Allendale, lying at the heart of the Allen Valleys, is a former lead mining settlement.
Allendale is the largest community in this part of the North Pennines and with its pubs, cafes, shops, Allendale Forge Studios art gallery and walking/cycling opportunities is well worth a visit!
South Tyne Valley
The South Tyne Valley is a gloriously undiscovered place – the tumbling river fringed with ancient woods, leading the eye to the wide open moorland beyond. In the past the East and West Allen Valleys were amongst the busiest in the North Pennines, supporting a population almost ten times greater than today. Explore to your heart’s content and discover for yourself the peacefulness which has replaced the industrial bustle of yesteryear in this now quiet corner of the North Pennines AONB.
Places to visit, things to do
Visit the Explore Allen Valleys portal 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.
Allendale is a great base to explore the Allen Valleys. If you come on New Year’s Eve you’ll witness the Tar Bar’ls Ceremony where people in costume parade through the streets with flaming tar barrels balanced on their heads! Visit the old Deneholme Edwardian pleasure garden, now a community managed woodland crisscrossed by footpaths, right on the edge of the village.
Allen Smelt Mill – at its height in the mid 1800s one of the largest smelt mills in the country, parts of the site have been consolidated and you’ll find interpretation to help you understand it.
Allen Valleys Folk Festival – Annual folk festival held at various venues across the Allen Valleys. 2018 dates: Friday 28 September – Sunday 30 September.
Allendale Bakery Sparty Lea (01434 685047). Bread making courses.
Allendale Forge Studios, Allendale (01434 683975). Centre for arts, crafts and media.
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, National Trust – Spectacular wooded gorge at Allen Banks. Relaxing waymarked woodland walks.
Allenheads – A peaceful village with a nature trail, cafe and pub as well as a chance to see the famous Armstrong water powered engine. Visit the Old Blacksmith’s Shop and heritage exhibition. Visit the consolidated bingsteads on the old Allenheads Mine site – where you’ll find interpretation to help you make sense of it all. Just up the hill in Allenheads is the the North Pennines Observatory (hosted by Allenheads Contemporary Arts).
South Tynedale Railway – Train rides along the gorgeous South Tyne Valley from Alston – 01434 382828 (talking timetable), 01434 338214. Why not take the train out and wander back along the South Tyne Trail?
The Garden Station, Langley – 01434 684391. Restored Victorian railway station in a woodland garden setting. Gardens and tearoom.
Whitfield Village Pantry – 01434 345709. Village shop and café
Visit Northumberland – Discover things to do throughout Northumberland, all types of accommodation, where to eat, special offers and itineraries.
Visit The Allen Valleys for visitor information – places to stay, eat, visit and things to do.