The North Pennines (UNESCO Global Geopark)

Jake Gill
Creative Tourist

The North Pennines is one of the finest and most picturesque Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) found in England. The UNESCO Global Geopark is a place of tranquillity, a natural Eden in the North which was almost 500 million years in the making. Extending through the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and County Durham, the North Pennines is one of the most remote locations found in England, home to some of the rarest flora and fauna found in the British Isles.

The spectacular scenery that fills the landscape ranges from primeval oak woodlands and hay meadows, to rich grasslands and heather moors. The North Pennines is also the birthplace of the Tyne, Wear and Tees rivers. Incredible cliffs and remarkable cascades are found along Whin Sill, including High Force Waterfall, the largest waterfall in England. Hints of human activity dating back 10,000 years to the Stone Age are also scattered across the land. Highlights include the Neolithic stone circle known as Long Meg and her daughters, the Roman fort of Epiacum, and one of England’s finest medieval strongholds, Raby Castle.

The North Pennines is one of the most biodiverse locations in England, and visitors find themselves amongst some of the most astounding wildlife in the country – red squirrels, otters, merlins, black grouse, and water voles are all found within the geopark. Birdwatchers will want to spend some time immersing themselves in the Allen Banks walk or the Blackton Reservoir trail, both of which offer excellent routes to observe some of the most incredible avian species found in the area.

For walkers and cyclers who love their grub, the Love Food Taste Trail offers foodies a scenic route – beginning at Barnard Castle, the footpath follows the former stone quarry railway to Middleton-in-Teeside. Sheep farms and cattle herds set a perfect backdrop to a journey that offers a fantastic selection of local food and delicacies at award-winning pubs and cafés along the way.

1 Martin St, StanhopeBishop AucklandDL13 2UY View map
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What's on near The North Pennines (UNESCO Global Geopark)

Where to go near The North Pennines (UNESCO Global Geopark)

Durham
Event venue
Evancliffe Leathercraft

Evancliffe Leathercraft have developed a wide range of unique hand crafted leather products special occasions and everyday use.

Durham
Derwent Reservoir

Among the largest inland bodies of water in England, the Derwent Reservoir is a perfect spot for wild swimming.

Durham
Tourist Attraction
Low Force in Durham

Upper Teesdale is a haven for nature lovers, significant for its flora, geology and natural water features.

High Force Hotel
Durham
Hotel
High Force Hotel

Situated in beautiful Teesdale, High Force Hotel is in a picturesque spot surrounded by the beauty of County Durham’s rolling green hills and luscious scenery.

Raby Castle
Durham
Tourist Attraction
Raby Castle

A trip to Raby Castle brings together a medieval fortress and early modern art to create a memorable visit for all the family.

Kynren
Durham
Theatre
Kynren

Kynren is an epic outdoor live-action show that takes you through 2000 years of British history via a theatrical story by Eleven Arches.

Auckland Project
Durham
Auckland Project

The Auckland Project, former property of the Bishop of Durham, brings to life old land with galleries, museums and open nature spots.

Auckland Park
Durham
Park
Auckland Park

Next to Bishop Auckland is the refurbished Auckland project which is now internationally famous for Kynren and the Spanish Gallery, but also has a grand and pleasant park attached to the Castle.

Bowes Museum
Durham
Museum
Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum is the North of England’s Museum of Art, Fashion and Design, with a collection that includes art, ceramics and textiles.

South Causey Inn
Durham
Hotel
South Causey Inn

In the Beamish Valley, an area of incredible beauty, you will be able to find the amazing South Causey Inn. Easily described as a luxury experience, South Causey Inn is one of the best places to stay in County Durham.

Bywell Hall
Event venue
Bywell Hall

“A Palladium gem on the banks of the River Tyne.” 45-minute guided tours available, which showcase the family’s collection of Old Master paintings, silver, ceramics, rare furniture and antiquities.

Low Burnhall
Durham
Park
Low Burnhall

A two miles from Durham city and off the historic Great North Road is Low Burnhall – sixty eight hectares of stunning natural beauty; a wonderful natural woodland that ranges from newly planted trees through to ancient British woodlands.

Culture Guides