Whether you’re a walker or cyclists, the North of England offers a glorious experience for the adventurous type. Escaping to the North Pennines is ideal for anyone looking to remove themselves from civilisation and focus on their wellbeing. The North Pennines had gained its title, Area of Outstanding Beauty in 1988 as it Is one of the greatest landscapes in the UK. So, it’s recommended that you visit if you haven’t already been.

Why Is the Pennines worth visiting?
There will be a never be a dull moment in the Pennines. Whether you’re a hiker or cyclist this site provides picturesque views and will encourage you to push yourself in order to find the most breath-taking spots that can prove to be challenging as the entire area is magnificent.

The North Pennines can offer challenges at times, but that is one of the main reasons why so many people go and keep returning, to achieve their goals. Nothing but heather moors, dales, upland rivers, peatlands, meadows and woodland areas meet you on your journey, so there is plenty to explore when you get there.

Together with specialists of mountain bikes, Leisure Lakes Bikes, we’re going to plan your journey. So, grab your gear and make your way to this stunning part of the country and create some memories…

Where do you start?
Wear and Rockhope Valleys, is one of the great routes through the Pennines. As it has offers a bit of everything to explore. You could explore the Burnhope Reservoir to Lintzgarth Arch. This stunning site, will encourage you to pushing yourself through the trail.

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You can start off, at the Durham Dale Centre in Stanhope, so if you’re planning on staying for the night it may be best for you to book a hotel close so you can rest after the long ride. You’ll find a gift shop, craft shop and tea room, which provides you the opportunity to fuel up on warm beverages before you set off on your adventure.

Begin your Journey
Once you’ve grabbed your bike and read to head off, come out of the centre and make your way along the A689 towards Stanhope Town Hall. Try to resist the urge to the visit the Stanhope Fish and Chip shop as you’ll need to stay focused.

Stay on this road and eventually, you’ll come across a bridge that you will need to cross. Continue in the direction you’re currently in, before taking your third right, which you’ll then need to follow the road upwards. You will come across Greenfoot Hotel and Greenhead Farm before reaching Rockhope. Once you’re in Rockhope you have the option to take a break in The Rockhope Inn, it’s a recommended place to stop by as it has an outdoor seating area so you can grab some refreshments.

You’ll pass Saint John’s church which after that you will reach the town centre. From there you’ll need to take the second left, following the main road channeling the Rockhope Burn River, where you’ll come to Allenheads. The Allenheads Inn is a recommended stop off point as it’s a popular destination for cyclists and hikers alike.

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Once you come into Allenheads, take a right and stay on the B6295 road and you will find yourself in Cowshill. If you are planning to stay in Cowshill, there is only one place where you can, and that is the Cowshill Hotel. The hotel welcomes cyclists to stop by for a well-deserved rest. Pass the hotel and you’ll need to follow the road downwards where you will come to the A689 road, and you will need to remain on this road until you come to Ireshopeburn.

Once you’re at Ireshopeburn, you will then pass Saint John’s and Daddry Shield. Stay on Pleasant Road and avoid diverting onto any other routes. You will stumble across of high number of pubs and cafés, including including Chatterbox Café, The Golden Lion and The Blue Bell Inn. You will eventually reach Brotherlee, you will need to remain on the road that you’re currently on and then you’ll eventually pass Horsley Hall, which is a country hotel. Remain following the road and you will reach a bridge crossing the River Wear. Turn right onto the B6S78 here and you will be back in Stanhope.

You will come to the end of your journey if you take a right and head back towards The Durham Dale Centre, which you can then relax.

How long does it take to complete the route?
The distance of the route is 24.36 miles, If you’re cycling at 10mph then you should complete the route in 2 hours 26 minutes. If you cycle at 13 mph, this would complete the route in 1 hour, 52 minutes, quicker at 19mpg, will take 1 hour and 15 minutes and 22 mph would complete the route in 1 hour and 6 minutes.

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The challenges that you may face
Hill that exist on the route can prove to be a test for some cyclists and depending on the weather conditions, they can be even more difficult to overcome. We’ve listed a number of challenges in advance to give you an idea on what you’ll be facing.

  • The Brandon Walls and Hill Top will take 2 miles to complete and has a height of 1570ft
  • Rookhope head will take 0.75 miles to complete and has a height of 1745ft.
  • Burtree Fell will take 1.8 miles to complete and has a height of 1836ft