Stanhope ~ County Durham.

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.

County Durham.

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.

Stanhope Castle 🏰

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.

River Wear.
Canoes on the River Wear.
Canoes on the River Wear.
Stanhope Stepping Stones.
River Wear.

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. 😊

Durham Dales Centre.
The Bug Corner Wildflower Meadow.
Giant Grasshopper.

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!

War Memorial at St Thomas’s Church.
Fossil Tree.
Fossil Tree info plaque.

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!

Fruit & Veg on display.
The Bonny Moorhen Pub is named after an old folk ballad that tells the story of a revolution! Poorly paid local lead miners took to poaching the rich landowners grouse and moorhens. A bloody battle ensued between both sides outside this very inn. The skirmish was immortalised in a song.
I do spy tomatoes.
The Baker’s Loaf is home to the Weardale Tattie Cake. Unfortunately Sold Out on our visit.
Durham Dales Centre.

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.

Tea Room at the Durham Dales Centre.

Anyone have any recommendations for dog friendly places to visit in County Durham?


34 thoughts on “Stanhope ~ County Durham.”

  1. 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!

  2. 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 😀

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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