North Pennines Walks
Explore this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the northernmost section of the Pennine range of hills There's open heather moors, deep dales, upland rivers, hay meadows and pretty stone-built villages to explore on a number of walking trails.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the North Pennines Walk Map
|Allen Banks and Staward Gorge||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk along the River Allen and through a beautiful wooded gorge on this easy walk in the North Pennines AONB. The area is managed by the National Trust so the paths are well maintained and waymarked.|
The walk starts at the National Trust car park and heads south along the western side of the river to Plankey Mill. You'll pass Raven Crag and a pretty waterfall on the way. At Plankey Mill you cross to the other side the river and return on the eastern side, passing Morralee Woods as you go.
The area is a nature reserve so there is an abundance of wildlife on the walk. Look out for dipper, grey wagtail, kingfisher, heron, roe deer and otter.
The area is located near Bardon Mill, Hexham. Bardon Mill train station is just over a mile from start point for the walk. You can easily follow the River South Tyne from the station to Allen Banks.
|Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout||10 miles (16 km)||This walk takes you along the beautiful Cow Green Reservoir to the spectacular Cauldron Snout waterfall in the North Pennines AONB.|
You start off at the car park at Cow Green Reservoir and head 2 miles south to the waterfall, passing the impressive Cow Green Dam on the way. Cauldron Snout is a very powerful waterfall on three levels. At 200 yards (180 m) long, it is reckoned to be the longest waterfall in England. At the waterfall you have the option of heading back to the car park or continuing along the Pennine Way and the River Tees towards Langdon Beck. The path runs right along the river to Sayer's Hill and Harwood Beck with plenty of wild moorland scenery to enjoy.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area you could head to the nearby , Cross Fell for spectacular views over the Lake District and Solway Firth. If you continue east along the Pennine Way you will soon come to High Force Waterfall. It's one of the biggest waterfalls in England and a spectacular sight with the water dropping 70 feet (21m) into a plunge pool below.
|Great Dun Fell||11 miles (18 km)||This walk takes you to the second-highest hill in the Pennines, and makes use of Britain's highest road.|
You start in the village of Dufton and follow the Pennine Way along Hurning Lane to Cosca Hill where you cross Great Rundale Beck. You continue the ascent, crossing Swindale Beck and passing a series of Cairns before arriving at Green Fell. Here you turn left and head to the summit of Great Dun Fell where you will find a a large radar station at the 848 m (2,782 ft) high point. There are also wonderful views across the Eden Valley, Cross Fell and North Pennines AONB.
From the summit you descend on Britain's highest road which takes you all the way to Knock Village, passing Green Castle and Knock Pike on the way. The final section follows a country lane from Knock to the finish point at Dufton.
The complete route below is designed for walkers but Great Dun is a very popular climb for cyclists as you can make use of the tarmac road that runs from Knock to the summit (it is essentially the descent section of this route). It is considered by many cyclists to be the greatest climb in Britain. Click here for the gpx file which just includes the tarmac road climb for cyclists. Also see the video below to see what you can expect!
If you're looking to continue your walking in the area then you could climb Cross Fell - the highest hill in the country, outside of the Lake District. Also nearby is the lovely Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout waterfall. You can also visit High Cup Nick waterfall set in a spectacular glacial valley.
|High Cup Nick||9 miles (14 km)||This spectacular glacial valley is one of the major highlights in the North Pennines AONB. The walk begins at the village of Dufton in the Eden Valley and begins by following the Pennine Way to Dod Hill and Peeping Hill. You continue your ascent to High Cup Nick where there is a waterfall and great views of the u-shaped glacial valley, the Eden Valley, Dufton Pike and Murton Pike. |
The walk then descends through High Cup Gill where you will pass boulder fields on your way to High Cup Gill Beck. You continue along the beck through Middletongue Crag to Harbour Flatt where you join a country lane, taking you back to Dufton.
This is a special place with some spectacular geological wonders to enjoy. It is quite a steep and challenging climb but the footpaths are generally good for most of the walk.
An alternative route starts from Cow Green Reservoir, approaching High Cup from the east and following the Pennine Way to the summit.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Cow Green Reservoir and visit the wonderful Caulrdon Snout waterfall. You could also head to Cross Fell for more wonderful views of the area.
|High Force Waterfall||7 miles (11 km)||Visit the spectacular Low Force and High Force waterfalls on this waterside walk in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.|
The walk starts from the Bowlees Visitor Centre, where parking is available. A short walk from here takes you to the River Tees and the 18 foot (5.5m) Low Force Waterfall. Here you cross a bridge over the river and pick up the Pennine Way, following it west through riverside woodland to High Force Waterfall. It's one of the biggest waterfalls in England and a spectacular sight with the water dropping 70 feet (21m) into a plunge pool below. From here you can return to the start point the same way or follow other bridleways and footpaths through the countryside.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could continue west along the Pennine Way to Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout waterfall.
|Isaac's Tea Trail||36 miles (58 km)||Follow in the footsteps of the legendary tea seller Isaac Holden on this challenging circular walk through the North Pennines.|
The walk starts at Allendale Town, and heads south along the River East Allen and through West Allen Dale to Nenthead, where you will find the Nenthead Mining Centre. Another lovely waterside section along the River Nent then takes you to Alston, before turning north towards Kirkhaugh. One option is to take the fantastic South Tynedale Railway from Alston to Kirkhaugh (video below). The route then heads along the River South Tyne and then up to Ouston Fell before joining the River West Allen for another riverside section. The final leg follows the River East Allen back into Allendale town.
The walk is waymarked with a green disc featuring a portrait of Isaac Holden.
Around Alston the trail links with the South Tyne Trail. The riverside cycling and walking trail takes you from Tyne Head to Haltwhistle with more great views of the North Pennines. You can also pick up the Pennine Way in the same area.
|Lambley Viaduct||2 miles (2.5 km)||Visit this hugely impressive structure on this short walk in Northumberland. The landmark was built in 1852 and consists of 9 arches standing at a height of 35 metres (110 feet) above the South Tyne River.|
The walk starts from the car park at Coanwood about a mile from the viaduct. You can then follow a section of the South Tyne Trail to the viaduct. If you prefer you could visit the area from nearby Haltwhistle by following the trail from there. It is suitable for both cyclists and walkers.
It's a beautiful area with the river flanked by attractive woodland. There are also lovely views of the surrounding North Pennines countryside.
Please note that although it's a short walk there are some steep steps and moderate climbs.
It's easy to extend your walk if you have time. You can continue along the South Tyne Trail south towards Slaggyford. The Pennine Way also runs just to the west of the viaduct. Pick this up and you can explore Lambley Common.
|Nine Standards Rigg||9 miles (14 km)||Enjoy wonderful views over the Eden Valley on this climb to the summit of Hartley Fell in the North Pennines AONB. The walk starts from Kirkby Stephen and climbs to the 662 m (2,172 ft) summit on a mixture of country lanes and footpaths. You will pass a series of cairns about 10ft tall known as the Nine Standards. At the summit there is a trig point that marks the watershed divide across England. From here, rivers flow west toward the Irish Sea and east toward the North Sea. There are also wonderful views of Cross Fell, Great Dun Fell and the Howgills.|
The walk is on Wainwright's Coast to Coast walking route so you could pick this up to continue your walking in the area.
|Pennine Way||268 miles (431 km)||This fabulous 268 mile path takes you through three of England's finest national parks. You start near Edale in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District and head north towards the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The final section takes you over Hadrian's Wall in the stunning Northumberland National Park before crossing the England-Scotland border and finishing in the village of Kirk Yetholm in Scotland.|
Though the path is often challenging you're rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views in the country. Highlights on the path include the beautiful Malham Cove, Malham Tarn Estate and the stunning Kisdon Force waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. You'll also enjoy a waterside section along the River Tees in Teesdale which leads to Low Force Watefall and High Force Waterfall.
The path also passes through Bronte country in West Yorkshire where you can visit the Bronte Waterfall and Top Withens.
|South Tyne Trail||23 miles (37 km)||Travel through the fabulous North Pennines AONB and enjoy some spectaular scenery on this shared walking and cycle path.
The trail starts off at Tyne Head - the source of the River South Tyne. You then head north to Garrigill along the river passing the impressive Ashgill Force waterfall as you go (see video). The trail continues to Alston where you will run alongside the fabulous South Tynedale Steam Railway (see video).
From Alston you head through Slaggyford and Lambley where you will pass the striking structure that is Lambley Viaduct. The final section takes you through Coanwood to the finish point at Haltwhistle rail station.
This is a terrific riverside trail with moors, fells and beautiful countryside to take in.
The route links with Isaac's Tea Trail and the Pennine Way around Alston.
|Talkin Tarn Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||Explore this 165 acre coumtry park in Brampton, and enjoy the large glacial tarn, mature woodland and gentle meadows with the stunning Pennine Hills as a backdrop. The park includes a well maintained path around the tarn and three other way-marked trails taking you through the surrounding woodland and fields. Facilities include a tearoom, gift shop and row boats available for hire on the tarn.|
|Teesdale Way||92 miles (148 km)||Follow the River Tees from Dufton, in Cumbria, to Redcar on the North Yorkshire coast. |
The first section takes you through the Pennine Hills, from Dufton to Forest-in-Teesdale. There is some spectacular scenery as you pass through Dufton Fell and then past Cow Green Reservoir before joining the River Tees near the village of Forest-in-Teesdale. This section is coincident with the Pennine Way National Trail and includes several beautiful waterfalls as shown in the video below.
From Forest-in-Teesdale you continue along the river passing Newbiggin, Middleton-in-Teesdale and Egglesdon Hall on your way to Barnard Castle. Here you will find two fascinating historical buildings in the 12th century Barnard castle and the ruined abbey at nearby Egglestone.
The next section runs from Barnard Castle to Darlington. This section very closely follows the banks of the River Tees, passing Whorlton and the Roman Fort at Piercebridge on the way.
From Darlington you continue east towards Stockton-on-Tees. This section takes you past Teesside Airport and the pretty town of Yarm.
The final section takes you through the industrial landscape of Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough, passing the impressive Infinity Bridge, Middlesbrough Docks and the Riverside Stadium before finishing on the outskirts of Redcar.
|Tunstall Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||Follow the footpath around this pretty reservoir and nature reserve near Wolsingham in Country Durham. It's a lovely place for an easy stroll with species rich woodland on the eastern side of the reservoir and a nature reserve at the northern end. Look out for a variety of birdlife including Great rested grebe, tufted duck, goosander, moorhen, coot, mallard and common sandpiper. Butterflies are also common in the reserve. Look out for admiral, small tortoiseshell, peacock and meadow brown. |
The whole of this circular route is designed for walkers but cyclists can enjoy the lovely country lane on the western side of the reservoir too.
|Waskerley Way||10 miles (16 km)||This is a shared cycling and walking path that follows the route of the old Stanhope and Tyne Railway line. |
The path starts near Consett and runs to Weather Hill passing through woodland and open moorland. You will also pass the delightful Smiddy Shaw and Waskerley Reservoirs