#1 of 1 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Durham

Best trails in North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Durham, England

182 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Durham? AllTrails has 14 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 10 moderate trails in North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ranging from 4.5 to 52 miles and from 528 to 1,748 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

North Pennines features a moorland scenery which is a product of centuries of farming and lead-mining in the area. The park's landscape is open heather moors between deep dales, upland rivers, hay meadows and stone-built villages, some of which contain the legacies of a mining and industrial past. The area is home to rare flora and fauna including wild alpine plants that can't be found anywhere else. The park is also home to Isaac's Tea Trail, a circular route of 37 miles (60 km) around the area, running from Ninebanks via Allendale, Nenthead and Alston. A large section of the Pennine Way is also located in North Pennines. It includes one of the most celebrated stretches through Teesdale, a lush valley with dramatic river scenery including the twin attractions of High Force and Cauldron Snout.

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Map of trails in North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Durham, England
Park information
Acreage:
494,080 acres
Contact
+ 44(0)1388 528801
Helpful links
Top trails (14)
#1 - Teesdale Three Waterfalls
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 25 m
A circular walk close to Middleton-in-Teesdale in County Durham, within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The walking route begins from the Bowless Visitor Centre and follows a route to visit three beautiful waterfalls. The first is Summerhill Force on Bow Lee Beck, whilst the second and third are both on the River Tees, Low Force and High Force. As if these stunning waterfalls are not enough, you will also enjoy a pretty riverside section of the Pennine Way with views across flower-rich moorlands, plant-rich wooded valley slopes and upland pastures along the way. The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout, including several steep flights of stone steps. The paths are a mixture of stone paths and tracks, rocky uneven paths (which can be slippery when wet) and grass field paths (which can get muddy). The outward leg to reach High Force includes gates, footbridges and steps and crosses just one sheep pasture (with no stiles and with all other pastures being fenced away from your path). The return leg crosses two stiles (one stone stile and one wooden stile with wire fence surround, so dogs would need a lift over) and also crosses several livestock pastures. These pastures hold mainly sheep with a handful of cattle in a couple of them – the cattle seems very relaxed with dogs, but if you prefer to avoid the stiles and cattle you can simply retrace your outward route for the return leg instead. The access path for High Force is a private path with an entrance fee (£1.50 for adults and 50p for children) and is open 10am-4pm with dogs on leads welcome, but you can exclude this part of the route if you prefer not to pay. Allow 2.5 hours. Show more
#2 - Lambley Viaduct and Featherstone Castle
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 2 h 19 m
A circular walk near to the village of Featherstone in Northumberland (close to the borders with County Durham and Cumbria) and on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The walking route begins by following the South Tyne Trail, a former railway that now provides a wonderfully scenic walking route, to reach the impressive Lambley Viaduct. The viaduct leads you high over the River South Tyne with outstanding views before you descend to the riverside for views of the viaduct itself. The return leg follows the riverbanks with plenty of wildlife to enjoy, and passing an old Prisoner of War camp and the beautiful Featherstone Castle. The walk is relatively flat for the old rail path and riverside sections, but there is a steep stepped section to descend from the viaduct and a steep climb from the riverside back to the starting point. For the outward leg you will be following the South Tyne Trail which is a well-made stone path, is enclosed away from pastures and has only simple gates as obstacles. Beyond the viaduct, you will need to negotiate several flights of steps, some uneven woodland and riverside paths, three stiles (which dogs would need a lift over) and you will be sharing the riverside pastures with both sheep and cattle. If you prefer to avoid the livestock and stiles, you can follow an easy-access walk along the South Tyne Trail to reach the viaduct (or to the footbridge beneath this if you can manage the steep steps), which would make a lovely walk in itself. One final note is that the viaduct carries you over the river at a height of 32 metres- the trail is wide and has waist-high walls/railings each side, but vertigo-sufferers may find this quite challenging. Allow 2.5 hours. Show more
#3 - High Force
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 1 h 54 m
#4 - Baldersdale Reservoirs and Moorland
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 2 h 50 m
A circular walk in the area of Baldersdale, just north of Barnard Castle in County Durham, within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The walk leads you on a journey to discover the gems of this beautiful valley, including the River Balder which flows through three large reservoirs here – Balderhead Reservoir, Blackton Reservoir and Hury Reservoir, as well as the flower-rich meadows and the wild terrain of Cotherstone Moor. The rich habitats are home to a wide variety of birds and the vistas are truly beautiful. The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout. It follows a mixture of tarmac access lanes, grass and stone tracks and paths through grass meadows and pastures (some of which can be uneven and muddy). You will need to negotiate several gates and a few footbridges. One wooden footbridge has wooden stiles at each end (but there is an alternative ford in the narrow stream which has stepping stones) and you will also need to negotiate a couple of stone stiles as you pass alongside cattle grids (these should be easy enough for most dogs). You will be sharing the paths with free-roaming sheep for almost the entire length of the walk and you will also cross at least two pastures that are likely to be holding cattle. There are no facilities on route but there are picnic benches in the parking area at the start. Allow 3 hours.Show more
#5 - Great Rundale Tarn, Maize Beck and High Cup Nick Circular Walk
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 10.6 mi • Est. 5 h 44 m
#6 - Rookhope and the Lead Mines
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 24 m
A circular walk from the village of Rookhope in County Durham. The walking route explores this beautiful area of Weardale in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) taking in a mixture of high moorland, rich flower meadows and grass pastures. There is plenty of wildlife to enjoy including ground-nesting birds such as snipe and lapwing. Along the way you will discover the local rocky stream, Rookhope Burn, as well as many stone remnants of the lead mining industry that dominated this area in the 1700s and 1800s. The walk has several climbs and descents including a couple of quite steep sections. The ground is generally rough moorland which can be muddy at times and is very challenging and uneven underfoot. You will also follow a few stone tracks and a quiet country lane. You will be sharing many of the pastures with both sheep and cattle. You will need to negotiate a couple of narrow footbridges, some gates, one kissing gate plus 12 stiles. The stiles are a mixture of stone stiles (within stone walls), fence stiles and one low ladder stile (see Gallery image) – at least 6 of the stiles have enclosed fence surrounds so dogs would need a lift over them. In terms of facilities, the village of Rookhope (which you pass through towards the end) has a post office, pub and public toilets. Allow 2.5 hours.Show more
#7 - Murton Pike and Dufton Pike
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 10.9 mi • Est. 5 h 57 m
#8 - Allenheads and Byerhope Bank Walk
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 49 m
A circular walk from the former lead mining community of Allenheads in Northumberland. The route explores the remaining traces of the mining industry and then climbs onto Byerhope Bank, striking out through the high moor. You will be sharing the moor with sheep as well as many ground nesting birds which the moor is specifically managed to protect. The return leg follows the course of the River East Allen, a pretty river through the valley bottom which flows over several rocky and stepped weirs. The route has several fairly steep climbs and descents and follows a mixture of quiet lanes, stone tracks and grass paths through the moor and alongside the river. The open moor is very exposed so ensure you have appropriate clothing with you. The riverside can be muddy and can also get a little overgrown in one section so long trousers and good boots are a must. Take care of any traffic along the quiet lanes. There are two stiles near the start of the walk, although these can be avoided by taking a small detour along a quiet lane. The other obstacles are a number of single gates plus two footbridges (which have a couple of steps up to them). You will be sharing most of the route with sheep so take care with dogs. The section of high moor is managed to protect ground nesting birds so dogs must be kept on a short, fixed lead along the public footpath on this outward stretch. There are public toilets within the Heritage Centre at the start of the walk and a cafe, The Hemmel Cafe, behind the centre. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours. Show more
#9 - Tees Railway Walk and Teesdale Way Loop
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 9.9 mi • Est. 4 h 35 m
#10 - Monk's Trod
North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 4 h 8 m
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