Lily's Cottage, Weardale Local Area
St John's Chapel is a small, rural village but still manages to house two pubs, two cafes, a Co-op and an antiques shop! It lies in the heart of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is one of the most unspoilt areas in the country. There are many fantastic walks from the village and we have a collection of leaflets in the cottage to give you some ideas for routes. - our favourite walk is Slitt Wood in Westgate which takes in some beautiful woodlands, wild waterfalls and old mine works and, if you are feeling fit and walk all the way to West Rigg, offers some amazing views of the dale.
The nearest town to the east is Stanhope (pronounced locally as "Stanup") - a thriving market town where there are some lovely boutique shops, a fish and chip shop, the Durham Dales Centre, a butchers, a grocers, a larger Co-op and the famous Fossil Tree. There is a fantastic walk up around Ashes Quarry which starts in the town centre and ends in your choice of cafes or pubs (there are plenty to choose from). Stanhope is also the home to the Weardale Railway who sadly don't have a steam engine currently but they have some fantastic special events for the whole family.
The nearest town to the west is the "Highest Market Town in England" Alston - another thriving market town with great facilities and a fantastic small museum down by the South Tynedale Railway. To get to Alston you also pass by Killhope Lead Mining Museum which is a great place to learn more about the industrial history of the area and to try to spot some red squirrels.
Slightly further afield, over in Teesdale, you can visit the spectacular High Force waterfall from the car park next to the High Force Hotel or you can take our preferred route which is to park at the Bowlees Visitor Centre and walk to Low Force and along the river Tees to reach High Force, returning by the same route and stopping at Bowlees Visitor Centre café for lunch.
Middleton-on-Tees, Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout, the market town of Barnard Castle and Raby Castle are all worth a visit if you are heading over to Teesdale.
The historic city of Durham is less than an hour away and we would highly recommend a visit to the Cathedral and the Castle if you are in the city.
Please see our "things to do" tabs for more information on the above and for other things to do and places to visit during your stay.