The delights of Weardale

LOOKING for an idyllic spot to enjoy a variety of attractions?

LOOKING for an idyllic spot to enjoy a variety of attractions? Then look no further. Glorious Weardale at the heart of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is only a short car journey from the A1(M) and M6.

Once in Weardale, the visitor will find a variety of attractions and places of interest right on the doorstep. Weardale is an excellent base from which to explore the North Pennines and North of England, is within easy reach of Hadrian’s Wall, the Scottish Borders, the Lake District and North Yorkshire as well as the magnificent City of Durham with its beautiful 1,000-year-old cathedral. Newcastle, Sunderland, Bishop Auckland and historic Barnard Castle in Teesdale are also nearby.

Weardale, once the hunting ground of Durham’s Prince Bishops, has breathtaking scenery, a wealth of history and heritage, and a wide range of things to do, with wide open moorlands through which the River Wear runs, picturesque villages, historic sites and unique attractions such as:

Killhope Lead Mining Centre

A fully restored, 19th Century lead mine, with an impressive 10-metre diameter water wheel which visitors can explore.

Winner of Family Friendly Museum of the Year. Very much a hands-on place, visitors learn about the past, on-site activities, dressing up in Victorian style clothes and clogs and searching for lead ore. Workshops and activities throughout the year with guided tours available. Visitor shop and cafe on site with ample parking and pleasant woodland walks.

The Weardale Museum and High House Chapel, Ireshopeburn

Like Dr Who’s Tardis, there is much more inside the museum than can be imagined. Displays include a Weardale period cottage room c1880; John Wesley and the Methodists in the North Pennines; Victorian Childhood; Weardale Geology and Lead Mining and much more. The museum also offers an extraordinary family history resource.

Weardale Railway

The railway is an extension of the world famous Stockton to Darlington line, following the River Wear into the North Pennines.

Subject to availability, visitors will be steam-hauled at a leisurely pace in 1950s coaches along the River Wear, between Wolsingham and Stanhope and gaining plenty of time to relax and enjoy the magnificent Weardale landscape.

Harperley Prisoner of War Camp

A Second World War prisoner of war camp developed as a tourist attraction, including 1940s-style restaurant, farm shop, gift shop, garden centre and children’s area. Guided tours available with special events throughout the season.

The area has numerous picturesque and welcoming villages, with all the facilities you would expect including tea rooms, public conveniences, cafes, quaint pubs and specialist shops selling crafts and local produce.

Few places can rival Weardale, and all that it has to offer for walkers, cyclists and visitors alike.

Weardale has plenty to offer with attractions and accommodation to suit everyone’s pocket. Choose from well-run cosy bed-and-breakfasts, self catering chalets and holiday homes through to hotels. Come along and see for yourself all that Weardale has to after and you won’t be disappointed. You’ll want to return again.

To find out more about the Durham Dales, contact (01388) 527-650 www.durhamdales.co.uk

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