Mountain bikers (and horse riders) looking for great ways to explore the North Pennines are in for a treat with the development of five rides taking in the very best of the area’s amazing scenery.
The routes are all based on 18th century packhorse trails, once used to transport lead and other goods to far-off towns.
- Alston – a 29km (18 miles) gently undulating circular ride through the Nent and South Tyne Valleys
- Hartside – a challenging 11km (7 miles) of steep climbs and descents starting at the Hartside Cafe
- Hamsterley – enjoy a 26km (16 mile) tour of spectacular open moorland, before dropping down to the River Tees itself
- Baldersdale – travel 18km (11 miles) along Baldersdale, with woodland, moorland and a superb stretch along Hury and Blackton Reservoirs
- Blanchland – a 21km (13 miles) ride high up over the moors above the beautiful Derwent Valley
Get your guide
The Packhorse Trails – mountain bike routes guide is available from the AONB Partnership – it costs £6 (plus p+p). Please make sure you specify whether you’d like the horse riding or mountain biking guide (note that the routes are the same in each guide but they are written specifically for the different riders).