The Area

Weardale Local Area

Lily’s Cottage is located in the village of St John’s Chapel at the very heart of the North Pennines in Weardale, in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The village is small but perfectly formed with everything you need for a comfortable short stay. There are two welcoming pubs, a cafe and a small supermarket.

The village was originally an old hunting stop for the Prince Bishops of Durham dating back to the 12th Century, which gives you some idea of the heritage of our village and the area of Weardale and County Durham.

Towns & Villages

There are plenty of towns and villages within a short drive of Lily’s Cottage, where you can dive into the rich history of County Durham. The peaceful market town of Stanhope lies just to the east of St John’s Chapel and offers a wide range of facilities, including an open-air heated swimming pool and the Durham Dales Centre, where visitors can buy handmade craft ware from local artisans or delicious local produce to take back to Lily’s Cottage. Plus you can enjoy a spot of lunch in the pretty courtyard.

To the west, Alston in Cumbria is the closest town and takes the accolade as ‘highest market settlement in England’. Just the drive to Alston is worth a visit, as the remote town is reached passing through a heather-clad Pennines landscape.

The bustling town is characterised by its cobbled streets and 17th century stone buildings. We recommend a pit stop at the 16th century Angel Pub and if you want to take some local delicacies home, Alston cheese and Cumberland mustard should be on your shopping list.

During your day trip to Alston, we recommend visiting the South Tyndale Railway and Killhope Lead Mining museums.

Other local towns and villages to bookmark for your visit include Middleton-on-Tees, Barnard Castle, and not forgetting the historic city of Durham which is just one hour’s drive from Lily’s Cottage.

Fresh air and rosy cheeks!

The exhilarating landscape of the Durham Dales and the North Pennines should be top of the bucket list of every cyclist and hiker. A land of rugged moorlands, waterfalls, and a diversity of flora and fauna, where fresh air and rosy cheeks are the order of every day.

We guarantee that a few days stay at Lily’s Cottage will blow the cobwebs from your mind, body and soul!

Bike routes

Our accommodation is a short step from the C2C (Coast-to-Coast) cycle route and the Roof of England route which follows the highest roads in England.

Cycling aficionados can enjoy steep hill climbs, followed by an adrenalin-filled downhill ride. Plus there is a thrilling off-road moorland section of the C2C route which sets off from Rookhope (12 minutes drive).

There are also plenty of easy family cycling routes through quiet country roads and woodlands. Take your pick!

Also not to be missed…

There are so many activities and cultural sights to enjoy during your stay at Lily’s Cottage and two of the most iconic attractions are Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders.

Constructed in AD22, Hadrian’s Wall is a slice of Roman history that has survived throughout the centuries. This World Heritage Site is an hour’s drive from Lily’s Cottage, an incredible feat of engineering, set amongst the wild and bewitching scenery of the Cumbrian and Northumbrian landscapes.

Head to The Scottish Borders for a day trip with a difference (2 hour’s drive). This is a land that has inspired writers and artists. Home to stately homes and castles and the famous Border Abbeys, and where peaceful countryside rolls gently down to the scenic coastline.


Closer to home, we recommend you bookmark a trip to the medieval Raby Castle, set in 200 acres of deer park. This is a wonderful day trip, just 45 minutes from St John’s Chapel.

Cauldron Snout is an impressive waterfall at Barnard Castle (23 minutes drive) that cascades down a gorge beneath the two mile long Cow Green Reservoir. There is a great walk from Cauldron Snout to Cronkley Scar, which is an easy route for the whole family.

And if one cascade were not enough, we highly recommend a trip to High Force waterfall (15 minutes drive). This is where the River Tees plunges deep into a gorge, where the rocks date back over 300 million years. Wow!

The scenery here is spectacular with a capital ‘S’ and you’ll enjoy a peaceful woodland walk to the base of the falls, where you can take in the impressive cascade up close.

There is so much to see and do during your stay at Lily’s Cottage. Ask us for our insider tips and recommendations when you book your stay.

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