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The Natural Beauty of the North Pennines

The North Pennines is a very special area with wildlife, rivers, meadows, peatlands, heather moors, dales, and much more. It is recognized as an Area of Outstanding Beauty. It is also a UNESCO European and Global Geopark due to its important earth heritage. Split between County Durham and County Northumberland and Cumbria, and bordering Yorkshire Dales National Park, the North Pennines extend down past Hadrians’ Wall in the Tyne Valley. Covering nearly 2000 square kilometers, the North Pennines is the second largest AONB.

In keeping with the environment, many accommodations have green accreditation according to the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Beckleshele Cottage, in the moorlands of Upper Weardale, is a converted lead miner’s cottage, and was awarded a silver in the GTBS. Cromer House Camping Barn in Frosterley Village is family friendly, has disabled access, and is close to the railway. It’s 18th Century barn charm is equipped with kitchen, wood burning stove and uses solar panels. The Assay House & Mill Cottage Bunkhouses at the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre are just off the C2C bicycle route. The Assay House sleeps 12 and the Bunkhouse 6, and is ideal for exploring by bike or hike.

The East Briscoe Farm Cottages are located on a 14 acre riverside estate managed for wildlife and sustainability. Past awards include a Gold GTBS, County Durham Environment Award , Northumbria self-catering of the year; and the Durham Wildlife Trust Award. The Tottergill Farm Cottages are located on a plot of 50 acres near Castle Carrock in the West of the North Pennines AONB. These cottages hold a Bronze GTBS Award.

The Durham Dales Centre is a Silver Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Award Holder offering gift and craft shops, as well as an information centre. The Geltsdale RSPB Nature Reserve has both remote bogs and flower filled hay meadows, and the reserve is a Gold Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) award holder. The Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre features tours in a 250 year old underground mine, trails and walks over 200 acres of land, and a café and gift shop. Nenthead Mines is a Silver Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Award holder. The Weardale Museum and High House Chapel is a Silver Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Award holder, and is both VAQAS and MLA Accredited. Learn about the lead miner/farming history, the early Methodists, and see the High House Chapel, which has had continuous services since 1760. The Bowes Museum is a Silver Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Award holder. It is one of England’s greatest collections of fine and decorative art and features the popular Café Bowes.

This article was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Northumbrian Cottages who offer Northumberland Coastal Cottages

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