cities, the skies are incredibly dark. Under a clear night sky, the major constellations can be seen and the Milky Way is also visible to the naked eye. The café is a converted railway station with a rich industrial history - www.parkheadstation.co.uk. Now it is a feature along a traffic free section of the Waskerley Way, just off the C2C Cycle Route which means astronomers are not going to be disturbed or interrupted by the glare of headlights from passing vehicles. During organised stargazing events, the café offers warmth and sustenance and a place to discuss recent astronomical news and sightings.
Location:
Located on the B6278, 3 miles north of Stanhope, 10 miles from Consett.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Pinpoint Adventure

Mine exploration in the North Pennines © Pinpoint Adventure
Pinpoint Adventure is an adventure activities company run by father son Ian and Tom Hopper based in Northumberland, the North East of England and Cumbria. They run a wide selection of adventure activities using their experience and knowledge to help create 'days to remember'. In the North Pennines they offer amazing underground journeys through one of the old lead mines at Nenthead; this truly is an adventure in all respects and a visit to a very different ‘lost world’. There will be ample opportunity to look at the skills and determination of our ancestors and try to empathise with their working conditions. There are three main trips available: Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead: Smallcleugh provides a wonderful 4/5 hour underground adventure, with a visit to The Ballroom for a candlelit dinner – well, bacon sandwiches anyway! Tyne Bottom Mine, Garrigill: Tyne Bottom is a super half day trip, with some interesting crawls and wetter sections; we often combine Tyne Bottom with a canyoning adventure in the afternoon. Rampgill Mine, Nenthead: Rampgill provides a very wet couple of hour’s underground, with some wonderful calcite formations. Ian and Tom also offer the following activities: walking, trekking, snowshoeing, climbing, Forest Schools and bushcraft.
Location:
Pinpoint Adventure can provide activities at a variety of locations in the North Pennines. Their mine trips are at Nenthead and at other mines in the Cumbrian North Pennines. Contact Ian Hopper on 07786 872060 (ian@pinpointadventure.com) for details.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Pow Hill Country Park Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Pow Hill is a country park owned by Durham County Council and was one of the first five Dark Sky Discovery Sites to be designated in the North Pennines. Recognised for the quality of its dark night skies, set away from the nearby small settlements of Blanchland and Edmundbyers, this is a brilliant spot for astronomers to stargaze. Its position on the edge of Derwent Reservoir offers a large, uninterrupted view of the northern sky. Under a clear winter nights sky, the main stellar constellations can be seen and on good nights, the Milky Way can also be seen with the naked eye. Good quality surface in the car park and an easy access trail route (on the shore of the reservoir) offers the opportunities for disabled people to stargaze.
Location:
Located off the B6306 Blanchland road on the south shore of Derwent Reservoir - 1 mile north of Edmundbyers, signposted from the road.
Recreation opportunities:

Raby Castle

Raby Castle © Dugald Cameron
Home to Lord Barnard's family since 1626, Raby is one of the finest medieval Castles in England. Built by the mighty Nevill family in the 14th Century, Raby remained in the Nevill family until 1569 when after the failure of the Rising of the North, the Castle and its lands were forfeited to the Crown. In 1626, Sir Henry Vane the Elder purchased Raby and the Castle has remained in the Vane family ever since. Highlights include an impressive gateway, a vast hall, a medieval kitchen and a Victorian octagonal drawing room. The rooms display fine furniture, artworks and elaborate architecture. Enjoy the deer park, walled gardens and carriage collection. Sample the menu in the stable tearooms. Events take place throughout the summer.
Location:
Staindrop, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL2 3AH
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

River South Tyne Cycle Route

South Tyne Valley © NPAP/Shane Harris
Tracing the course of the River South Tyne downstream from Alston, this 16km cycle route provides an excellent short introductory ride to the area. It first heads out along the fell lanes on the eastern side of the river steadily gaining height to Barhaugh Hall then descending by Blackcleugh Burn to the banks of the River South Tyne. The river bank makes an excellent spot for a rest or a picnic after which the road bridge just south of Slaggyford allows the other side of he river to be reached. The return to Alston involves another climb to start with but once height is gained glorious views open up across the fells and down to the valley where you might just spot steam trains on the South Tynedale Railway, England's highest narrow-gauge railway. Originally published as Route 3 in the Biking around Alston: 5 do-in-a-day rides in the North Pennines AONB (2012).
Location:
Starting and finishing in Alston (NY718465 / CA9 3QN).
Distance:
16 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:
Download:

River Wear fishing

Fly fishing tackle © NPAP/Simon Wilson
Fishing for brown trout, sea trout and salmon between Eastgate and Stanhope Guaging Station is available with a day ticket from the Weardale Fly Fishers Club. Permits from Stanhope Newsagents, Stanhope, Weardale. Don't forget your Environment Agency rod licence.
Location:
Stanhope
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Rookhope: Fields and Fells

Rookhope © NPAP/Shane Harris
The town of Rookhope and its surrounding environs are littered with the remains of its once prosperous mining industry such as the Rookhope arch and Bolts Law engine house. This austere landscape inspired poet W H Auden to write some of his earliest work. Nowadays Rookhope supports fascinating upland flora and fauna and a small tourist industry as a stop off on the C2C cycle route. You can discover these and more interesting facets of Rookhope in this series of circular walks.
Location:
Starting from Rookhope Village Hall.
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

RSPB Geltsdale Dark Sky Discovery Site - Clesketts Car Park

Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Clesketts Car Park has been recognised for the stunning quality of its night skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. RSPB Geltsdale is also home to black grouse, birds of prey and breeding wading birds and is great for walking. Stagsike Cottages are approximately a 40 minute walk from the parking area at Clesketts and provide an information point and toilets. Trails are open at all times and the information point is open between 9am and 5pm. Dogs are welcome but they should be kept on a lead as the reserve is a working farm. A bus services the village of Hallbankgate, which is approximately a mile away. More information - www.rspb.org.uk
Location:
From the A69 near Brampton, take the A689 to Hallbankgate and Alston. At Hallbankgate, take the minor road that runs in front of the Belted Will pub; follow this minor road to the reserve car park at end at Clesketts.
Recreation opportunities:

RSPB Geltsdale Walking Trails

Stagsike Cottage at RSPB Geltsdale © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
Set in the beautiful North Pennines AONB, Geltsdale is home to black grouse, birds of prey and breeding wading birds and is ideal for walking. There are 4 way marked trails leading from the car park of Howgill. The Stagsike trail will take 1-2 hours to walk and the other trails a little longer. Stagsike Cottages are approximately a 40 minute walk from the parking area and provide an information point and toilets. Many of the trails are on existing tracks but boots are essential for much of the year and waterproofs are recommended. There is no general vehicle access to Stagsike Cottages but disabled access can be pre-arranged by phoning the reserve (01697 746717). Trails are open at all times and the information point is open between 9am and 5pm. Dogs are welcome but they should be kept on a lead as the reserve is a working farm. A bus services the village of Hallbankgate, which is approximately a mile away.
Location:
Starting from Clesketts car park (NY588584), near Hallbankgate.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Selset Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Selset Reservoir has been recognised for the outstanding quality of its dark skies. This is a great place for astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to Selset Reservoir is only available for stargazing during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk). Selset is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
About 4 miles west of Middleton-in-Teesdale, along the B6276. The reservoir is signposted from the road.
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Shildon Engine House

Shildon Engine House © NPAP/Elfie Warren
Shildon Engine House was built around 1805 to house a Cornish pumping engine, which kept the network of lead mines operating underneath from flooding. Towards the end of its industrial life in the 1840s, an enormous steam engine was installed in a final attempt to keep the mines dry enough to work. Following decommissioning, the engine house was converted to a series of flats for mining families. It was finally abandoned around 100 years ago and has been derelict ever since. The Engine House is a dramatic reminder of a once thriving lead mining community of 170 people. The population declined after the mid-1800s when cheaper lead began to be imported from abroad, and young Shildon families emigrated to the gold-mining areas of Australia and America. Facilities are available off site in Blanchland.
Location:
On the outskirts of Blanchland.
Terrain:
Off road sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Sinderhope Pony Trekking Centre

Sinderhope Pony Trekking © NPAP/Charlie Headley
The Sinderhope Pony Trekking Centre is based on a traditional working hill farm in Northumberland which is surrounded by miles of beautiful moorland. The Centre offers treks of various lengths to suit all abilities, riding over moorland and through dales on our cobs and native type ponies. Lessons last 30 minutes or 50 minutes and they are taught in the indoor arena which provides a safe, enclosed and dry environment, with horses and ponies to provide a range of sizes, types and temperaments to suit everyone from the complete beginner to the competent rider. Canters are arranged for the more experienced rider, while basic instructions and support are offered to the nervous or novice rider. We also provide private trekking for individuals or groups if you would like to go out on your own with one of our guides, these sessions are subject to availability.
Location:
High Sinderhope, Sinderhope, Allendale, Northumberland, NE47 9SH.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Slitt Wood and West Rigg Geotrail

Slitt Wood waterfall © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
This route reveals much about the area’s geology, which is strongly linked to this little valley’s industrial past. You will see where lead and iron ores were mined and processed and how the ores were transported out of the valley. Slitt Wood and West Rigg Opencut are legally protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Slitt Wood is designated for its variety of habitats including woodland, lime-rich grassland, fen, open water and the revegetated workings of Slitt and Middlehope Mines. Many different types of plants and birds can be spotted at different times of year, including metal tolerant plants known as metallophytes. West Rigg is designated for its geological importance. It provides an excellent illustration of the formation of iron ore and the opencast ironstone workings which expose the structure of a lead vein. Many of the industrial remains also have legal protection as scheduled monuments of national archaeological importance.
Location:
Starting from the lay-by in Westgate.
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Spring Gentian

Spring gentian © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
Teesdale is a botanist’s paradise, but one plant stands out: the spring gentian. Spring gentians are best seen on warm, bright days, from April to early June. A sun worshipper, this little flower closes as the weather becomes dull, leaving nothing to see but small, dark-blue spikes. However the flowers quickly open again when the sun emerges from behind the clouds. Hidden among the short vegetation, spring gentians often go unnoticed, but when you do find them they stop you in your tracks with their startling deep-blue flowers. The flowers are typically 15 to 30mm across. Look out for a delicate plant with a solitary, intense-blue flower, like a tiny, five-pointed star. It is surprisingly small for a flower with such a big reputation! You can see gentians in flower from many public footpaths in Upper Teesdale. Please stick to the paths to protect these and other rare plants.
Location:
Car park at Forest-in-Teesdale.
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

St John's Chapel: Farming, Mining and Methodism

Coronation Bridge in Ireshopeburn, Weardale © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This walk traces the history of three neighbouring villages Daddry Shield, St Johns Chapel and Ireshopeburn. From their origins as farming settlements, through to the expansion of the mining industry in the mid 19th Century and the associated rises in population and conversion of locals to Methodism, this region has witnessed dramatic changes which have left their mark on the landscape of the upper dale. This walk tells the story of these developments while pointing out historic buildings and events associated with them.The walk was devised and described by volunteers of The Weardale Museum (www.weardalemuseum.co.uk), Ireshopeburn, where much more information can be found.
Location:
Starting from the Weardale Inn or St John Chapel Cattle Market car park.
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Stanhope, St. John's Chapel & Rookhope: Electric Bike Route 12

View of Stanhope in Upper Weardale © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 32km road cycling routes starts in Stanhope and explores Upper Weardale and the Rookhope Valley. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
This route starts and finishes in Stanhope, Weardale (NY998390 / DL13 2UE).
Distance:
32 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Stanhope: Cycle Route 1

Allenheads © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
This 39km road route starts and finishes from the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope. The publication describes four routes of various lengths. The four routes are designed as a series of loops of varying length radiating out from Stanhope. Each route provides a glimpse into the past, with remnants of the lead mining industry dotted around Weardale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing from the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope, Weardale (NY996392 / DL13 2FJ).
Distance:
39 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Stanhope: Cycle Route 2

Rookhope Arch © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
This 30km road route starts and finishes from the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope. The publication describes four routes of various lengths. The four routes are designed as a series of loops of varying length radiating out from Stanhope. Each route provides a glimpse into the past, with remnants of the lead mining industry dotted around Weardale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope, Weardale (NY996392 / DL13 2FJ).
Distance:
30 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Stanhope: Cycle Route 3

Church in Stanhope © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 25km road route starts and finishes from the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope. The publication describes four routes of various lengths. The four routes are designed as a series of loops of varying length radiating out from Stanhope. Each route provides a glimpse into the past, with remnants of the lead mining industry dotted around Weardale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope (NY996392 / DL13 2FJ).
Distance:
25 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Stanhope: Cycle Route 4

Back road between Stanhope and Rookhope © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 16km road route starts and finishes from the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope. The publication describes four routes of various lengths. The four routes are designed as a series of loops of varying length radiating out from Stanhope. Each route provides a glimpse into the past, with remnants of the lead mining industry dotted around Weardale. Please note that the original leaflet was produced and printed in 2005. The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.
Location:
Starting and finishing in the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope, Weardale (NY996392 / DL13 2FJ).
Distance:
16 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Stanhope: Exploring a legacy of lead

The fossil tree in Stanhope © NPAP/Shane Harris
Lead mining was the dominant industry in Stanhope for over two hundred years. It created the employment and wealth to form a well-to-do small market town with a thriving parish church with ‘the richest living in England’ due to the tithes (rent) paid to the Rectors of Stanhope in return for the rights to explore and dig for lead. Stanhope owes most of its former wealth to the lead mining era with quarrying and coal mining making significant contributions to the employment opportunities. These three short walks around Stanhope will explore this mining legacy
Location:
Starting from the Durham Dales Centre car park in Stanhope.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Take a walk in the woods…

Walker at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
The North Pennines conjures up images of purple heather covered moors, lead mining remains and remote dales where traditional ways of farming still survive. But there are delightful pockets of woodland to explore too. At the National Trust property at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge you’ll find the largest concentration of woodlands in the North Pennines AONB. This woodland has 5 trails of varying length allowing you to experience the wonders of this woodland whatever your level of fitness.
Location:
Starting from either the National Trust car park at Allen Banks or Haydon Bridge.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Tan Hill Inn Dark Sky Discovery Site

 © Alistair Lockett
Tan Hill Inn was one of the first five Dark Sky Discovery Sites to be designated in the North Pennines AONB. It's famous for being the highest pub in Britain (at 528m above sea level). The Inn is found on the border between the North Pennines (to the north) and the Yorkshire Dales (to the south) - well away from any light pollution. The designation is official recognition that there are high quality dark night skies here with opportunities for astronomers to stargaze. The open moorland landscape provides fantastic horizon-wide views of the skies so that nearly all features in the northern hemisphere can be seen. In clear skies, all of the major constellations, including Orion, can be seen, and the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. Tan Hill Inn also offers some warmth and a place to discuss the latest astronomical news and sightings following an evening’s stargazing - www.tanhillinn.co.uk
Location:
On the border between the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales border. It's signposted as ‘Tan Hill Inn’ off to the south of the A66 Bowes to Brough road. The nearest postcode is DL11 6ED.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Taste Trails: Allendale to Whitfield Circular

Allendale Bakery © NPAP/Shane Harris
This route takes you from Allendale Town past Allen Mill and through the nearby village of Catton before crossing the valley of the River East Allen to Whitfield. The walk then returns to Allendale along Isaac’s Tea Trail. The route includes riverside walking and takes you through pleasant farmland and scenic wooded valleys. The Allendale landscape has been shaped by a long history of farming, estate management and minerals extraction.
Location:
Starting from Allendale Town in the East Allen Valley
Distance:
18 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Taste Trails: Bradley Burn to Stanhope

Walkers in Weardale © NPAP/Shane Harris
This walking route is a linear trail that takes you along the course of the River Wear. You can return to the starting point using the bus. The route is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the dale that nestles below the open moors of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark, while indulging in some great local food. Along the way you will pass through the pastoral lamb and cattle producing farmland of the dale. Remnants of the quarrying and mining heritage of the area are all around you as you follow the river upstream. This route starts at Bradley Burn Farm Shop and Café, near Wolsingham and follows rights of way alongside the Weardale Railway and the River Wear. There are a number of great places along the way to stop for a bite to eat and a brew. Stanhope, Frosterley and Wolsingham are also good places to join the route and it can be done in shorter sections.
Location:
Starting from Bradley Burn Farm Shop.
Distance:
15 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Tees Bank Flowers: Flowers and Ferns Holwick Head Bridge to High Force

This 0.45km (1/4 mile) walk beside the River Tees enters the Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve and has a wealth of wildlife, including numerous plant species. Many are common British species and some belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ – a uniquely rich association of plants for which Upper Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones, trees and ferns that can be seen, at the appropriate time of the year (when they are flowering), from this well-used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rare plants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
0 km
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tees Bank Flowers: Flowers and Ferns Wynch Bridge to Scorberry Bridge

This 0.9km (1/2 mile) walk beside the River Tees has a wealth of wildlife, including over 200 plant species. Many are common British species and twelve belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ — a uniquely rich association of plants for which Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones, trees and ferns that can be seen, at the appropriate time of the year (when they are flowering), from this well used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rare plants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
1 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tees Bank Flowers: Flowers between Wynch Bridge and Holwick Head Bridge

This 1.6km (1 mile) walk beside the River Tees has a wealth of wildlife, including over 200 plant species. Many are common British species and twelve belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ — a uniquely rich association of plants for which Upper Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones which can be seen, at the appropriate time of year (when they are flowering), from this well used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rareplants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Teesdale Reservoir Walk

Hury Reservoir © NPAP/Beck Baker
This interesting walk takes in 3 of Northumbrian Waters reservoirs in Teesdale, with the opportunity to view another 3 reservoirs from the walks highpoint. The walk follows the Pennine Way from Grassholme Reservoir over moorland to reach the rocky flat-topped summit of Goldsborough Hill. Afterward you will descend to follow the shores of Hury and Blackton Reservoirs where you may see wigeon, common sandpiper and tufted duck. You will also pass by Meres beck meadow and Hannah’s meadow, which during the summer will be filled with beautiful wildflowers.
Location:
Car parks at the Northern end of the Balderhead Reservoir dam wall.
Distance:
13 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum © The Bowes Museum/Mike Kipling
This magnificent museum has undergone a major transformation, creating a stunning 21st century visitor attraction in beautiful grounds. It contains a wonderful collection of fine and decorative arts housed in an array of stunning new galleries. The silver swan automaton is a must see! Exhibitions, guided tours, family activities, fine dining and shopping add up to a wonderful day out.
Location:
Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 8NP.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

The Chimneys and Dryburn Moor (Allen Valleys): North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 4

Golden plover © NPAP
This walk epitomises much that is characteristic of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark. High peaty moorland, the sweet melancholy call of the golden plover and the towering remains of chimneys from the area’s lead mining past. All this is surrounded by sweeping views of the dales and settlements below and can be reached without a strenuous climb!
Location:
Starting from a small road side lay-by (NY807531)
Distance:
2 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

The Durham Dales Centre

Durham Dales Centre  © NPAP/Emily Ball
The Durham Dales Centre is a visitor centre in Weardale with a tearoom specialising in home baking and with a well stocked information centre and gift shop. Other shops are set within a courtyard offering a wide range of cards, chocolate, gifts and crafts. On site facilities include the Durham Dales garden, with interpretation panels throughout the grounds. Coaches welcome.
Location:
Castle Gardens, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL13 2FJ.
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

The Garden Station

The Garden Station © The Garden Station
Originally a country railway station on a line running through the Langley woods, this garden is a beautiful and tranquil place. The Garden Station sells perennial plants throughout the summer. There are also artwork displays inside and outside the station and a wonderful fairtrade café. A woodland walk was created in 2003 along the old railway track between two arched bridges and it is bordered by plants which thrive in woodland conditions. A wide range of art and craft and sustainable living courses are available from the station throughout the year.
Location:
Langley on Tyne, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 5LA
Terrain:
Off road sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

The Harehope Quarry Project

A view of Harehope Quarry © Tom Mercer
The Harehope Quarry Project promotes a more sustainable way of living and is a Gold Award holder in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). Within a former limestone quarry, the project has developed a fish farm and smallholding, a nature reserve with public access and an eco-classroom built entirely by volunteers. The project has a community events programme and delivers environmental education, field studies and education for sustainable development. The eco-classroom can also be booked for meetings, green birthday parties and other events. In addition there walks ranging from 1km to 4km using permissive paths and Rights of Way around the quarry. Story walk leaflets are available as well as information about the Harehope Quarry Project. Note on site parking is limited, however the quarry is a short walk from Frosterley where additional parking is available.
Location:
Frosterley, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL13 2SG.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:

The National Trust - Allen Banks and Staward Gorge woodland walk

Bluebells at Allen Banks © NPAP/Shane Harris
Set on the steep valley sides of the river Allen, a tributary of the south Tyne, explore the woods and see what wildlife you can spot on this gentle riverside walk. It's the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland and has been here since at least medieval times. This long history has helped make it a fantastic home for flora, fauna and fungi.
Location:
Starting from Allen Banks car park.
Distance:
4 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Three Counties & Killhope Museum: Electric Bike Route 5

Killhope Museum © Killhope Museum
This 24km cycle route starts at Killhope Museum and takes you into Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland. Note that this electric bike route was originally devised in 2015. It is still valid but some of the information (e.g. hire/charge points) may have changed.
Location:
The route starts at Killhope Lead Mining Museum in Upper Weardale (NY825431 / DL13 1AR).
Distance:
24 km
Terrain:
On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tindale Tarn: North Pennine Birdwalks Walk 2

Wigeon © NPAP
Located in the far north west of the AONB, Tindale Tarn is a good place to bird watch at any time of year in a highly scenic setting. A rich variety of breeding birds can be seen during spring and summer, including waders and black grouse. During the winter months, the Tarn attracts a range of wildfowl including wigeon and whooper swans. Heavily worked for zinc in the past, this area is also rich in industrial archaeology, including the remains of a quarry and smelter. The RSPB manages this site as part of their reserve at Geltsdale. An information centre is located at Stagsike Cottage which is accessible on foot. Disabled access by vehicle can be prearranged by phoning the reserve on 01697 746 717.
Location:
Small car park in Tindale (NY616594).
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Tunstall Reservoir Walk

Backstone Bank wood beside Tunstall Reservoir © NPAP/Ruth Starr-Keddle
Tunstall reservoir is located within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has an excellent walk along its eastern edge through a semi-natural ancient broadleaved woodland, known as Blackstone Wood. The Tunstall reservoir walk is not only a very scenic and relaxing walk but once in the woodland offers the chance to view a variety of wildlife, including several species of waterfowl and butterflies.
Location:
At the picnic site on Leazes Lane on the western side of the reservoir.
Distance:
3 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tunstall Valley

 ©
A beautiful walk through the Tunstall Valley following in the footsteps of the Prince Bishops. The walk from Wolsingham to the Tunstall Reservoir has long been a favourite of locals and visitors alike. The walk offers plenty of variety and interest, plus a few short cuts for those that might prefer them. The ascent up to the ruin of Park Wall Farm is handsomely rewarded with a stunning view back towards Wolsingham and the viewpoint after the steep climb up Blackstone Bank will take your breath away. The reservoir offers a wonderful setting for a break to enjoy refreshments at the half way point.
Location:
The walk starts from the Demesne Mill Picnic Site (nearest postcode DL13 3DB) off the B6296 (Wolsingham to Tow Law Road).
Distance:
12 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Download:

Tyne Train Trails - Riding Mill to Corbridge

This 10km walk between the stations of Riding Mill and Corbridge is mainly along fields and woodland paths with some short sections on quiet country roads. There is a steep climb out of Riding Mill. The woodlands above Riding Mill and Corbridge are good places to see birds like Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Wood warblers and Woodpeckers. Note Corbridge town centre is over the bridge across the River Tyne. Corbridge has a full range of shops and services while Riding Mill has a small range of services.
Location:
Starting from Riding Mill station.
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tyne Train Trails: Bardon Mill to Haltwhistle

This 9.5km walk between the stations of Bardon Mill and Haltwhistle is largely along field paths with some road walking mainly in Haltwhistle. This walk crosses the busy A69 - please take care. Bardon Mill has a general store and a pub while Haltwhistle has a full range of shops and facilities.
Location:
Starting from Bardon Mill Station.
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Tyne Train Trails: Hexham to Haydon Bridge

This 17km walk between the stations of Hexham and Haydon Bridge includes field and woodland paths with some sections on minor roads. This is a long walk with some steep climbs. Hexham has a full range of shops and services while Haydon Bridge has some shops, a post office and pubs.
Location:
Starting from Hexham train station.
Distance:
17 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Recreation opportunities:

Tynehead Geological Trail

Crinoid fossils © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
This trail will introduce many of the rocks that give the landscape of the North Pennines its unique character. The route crosses a number of mineral veins that were once worked commercially and the remnants of mining operations can be seen in several places. Many of the old workings may be unstable - please keep to the footpaths and do not attempt to enter old tunnels or surface excavations. Do examine the rocks and minerals you will see along the route, but please do not collect them: leave them for others to enjoy.
Location:
At the end of a minor road south of Garrigill (Don't block access)
Distance:
4 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Up on the ridge: Moor House-Upper Teesdale NNR

Knock Pike and the Eden Valley © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This walk takes you right up along the summit ridge of the Pennines. You’ll be able to see evidence of the area’s mining and quarrying history, take in some stunning views over the high Pennines, and look across the Eden Valley to the Lake District fells. On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House–Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR). The reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of the reserve can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land.
Location:
Start point at the end of the public road from Knock village, past Knock Christian Centre (NY686288).
Distance:
12 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Upper Teesdale (Hangling Shaw): North Pennine Birdwalks Walk 12

Black grouse © NPAP
Upper Teesdale is one of the best places to see waders in the breeding season and black grouse throughout the year. The wide expanse of the upper dale offers stunning views of the meadows and allotments and the imposing fells of Cronkley Scar and Widdybank. The River Tees is always impressive and there’s a chance of seeing birds such as dipper, goosander and oystercatcher.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Hanging Shaw, Forest-in-Teesdale (NY867297).
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Upper Teesdale Wildflower Walk

Upper Teesdale walk  © The North Pennines AONB Partnership
A beautifully capturing circular walk from the parking area at Hanging Shaw will introduce you to some of the special plants of Teesdale in the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark and the wildlife that depend on them. Along the way you will discover plants that dance and others that keep insects captive. You might even see rare bees and long-distance visitors from Africa. The spring and summer months are the best time to enjoy this walk. May and June are the time of peak activity for wading birds with June to August being the prime time for wild Flowers.
Location:
The Start and finish is the Hanging Shaw Parking area in Upper Teesdale (NY867297).
Distance:
6 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Walking around Wolsingham

Hay meadow in Wolsingham © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
There are many interesting walks leading from the historic town of Wolsingham. These lead to quarries, farms, shafts, mills, and mark out an intricate pattern of journeys to work made over hundreds of years by generations of the people working in Weardale.
Location:
Starting from Wolsingham Railway Station.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Walks from Allendale Caravan Park

River East Allen © NPAP/Shane Harris
This set of 3 walks from Allendale Caravan Park showcase the distinct beauty and character of Allendale. On the walks you will pass through pretty hay meadows, see remnants of the areas lead mining past, encounter the abundant wildlife of the region and be exposed to the dramatic moorland landscapes on the fell above the town.
Location:
Starting from Allendale Caravan Park.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Recreation opportunities:

Waskerley and Lanchester Way: Taste Trail

Running on the Waskerley Way © Shane Harris
This route (walk, cycle, horse ride) follows the Lanchester Valley and Waskerley Way Railway Paths, climbing from the pleasant pastoral landscape near Durham to the rugged heather covered Stanhope Moor. The route is excellent for walkers, cyclists and riders, with its easy to follow, car-free sections. Wonderful wildlife, fascinating history and spectacular views are all on offer on this gem of a trail. You can approach this linear route starting in either direction and can tailor the length to suit your own requirements. In this leaflet we have made suggestions for three sections of varying lengths along the route. From Durham to Stanhope, this route starts at Broompark, near Neville’s Cross in Durham and follows mainly dedicated paths along old railway tracks for 22 miles to Parkhead above Stanhope, in Weardale. There are a number of great places along the way to stop for a bite to eat and a brew. Lanchester and Consett are also good places to join the route and it can be done in shorter sections. This route is accessible to all users.
Location:
Starting from the Durham County Council car park at Broompark (NZ250415), Durham.
Distance:
34 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Waskerley Way Railway Path

Waskerley Reservoir © NPAP/Shane Harris
The Waskerley Way is a 16km route running from Parkhead Station above Stanhope in Weardale to Lydgetts Junction, Consett (where is joins with the Lanchester Valley Railway Path, the Derwent Walk Railway Path and the Consett to Sunderland cycle route). It's a beautiful route passing through a varied landscape; from urban fringe through to upland sheep farms and then on to glorious heather moorland. It's suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users. Hownsgill Viaduct towers 46m above the tree canopy of Knitsley and High House Woods near Lydgetts Junction. This is one of the most impressive railway structures in North East England. From further up the Railway Path there are stunning views across Smiddy Shaw, Waskerley and Hisehope Reservoirs.
Location:
The routes runs from Park Head Station, above Stanhope, Weardale (NZ002431 / DL13 2ES) to Lydgetts Junction, Consett (NZ098492 / DH8 9AA).
Distance:
16 km
Terrain:
On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Waterfalls and wildlife walk: Moor House-Upper Teesdale NNR

High Force © DCC/Mike Ogden
This walk follows the banks of the River Tees from Low Force, through the juniper woods up to High Force waterfall. Here you can turn round and follow the same route back or continue further upriver and follow the lower slopes of Holwick Fell to return. On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House–Upper Teesdale National nature Reserve (NNR). The reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of the reserve can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre car park (NY906282) in Upper Teesdale.
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Weardale Adventure Centre

Climbing with the Weardale Adventure Centre team © Weardale Adventure Centre
The Centre – Functioning around a 80-bed, fully catered residential centre, Weardale Adventure Centre offers a multitude of high-quality, outdoor and adventure education, activities. Founded in 1978, the centre has been an integral part of the local community and as such utilises local venues alongside on-site activities to provide groups with a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As such, the centre regularly welcomes back groups that have been utilising the facilities, in some cases for over 20 years! The centre can cater for just about any group, with any needs, however we tend to spend much of our time delivering high quality educational programmes to school groups between the ages of 8 and 18. Whilst these groups may be the staple of centre life, we have a wealth of experience delivering activities to just about any range of clients. We offer a multitude of activities and packages as well as being in the fortunate position of being able to offer bespoke and custom programmes to prospective clients, these can take place on-site, locally within the Weardale area, or further afield.
Location:
Ireshopeburn, Co. Durham, DL131HB.
Area:
Facilities nearby

Weardale Museum

Weardale Museum © Weardale Museum
“Outstanding Volunteer Run Museum” – but don’t take our word for it, this is the verdict of Renaissance North East and the Arts Council for England who have also awarded the museum full accreditation. This small folk museum is packed with fascinating stories from the past including a hands on lead-miner’s kitchen and The Weardale Tapestry, a beautiful 16 foot free-style embroidery depicting Weardale’s history. The Museum houses a truly amazing genealogy resource which can print out family trees for those with Weardale ancestry. Visit also the historic and beautiful High House Chapel, the oldest Methodist Chapel to have held continuous weekly services since it was built in 1760, and one of John Wesley’s favourite chapels. Open 2-5pm, Wed-Sunday, May 1st - October 31st and every afternoon in August. Also Easter and bank holidays.
Location:
Ireshopeburn, Co. Durham, DL13 1HD.
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Weardale Railway

Steam train, Stanhope Station, Weardale Railway ©
The Weardale Railway runs from Stanhope to Bishop Auckland and stations in between. The railway runs a heritage timetable and has a number of special events through the year, including steam services. There is a ticket office, café and shop at Stanhope Station.
Location:
Stanhope
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Weardale Ski Club

Snowboarding at Weardale Ski Club © www.jamiecummingsphotography.com
With 2 Poma ski lifts serving 6 pisted runs and a large club hut, the Weardale Ski Club on Swinhope Fell above Westgate in Weardale is a great North Pennines venue for skiing and snowboarding. Day membership is available on week days.
Location:
Westgate
Area:
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Weardale Way - Cowshill to Westgate

Weardale Way marker © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This walk starts in high North Pennine village of Cowshill and travels down Weardale to Westgate following the course of the River Wear. Along the way you will pass the pretty villages of Wearhead, Ireshopeburn, St Johns Chapel and Daddry Shield. Some of the highlights of the walk include Coronation Bridge, built to commemorate the crowning of Queen Victoria, and the upland hay meadows at East Blackdene.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Cowshill.
Distance:
8 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Weardale Way - Eastgate to Stanhope

Stanhope Bridge © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
This is a short walk which is sandwiched between the Weardale Railway line and the River Wear. If you are not pressed for time the walk could be extended by doing a loop of Ashes Quarry which has commanding views of Stanhope. Also of interest is the fossilised remains of an ancient tree which can be found in front of St Thomas's Church in Stanhope. The tree was brought to Stanhope in 1962 from a quarry in Edmundbyers and it is believed to be 320 million years old.
Location:
Starting at crossroads in Eastgate.
Distance:
4 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:
Interests:

Weardale Way - Stanhope to White Kirkley

Footbridge over the Bollihope Burn © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
Beginning in Stanhope the walk takes you across several burns and through a number of disused limestone quarries to reach the small hamlet of White Kirkley which sits above Frosterley. Limestone has been quarried from the valley sides around Frosterley since the 12th century but it was in the 1800s that the village became an important centre for limestone quarrying. Limestone has many uses - as a road stone, agricultural lime, for flux in the iron and steel industry and for cement. A special type of limestone is found in Frosterley; this fossil-rich stone, known as Frosterley marble, can be polished to a high shine. The most famous use of Frosterley marble is in Durham Cathedral. Here, the ceiling of the Chapel of the Nine Altars is supported by slender columns of this unusual stone.
Location:
Starting from the lay-by, near Unthank Farm, in Stanhope.
Distance:
7 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities:

Weardale Way - Westgate to Eastgate via Rookhope

Wildflowers in Ashy Bank wood near Eastgate © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
The second section of the Weardale Way involves a fairly steep climb up Heights Pasture, above Westgate, before dropping down into the old mining village of Rookhope. The famed poet WH Auden once visited Rookhope as a child and he drew inspiration for many of his works from the North Pennine landscape. From Rookhope the trail heads back down into the Wear Valley following the Rookhope Burn all the way to small village of Eastgate. Eastgate marks the boundary of the former woodland where the Prince Bishops of Durham hunted deer.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Haswicks in Westgate.
Distance:
13 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Weardale Way - White Kirkley to Wolsingham

View over Harehope Quarry © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
From White Kirkley the walk takes you above Harehope Quarry, which is now run as a workers co-operative offering environmental education and rural skills training. The path then climbs up over Harvey Hill to the edge of the grouse moors where you may see Red Grouse among the heather. The trail then drops down towards Wolsingham passing through a patch of ancient woodland at Ashes Beck. Note there are no facilities or parking spaces at White Kirkley, these are available in either Frosterley or Wolsingham.
Location:
Starting from White Kirkley.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Wearhead: The River Wear starts here

Brown Hare © Brian Rafferty/www.brianraffertywildlifephotographer.blogspot.co.uk/
Wearhead sits at the confluence of Burnhope Burn and Killhope Burn, which combine to create the River Wear. The first people here were probably farmers who leased their land from the Prince Bishops of Durham and as the century's past more families moved into the area to mine the rich seams of lead ore, creating the modern village. This walk takes you around this pretty part of Weardale and it can be extended, if you wish, by doing a loop around Burnhope Reservoir.
Location:
Starting from Wearhead Bridge.
Distance:
1 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Wellhope Moor (Nent Valley): North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 9

Grey partridge © NPAP
This walk offers both stunning views across the Nent Valley and the opportunity to experience a mix of typical North Pennines upland habitats: hay meadow, pasture and allotment, heather moorland, blanket bog and upland stream. Passing a derelict mine and many old mine shafts, it also typifies the historic lead mining landscape of the area.
Location:
Starting from a small road side lay-by (NY769453).
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

White Mines-Rusty Wall

Eden Valley from Murton Scar © Ron Kenyon
This is a short steep limestone wall in a disused mine on the south side of Gasdale. Appleby’s finest, Leo Houlding and Robin Curley, teamed up in 2000 climbing the two routes here including the hardest route in the Eden Valley – Scrogbank Ravers (E7/8). The other route is graded E1.
Location:
Park at Murton and head to the valley of Gasdale where the crag is on the south flank. The crag is on Access Land.
Access:
Recreation opportunities:

Whitesyke and Bentyfield Mine

Whitsyke and Bentyfield mine © NPAP/Beck Baker
The remains of this 19th century lead mine complex lie on the Garrigill Burn in the South Tyne Valley above Alston. They once formed part of an extensive complex of more than 100 lead mines operating in the area during the 18th and 19th centuries. The remains include a mine shop, a dressing floor and several mine level entrances. You can view the remaining structures from a flagstone path which follows the line of an old tramway and there are interpretative panels in place which detail the processes that occurred here. Facilities are available off site in Garrigill.
Location:
On a hairpin bend on the B 6277 above Garrigill.
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections
Access:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Widdybank Fell Nature Trail: Moor House-Upper Teesdale NNR

Cow Green Reservoir © NPAP/Beck Baker
This walk takes you over Widdybank Fell, along the track to Cow Green dam and Cauldron Snout waterfall. The walk follows a tarmac track with 1 large kissing gate and 3 steep sections. Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs with strong pushers! However for the last 100m section, to view Cauldron Snout waterfall, the track is rocky and uneven. On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House–Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR). The reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of the reserve can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land.
Location:
Starting from the Cow Green Reservoir car park (NY811309)
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Recreation opportunities: