The North Pennines is one of the largest and most recent parts of England to be officially declared an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.
It spans three counties: Northumberland (to the south of Hexham), Durham and Cumbria and comprises magnificent moorlands, wooded valleys and small, unspoilt villages. The central uplands are the source of many of the North of England’s best known rivers: The Tyne, Wear and Tees and waterfalls and gurgling streams are plentiful.
There are three main valleys of the North Pennines in Northumberland. These are South Tynedale which reaches from the market town of Haltwhistle to the Cumbrian town of Alston, the highest market town in England; Allendale with its centre at Allendale Town and its fascinating lead mining history remembered in the moorland village of Allenheads; and the Derwent Valley which forms part of the border with County Durham and where Blanchland, one of the most attractive villages in Northumberland, can be found.