Embrace your wild-side in the North Pennines!
Whenever I’m asked to pick between either the North Pennines or Northumberland National Park I have to simply shrug – they’re both fantastic places to come and visit, and I’ve had wonderful times in both.
I suppose if I had to pick hairs and choose one I’d go for the Pennines simply on the basis that there is so much more to do and see there than in Northumberland. There you go, I’ve said it and now I fully expect to be hammered with hate mail: so have at me!
In all seriousness though, the Pennines are a truly wonderful place to visit, especially if you’ve got an eye for rare birds and wildlife. Over 2000 square kilometres of rugged landscapes offer even the most casual of hikers the chance to cover some serious ground and gain some real height whilst they’re at it too! There are peaks a-plenty here, not to mention babbling brooks, rivers, waterfalls, valleys and stunning landscapes (both natural and land-made) to keep you interested.
So – by now you’re more than likely chomping at the bit to get stuck into the Pennines and see what it’s all about, but before you run head long into a whirlwind rural adventure you’ll need to get yourself somewhere to stay:
Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Lovelady is a little pedestrian for a country house hotel, but what it lacks in immediate exterior ‘wow-factor’ it more than makes up for in interior opulence. Immaculately decorated with a designer’s eye, Lovelady is a joy to visit – perfect for relaxing in after a long day of walking through the rugged wilderness of the Pennines.
Lord Crewe Arms Hotel
Rated as one of ‘the most romantic hotels in Europe’ by the Sunday Telegraph and also winner of the Inn of the Year prize in 2018, the Lord Crewe Arms is a must-visit pub that is worth visiting for its excellent food alone.
A night’s stay in their dedicated ‘Canny Room’ will set you back just under £200 which also gives you the option of booking a table at their award winning restaurant.
Low Cornriggs Farm
If you’d rather have a more cosy, rural experience then you can stay with Janet & Harry at their 4-Star Bed and Breakfast in Killhope.
This B&B is wonderfully free of stiff-collared formality whilst being a haven for home-cooked, locally sourced food. Janet is an award-winning baker who’s been claiming prizes for over a decade, she’ll happily cook you an English Breakfast in the morning and a delectable evening meal too, should you desire it.
Cheap and cheerful youth hostels have always been a great shout for un-fussy travellers and big groups alike, the YHA run place in Dufton is no exception to this rule.
This lovely example of North Pennines architecture is full of character and is also perfectly located for would-be walkers and explorers.
This simple stone shelter is one of many scattered all over Scotland and the North of England.
Known as ‘bothies‘, these buildings are very basic on facilities (there are no toilets or running water) but the four walls and a floor provide essential shelter for hikers caught out in a storm, they’re also perfect for adventurers who are looking to really rough it!