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Exploring Weardale

Stanhope - A Tranquil Haven in the Durham Dales

Welcome to Stanhope, a hidden gem nestled at the heart of the Durham Dales, inviting you to discover a perfect blend of history, nature and outdoor adventure.

Stanhope is a picturesque market town enveloped in lush greenery, providing a serene escape for those seeking rest and relaxation. The gentle flow of the River Wear creates a peaceful ambience, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts.


The ford at Stanhope is a popular destination, featuring giant stepping-stones that beckon walkers to cross the river, adding an element of adventure to the tranquil setting.


Unveiling Ancient Wonders

Delve into the secrets of the past as you encounter the famous 320 million year old fossil tree. A living testament to the enduring beauty of nature, this ancient relic captivates visitors with its timeless allure. St. Thomas Church, a 12th Century marvel, stands as a reminder of the area's Christian heritage. Explorer the Victorian font crafted from Frosterley Marble, a testament to the town's rich history.

For visitor information and a delightful culinary experience, make a stop at the Durham Dales Centre. Enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the café while planning your exploration of Stanhope and it's surroundings. Stanhope is currently the western terminus for the Weardale Railway. For a comprehensive guide to local attractions, the Discover Weardale website is your go-to resource.

Discover the allure of Stanhope, where every step is a journey through time, and every corner reveals the magic of the Durham Dales.


Wolsingham - The Gateway to Weardale

A quaint town nestled along the scenic banks of the River Wear, Wolsingham, Wolsingham boasts a rich history that traces its roots back to Saxon times. During the Middle Ages, it flourished as a crucial mercantile centre, earning a Market Charter in 1615 and serving as a vital hub for the entire dale. The advent of the railway in 1847 brought significant changes, including the establishment of Charles Atwood's ironworks; a steel production site that operated until 2008.

Present-day Wolsingham continues to thrive, offering a range of essential facilities. From a gift shop to a greengrocer, hardware shops and a Post Office, the town ensures residents and visitors alike have access to all the necessities. Additional amenities include a butcher, chemist, baker, indoor swimming facilities, a bowling green, park and a recreation field.

Surrounded by picturesque countryside, Wolsingham boasts over 80 miles of footpaths within its parish, including the Weardale Way long-distance footpath. The Wolsingham Wayfarers organise monthly walks for those eager to explorer the beautiful surroundings. Nearby attractions such as Hamsterley Forest, with its visitor centre, forest drive, cycle hire and pony trekking, as well as the stunning Tunstall Reservoir, provide opportunities for outdoor adventures.

The highlight of the town's calendar is the annual show, which is hosted by the Wolsingham Agricultural Society on the first weekend in September. Established in 1763, it stands as one of the oldest shows in the country, offering a delightful blend of tradition and community spirit.

With its ideal location, Wolsingham serves a perfect base for exploring the charming villages and attractions of Weardale, as well as venturing further afield into the scenic landscapes of County Durham. Wolsingham has a station on the Weardale Railway, with a short walk up into the town. Come and immerse yourself in the timeless charm and vibrant community spirit that define Wolsingham!

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