A hop, skip and a jump over the North Pennines AONB , County Durham is an area we haven’t really explored much, despite it being fairly close to our Caravan base in Cumbria. Recently we decided to head over the fells into the Durham Dales.
The first small town we came to was Stanhope in Weardale. Nestled alongside the River Wear , this attractive market town has riverside walks, a castle and a selection of small local independent shops that are both attractive and useful.
I thought the Castle may be one that we could visit, but I think that is only possible if your stopping there. It comprises of several luxury holiday apartments, for those keen to stay in an almost royal residence. Apparently in the 13th Century Edward lll tried unsuccessfully to defeat the Scottish in Stanhope.
Instead we headed to the Riverside where you can walk along both sides of the Wear and cross over via a bridge or some submerged ( on this occasion ) stepping stones. Hugo had a paddle in the water , though he seems to be hiding in my photos.
We had parked at The Durham Dales Centre in the town, which is a useful tourist information spot with gift shops and a tea room. It has a nice little outdoor area too, with a giant Grasshopper in residence. 😊
Nextdoor to the Durham Dales Centre is St Thomas’s Church , where there stands a relic of the North Pennines more tropical past. A fossilized Tree trunk discovered in a nearby quarry is over 300 million years old!
It was nice to wander along the main street in Stanhope, where you can really shop like a local. The only thing we bought though was a new shovel from the ironmongers!
Back at The Durham Dales Centre I bought a walking guide for future visits and we settled in the cafe for a coffee, or in my case A Hot Chocolate.
Anyone have any recommendations for dog friendly places to visit in County Durham?
34 thoughts on “Stanhope ~ County Durham.”
What a fabulous looking place! Love the story about the tree.
It’s amazing that the tree is that old. X
It looks like a lovely place with a lot of interest. I like the grasshopper and the tree info plaque 🙂
It was a nice find. A Durham Dales Discovery. 🙂
I don’t know the area either but I’m intrigued by Durham Dales. Looking forward to more of your discoveries.
Thanks. I had only heard of the Yorkshire Dales before, I didn’t know there were Durham Dales!
I deal with insects with aplomb, including big locusts (common in Africa) but this said, the big metal grasshopper sculpture … no, not for me, Gave me the willies!
I applaud your ability to deal with real live big insects. Much more scary I think!
County Durham is somewhere I’ve never been. We’ve kind of done the Yorkshire coast, dales and moors and then skipped everything and explored Northumberland. It looks lovely and so many interesting bits to see on your walk. Hopefully we will get up that way at some point ourselves 😀
I think it might be one of our lesser known counties. A hidden gem. 🙂
I was brought up in that area, there were no Durham ‘Dales’ way back then.
That fossil tree – wow.
Durham Dales has a certain ring to it.
The fossil tree is pretty amazing.
Thoroughly enjoyable post in an area I don’t know. I love little market towns..and tomatoes..well done.
Thanks Cathy. 🙂
That looks like a lovely area to visit. I’m curious about the shovel 🙂 X
Haha, just for cleaning up leaves at the caravan…….honest!
I spent part of my youth in Co Durham – I don’t remember Durham Dales as a generic term either (see bowlandclimber). Clearly Weardale and Teesdale existed but I suspect this is a modern marketing ploy! We have a whole grove of fossil trees in Glasgow, they are amazing.
Oh wow I didn’t know about the Glasgow Fossil trees. Durham Dales sounds good to me. 🙂
In Victoria Park, should you ever be this way!
Lovely Sharon & I’m always grateful for you showing some beautiful places that you go, but can’t always comment if I catch up on my tablet for some reason, but can on this old laptop. Thanks for sharing, take care & hugs.
That hot chocolate… What a perfect drink to end such a lovely day with 🙂
Always love a hot chocolate. ❤️
Looks like a great place to spend a day out. Unfortunately it is not a county I have explored yet.
It’s worth a look 😊
Looks amazing! 😍
How come they’ve got tomatoes?! Lovely little trip, and nice weather too.
Think it’s more of a supermarket problem actually. My local market too, seems to have plenty.
What a wonderful post! Thank you so much, I really enjoyed reading about Stanhope, what a lovely place. The fossil tree is amazing.
This seems like a great adventure, and I love the grasshopper! Also, that is so cool that there is a fossil tree there.
I know, never seen one before. X
Nice memories for me, Sharon. I remember a reservoir walk somewhere near there.
Oh, I will have to find it. ☺️
It’s Tunstall reservoir I was thinking of, Sharon. I looked it up in an old post on Restlessjo. I expect you’ve been there?
I haven’t, thanks I will look it up. ☺️