“This is one of England’s most special places – a stunning landscape of open heather moors and peatlands, attractive dales and hay meadows, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, welcoming communities, intriguing imprints of a mining and industrial past, distinctive birds, animals and plants and much, much more. In recognition of its special qualities the area has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The North Pennines is also a European and Global Geopark – highlighting its globally important Earth heritage”
Find out more at www.northpennines.org.uk
Weardale is probably one of the most un-spoilt and beautiful areas of England, surrounded by endless miles of heather moorland, crossed by tree lined valleys and rivers and dotted with ancient country villages.
Stanhope, situated in the heart of Weardale, is a small, but thriving market town with pubs, shops, cafés and bakeries. The village is nestled in England’s second largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with an 18th Century Castle at it’s centre. You’ll also find the Durham Dales centre and a fossilised tree in the church yard that’s 250 million years old. As well as finding everything you’ll need in the village, the walking and cycling in the area are superb. Hamsterley Forest (just a few minutes away has some of the best mountain biking in the country whilst the C2C route passes the village itself.
Within half an hour you’ll find High Force, England’s highest waterfall, Slaley Hall’s world class golf courses as well as some of the most beautiful scenery that the English countryside has to offer. The award winning Killhope mine is also a fascinating place to spend the day, whilst dinner at the Black Bull at Frosterley (3 miles) is to die for!
Durham is a great place to visit, especially the spectacular, 1,000 year old Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage site. People travel from all over the world to visit the final resting place of St Cuthbert and enjoy the narrow cobbled streets of this ancient stronghold that is steeped in a history dating back to the very forming of Britain as a nation. Harry Potter fans will also find the cathedral familiar and recognise the influence behind the architecture of Hogwarts as well as spotting many settings from the movies.
Just 20 minutes away is Raby Castle, dating back to the 11th Century this is one of England’s finest examples of a Medieval Castle with herds of Red and Fallow deer roaming the surrounding 200 acre park land.
Weardale, Teesdale and Allendale are beautiful places to explore. Surrounded by grouse moorland. Most of the areas are open access land so (subject to certain restrictions) you are free to roam England’s’ last wilderness.
If the sight seeing, bird watching, cycling, and walking is not enough, we can direct you to some fantastic, adrenalin fuelled, outdoor adventures such as gorge walking, white water tubing abseiling and kayaking.
Just a moments walk from the back of Fairfield House you’ll find Ashes Quarry. Here, for 70 years, hundreds of men toiled by hand using only primitive tools to dig the great limestone out of the Weardale fells. When they finally downed tools over 60 years ago they left a mile long hole in the ground, which has now been reclaimed by nature.
There is now a 2 mile circular walk around the quarry which takes in some fabulous views over Stanhope and Weardale, as well as a small lake in the quarry itself. However, please take care when exploring and ensure that children are always supervised as there are steep cliffs and crumbling rock faces.
Hamsterley Forest is just a few minutes drive (or ride) from Fairfield House. This stunning 2000 hectares of Forestry Commission woodland is crossed with trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. There is a visitors’ centre, café and fabulous play area as well as cycle hire. Hamsterley Forest is the top mountain biking destination in the North of England, and is a particularly spectacular place to see Autumn colour.
For more images of the surrounding area go to our gallery page, or if you would like more information just drop us an email, we’ll be delighted to help. You can see more pictures of the surrounding area on our gallery page