Visit & explore

Area guides

Area guides

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a distinctive landscape of high moorland and broad upland dales in the north of England.

To help you find your way around the North Pennines we’ve split the AONB into five areas:

Allen Valleys

Allendale, lying at the heart of the Allen Valleys, is a former lead mining settlement. The South Tyne is a gloriously undiscovered place – the tumbling river fringed with ancient woods, leading the eye to the wide, open moorland beyond.

Alston & the Cumbrian North Pennines

The countryside around Alston, England’s highest market town, provides some of the area’s finest walking country – including the lofty Cross Fell – the highest English hill outside the Lake District!

Blanchland & the Upper Derwent

One of the Durham Dales, the Upper Derwent is sometimes an overlooked corner of the North Pennines – but if you venture into its hidden depths you won’t be disappointed!


Teesdale is the most southerly of the Durham Dales. The sweep of the moors and crags of the upper dale have an unrivalled drama which many visitors come back to savour time and time again.


Weardale, one of the Durham Dales, was once the hunting ground of County Durham’s Prince Bishops. Eastgate and Westgate marked the boundary of the old Stanhope Deer Park where the famous ‘Great Chases’ were held.

Visit the Explore map to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. 

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