Welcome back to the North Pennines

During June and into July great drifts of cottongrass are flowering on the North Pennine moors

As I write this blog businesses in the visitor economy in the North Pennines are taking their first tentative steps towards reopening after the COVID-19 Outbreak. For these small, rural, businesses it has been a very stressful and worrying time – as it has been for everyone in the area, and of course elsewhere in the country. Businesses have been working extraordinarily hard, behind the scenes, to follow Government Guidelines to re-open safely. They’ve done their level best to make visiting as safe as it reasonably can be and now is the time… now many of them are in a position to welcome back visitors 🙂

  • But not everyone is open now – some place are though and over the coming weeks they will be joined by other places to stay, eat, visit and explore…
  • So the idea behind this blog is to provide an updating list of businesses that are open in the North Pennines – it won’t ever be complete but it will provide you with a bit of a starting point. Some reassurance…
  • Businesses will be listed according to where they are in the area: Allen Valleys; Alston & the Cumbrian North Pennines; Blanchland & the Upper Derwent; Teesdale; and Weardale.
  • Warning – the listing isn’t complete, if you run a tourism business in/near the North Pennines and you are open but not listed below – let me know and I’ll get you added. Equally if you’re a visitor and you know of somewhere which is open and not listed by all means let know. The best way to contact me is by email – shane@northpenninesaonb.org.uk
  • BOOK DIRECT! You’ll often get the best price and the business will get the most benefit from your booking…

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark is one of England’s most special places – a stunning, upland landscape of wide open moors, flower-rich hay meadows, intimate woods, inky-black night skies, charismatic wildlife, fascinating industrial heritage, tumbling rivers and dramatic waterfalls. Here you will find a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty.

At almost 2,000 sq. kilometres the North Pennines is the second largest of the 46 AONBs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt places in England. Visit www.landscapesforlife.org.uk for information about the AONB Family.

The North Pennines lies between the National Parks of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland with the urban centres of County Durham away to the east. Parts of the AONB are within the boundaries of five local authorities: the three counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council.

What’s open*

  • Remember this listing is only a guide. It reflects the businesses which I know to be open.
  • Before travel it is recommended that you contact the businesses you intend to visit, or look at their websites to double check details.
  • *Last updated 05/08/2020

North Pennines wide

South Tyne and the Allen Valleys

Alston & the Cumbrian North Pennines

Blanchland & the Upper Derwent



Artists, Photographers, Local Produce, Miscellaneous

Responsible visting

We are asking visitors and local communities to be respectful of each other:

  • Plan your visit and check first to see what shops, facilities and food outlets are open. Avoid crowded places;
  • Leave no trace of your visit – bring a bag for your litter, and take it home with you to bin or recycle;
  • Follow the Countryside Code, keep dogs on leads, stick to public footpaths and leave gates as you find them;
  • Do not light barbecues for fires, and take care with cigarettes and other sources of ignition. A tiny spark can cause devastating damage to wildlife and land;
  • Think of others, by keeping to current social distancing guidance and avoiding walking near farm buildings and homes where possible;
  • Avoid putting pressure on mountain rescue and other emergency services by exercising within your limits;
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser when facilities are not available;
  • Stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and keep to isolation guidance issued by Government.

5 thoughts on “Welcome back to the North Pennines

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