Public transport


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 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 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, 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:

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:

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:

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

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: 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:

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:

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:

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:

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 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: 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:

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:

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:

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:

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 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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: 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:

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:

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 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:

Tow Law, Thornley & Harperley

Inquisitive cattle © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
The walk starts from the track through Barracks Farm (probably the oldest building in Tow Law), following tracks, over fields and pasture and crossing stiles and gates along the way. The route descends gradually from 1000ft above sea level at Tow Law to 400ft at Low Harperley where it links up with the Weardale Way.
Location:
Starting from Barracks Farm in Tow Law.
Distance:
5 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
Area:
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 -Corbridge to Hexham

This 9km walk between the stations of Corbridge and Hexham is along riverside and woodland paths and tracks, with some road walking mainly in Hexham. The walk crosses the railway line and is not boarded. Please take care! Note Corbridge town centre is over the bridge across the River Tyne.
Location:
Starting from Corbridge train station.
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Off road sections, On road sections
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:

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:

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:

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 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:

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:

Windmore end

Michael on Samoon at Windmore crag © Ron Kenyon
A long escarpment of quarried limestone, just about the road from Brough to Middleton-in-Teesdale. Routes from boulder problems up to 13 metres with a huge spread of climbing. Unfortunately there is no access to the left hand section, which is owned by Stainmore Parish Council. There is access to the central and righthand sections, for which climbers are very grateful. Local climber Peter Day climbed here in the 1960’s and together with other developments an initial guidebook was produced by Kelvin Neal in 1976, detailing 50 – 60 routes. Over the years all its sections have been developed. There are a total of 125 accessible routes with trad and bouldering grades in the ranges of Diff to E5 and V0 to V3 respectively.
Location:
Park at a layby towards the righthand end of the crag and approach through a gate further right again – do not climb over any walls!
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Wisely, Crowsfield and Black Banks

Wisely, Crowsfield and Black Banks ©
There truly is something for everyone on this circular walk, perfectly summing up why Wolsingham is such a wonderful place to roam. The early climb uphill towards High Wisely Farm is quickly rewarded with a beautifulview back towards the village. The traverse to Crowsfield paints a picture of the disappearing past of the area, followed by a breathtaking view at the trig point on Knitsley Fell. The journey home takes us through the woodlandof the Black Banks Plantation and along thebans of the River Wear.
Location:
Circular walk from Wolsingham. Starts from Demesne Mill Picnic Area (nearest postcode DL13 3DB).
Distance:
9 km
Terrain:
Boggy ground, Off road sections, On road sections, Steep sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Wolsingham Family Walk

Wolsingham Family Walk ©
This 1.5-mile circular walk has been devised by the Wolsingham Wayfarers, to provide a route around Wolsingham that can be enjoyed by all. The walk is entirely on surfaced footpath, upgraded to be accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Location:
Starts from the recreation ground (off the A689 Stanhope road)
Distance:
2 km
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities:

Wolsingham Memorial Walk

 ©
A circular walk between the Wolsingham and Thornley War Memorials. The Wolsingham Wayfarers first traversed the route between the Wolsingham and Thornley war memorials in May 1995 on the 50th anniversary of World War II. Wolsingham is also home to the first memorial to the First World War. In March 1918 Wolsingham Grammar School planted eighteen oak trees lining the playing field, one for each student killed in the First World War. The route showcases the best of everything Weardale has to offer. Enchanting riverside woodland, large expanses of farmland, picturesque cottages and stunning views across the valley.
Location:
The walk starts from the war memorial in Wolsingham Market Place. Parking is available in the Demesne Mill Picnic Area (nearest postcode DL13 3DB)
Distance:
11 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
Facilities nearby
Recreation opportunities: