The local village of Frosterley 2 miles away has a small art gallery, fish and chip shop and a Co-op. The villages of Stanhope and Wolsingham are about 5 miles away, and have a few more shops including butchers, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
PLACES TO VISIT
All post codes and distances are approximate. Opening hours and accessibility of some attractions are affected by current Covid regulations
There some very useful sites to help you find the natural beauty of this area: https://www.northpennines.org.uk/visit-explore/ - containing information on the buildings, geology, hay meadows, industrial heritage, reservoirs, wildlife etc of the North Pennine area.
There are also some useful leaflets in this booklet to guide you to mining heritage sites, where and when to see wildlife and stargazing.
There is a lovely walk down the river from the cottage – go down to the road, over the bridge and follow the river (walk with the river on your left). You’ll pass lead mine heaps with pools and some lime kilns. Follow the path above the kilns to the right to Wager Burn – a lovely waterfall.
At the bridge you can return along the opposite bank – look out for primroses, wild garlic and bluebells in season. If you carry on over the bridge for a little way, you’ll reach the Forgotten Quarry or stay on the same side of the river to reach a cave. You can return the same way or from Forgotten Quarry you can continue to Low Bishopley and either return up the road or up to Hill End then over the moor tops (steep hill).
Weardale is an official Dark Skies Area and there are a number of sites where you can park and see unpolluted night skies (sadly, for health and safety reasons Durham Council insist we have streetlights!).
There are also social media channels: Facebook for events; North Pennines AONB Partnership
Stellarium https://stellarium.org/en/ - open source planetarium programme and mobile app
www.heavens-above.com - satellite prediction and other astronomical data customised for your location.
Mobile apps: Sky Safari; Google Skymap; Meteor Shower Calendar; ISS Detector; ISS Spotter, Aurora Alert
FROSTERLEY 2 miles / 5 minutes
The nearest village to the cottage, small Co-op with post office, The Frosterley Inn, fish and chip shop, art gallery, railway station. See the examples of Frosterley marble in the small car park by the village hall and on the station platform!
STANHOPE 5 miles / 12 minutes
St Thomas’ Church with a stone fossil tree in the churchyard
Durham Dales Centre – parking, local craft shops, tea room, gift shop
Co-op, fish and chip shop, butcher, baker, cafés, Indian takeaway, pubs (Bonny Moorhen, Grey Bull and The Packhorse Inn). Health Centre and chemist. Vets. Cash machine, Barclays bank.
Heritage railway (seasonal) Open air swimming pool (seasonal)
Waskerley Reservoir – turn up by the Grey Bull pub on the outskirts of Stanhope. The road (Crawleyside Bank) is very steep and takes you up onto the moor. There’s a parking space just past the cattle grid on the moor which is a good spot to start a walk – up to Collier Law or over to Crawley Edge and Ashes Quarry.
Carry on the road, and you will reach Waskerley Way cycle trail, Park Head station tearoom and parking for the trail, or carry on (don’t turn off towards Blanchland) then turn right towards Castleside/Consett. On the right there’s a car park signed – you can park there or go further down to the reservoir itself.
WOLSINGHAM 6 miles / 13 minutes
Cafés, pubs (Bay Horse, Black Bull and Black Lion), butchers, chemist, bakery and cafe, Italian restaurant, Chinese takeaway, library (Monday, Friday and Saturday morning), sports hall, swimming pool and gym (Leazes Lane). There is a Spar shop and petrol station on the way out of the village.
There’s a lovely, small reservoir to walk around at Tunstall – signed just as you enter Wolsingham from Frosterley. Toilets, parking, with a nature reserve at the far end to view birdlife.
Wolsingham Wayfarers are an active walking group and have produced a number of walks leaflets, which are in this folder. Most start from Wolsingham, ;which is a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ village.
WESTGATE and ST JOHN’S CHAPEL Typical Weardale villages.
A walk through Slitt Woods, then to the mine workings and over the moors (about 4 miles) starts from the layby in Westgate opposite the caravan park. Details in the folder. In late October/early November you may see sea trout leaping as they try to return to their spawning grounds – look for them when you first reach the river, just past Weeds and before you cross the footbridge.
WEARDALE MUSEUM AND HIGH HOUSE CHAPEL, Irehopeburn DL13 1HD 13 miles / 25 minutes (seasonal opening 1.30-4.30pm Wed-Sun, May-October, plus Easter holidays, run by volunteers) Admission charge, parking behind the chapel. https://weardalemuseum.org.uk The oldest purpose built Methodist Chapel.
WEARDALE ADVENTURE CENTRE, Front Street, Ireshopeburn DL13 1HB 13 miles/ 25 minutes
Activities for ages 8+ canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking, gorge walking, underground exploration
www.weardaleadventurecentre.co.uk 01388 537387
CROOK offers a range of shops, including Lidl, Aldi, pizza, Chinese and Indian takeaways. Also the Coppermine pub is just out of the village and offers a lovely range of food.
NENTHEAD LEADMINE CA9 3NR 20 miles / 40 minutes
(Limited opening, private tours organised in advance). https://www.nentheadmines.com/
Lowson Robinson, an ex coal miner, has constructed miniature famous and local landmarks in stone for visitors to view in his garden in the village. He doesn’t charge, but asks either that you buy something from the local shop or if you want to donate, he will accept donations for the Air Ambulance.
KILLHOPE NORTH OF ENGLAND LEADMINING MUSEUM Cowshill DL13 1AR 18 miles / 35 minutes
Museum and mine tours, café. Admission charge. https://killhope.org.uk/