Playground


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 The routes are still valid but some of the information (e.g. refreshments and facilities) might be out of date.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:

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

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

Blanchland and Derwent Reservoir: Electric Bike Route 9

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

Blanchland Geotrail

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

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

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

Blanchland: North Pennine Birdwalks - Walk 5

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

Bradley Burn to Hamsterley Forest: Electric Bike Route 13

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

Brampton and Haltwhistle Cycle Tour

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

Canoes, Mountains and Caves

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

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:

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 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:

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

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

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:

Hamsterley Forest

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

Hamsterley Forest - Black Trail

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

Hamsterley Forest - Blue Trail

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

Hamsterley Forest - Doctors Gate

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

Hamsterley Forest - Eggleston Moors

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

Hamsterley Forest - Red Trail

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

Hamsterley Forest - Skills Loop

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

Hamsterley Half Century

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

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail - Horse

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

Hamsterley Packhorse Trail - Mountain Biking

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

Hamsterley Trail Guide

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

Isaacs Tea Trail

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

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

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

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:

Nenthead Mines

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

Newbiggin and the Carriers’ Way

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

Newlands Hall and the 'Miles of Stiles'

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

Newshield and West Allendale Cycle Route

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

Ninebanks & East Allen: Electric Bike Route 4

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

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:

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:

Pinpoint Adventure

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

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:

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

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

Stanhope: Cycle Route 1

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

Stanhope: Cycle Route 2

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

Stanhope: Cycle Route 3

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

Stanhope: Cycle Route 4

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

Stanhope: Exploring a legacy of lead

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

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:

Teesdale Railway Path

Walking the Teesdale Railway Path © NPAP/Shane Harris
This 10km route runs from Lonton west (near Middleton-in-Teesdale) to Cotherstone and provides an excellent way to discover Teesdale. The Tees Valley Railway was the remnant of a scheme for a line from Barnard Castle to Alston. It was opened in 1868 by an independent company and was taken over by the North East Railway in 1882. The line closed in 1964 and is now a fabulous way to explore Teesdale on foot, cycle or horseback. There are amazing views along the entire route, passing picturesque villages and a patchwork of fields, dry-stone walls and mature hedgerow.
Location:
The route runs between Lonton west (NY951245 / DL12 0PL - nearest) and Cotherstone (NZ011192 / DL12 9QU - nearest). The closest parking is in Middleton and Cotherstone, respectively.
Distance:
10 km
Terrain:
Off road sections
Area:
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:

Three Counties & Killhope Museum: Electric Bike Route 5

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

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 -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:

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:

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 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Wood n Wheels

Mountain Biking at Hamsterley Forest © K Gibson/NPAP
Wood n Wheels are the only licenced cycle hire centre in Hamsterley Forest. They offer a full range of cycles for all the family! Hamsterley is the biggest forest in the North East and County Durham and the premier bike destination in the region. With over 5000 acres of forest to explore and over 33 miles of way marked trails. Whether it's big downhill thrills in the purpose built centre, a fun filled ride on the skills training loop, or a quiet cycle with your kids, this forest has something for you to enjoy! All cycle trails start by the information point opposite the cycle hire centre and shop.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest, Redford, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL13 3NL / NZ091312
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