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 Outdoor activities

There are opportunities for everyone to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and features found in the North Pennines - bird watching, walking, cycling, horse riding, canoeing, skiing, fishing, sailing, orienteering and much, much more. 

Visit Explore North Pennines to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. At the heart of this site is an interactive map which will allow you to search by activity, interest and location.

Solitude and stunning landscape

Walking in the North Pennines will suit you if you are looking for solitude and places where you can walk all day without seeing more than a handful of other people, or even crossing a road! If you crave big skies and the wide open rolling views typical of moorland landscapes then the North Pennines is for you. The stunning landscape and rich mix of habitats also make the North Pennines a bird watching paradise.

Moorland singletrack

The North Pennines offers loads of fantastic opportunities to discover the area by bike. Routes vary from car-free level trails suitable for families, to more challenging moorland singletrack and steep minor roads for experienced mountain bikers, cycle tourists and road cyclists.

Splendour and excitement

See the splendour of the North Pennines from horseback and discover a network of bridleways and quiet lanes, or why not visit the North Pennines in winter and enjoy some of the exciting skiing and snowboarding opportunities the area has to offer?

Rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees 

These three major northern rivers, together with a wealth of well stocked and picturesque upland reservoirs, offer a great range of canoeing, kayakingsailing and fishing opportunities.

Quiet but challenging!

The North Pennines has fascinating geology which offers challenging climbs on dolerite, limestone and gritstone. If you prefer climbing indoors there are climbing walls in both Teesdale and Weardale.

Safety and accessibility

This is an upland area, and weather conditions can be unpredictable at any time of year. Be sure to obtain an up-to-date weather report and take appropriate clothing and footwear with you.

If you are venturing out onto the open moorland make sure you have a map and compass with you (and know how to use them!) Make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.

The North Pennines has some remote and inaccessible places but there are also some excellent opportunities for easy access into the great outdoors. Come and see what the North Pennines has to offer!


Please follow the Countryside Code and the  Moorland Visitor's Code during your visit. Local communities, landowners, farmers and estate managers look after the living landscapes of the AONB. These people have helped shape the landscape for centuries and this continues today. You can do your bit by being a green visitor.

Walkers near Westgate
Cycling on the Wheels to the Wild Cycle Route
Canoeing at Low Force on the River Tees
Snowboarding at Weardale Ski Club