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John’s guide to Derwentside

John

John’s guide to Derwentside

Sightseeing
Beamish has grown over the years into a fabulous full day experience including a Victorian street filled with shops and services you can wander into and buy from like the old sweet shop, fish & chippier shop and there's even a dentists. The old miners cottages and village school are a short tram or bus ride away. Pockerley manor and farm are at either end of the grounds, which are huge. You can go down a mine, ride on steam trains, play on the fair ground rides and there are always helpful volunteers and staff dressed in period costume to assist you.
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Beamish, the Living Museum of the North
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Beamish has grown over the years into a fabulous full day experience including a Victorian street filled with shops and services you can wander into and buy from like the old sweet shop, fish & chippier shop and there's even a dentists. The old miners cottages and village school are a short tram or bus ride away. Pockerley manor and farm are at either end of the grounds, which are huge. You can go down a mine, ride on steam trains, play on the fair ground rides and there are always helpful volunteers and staff dressed in period costume to assist you.
For those interested in history, Georgian landscapes and royal connections. The old hall is a ruin but the chapel remains in tact and is a stunning and rare example of its type. The grounds are mainly woodland and include a riverside walk where otters kingfisher and dipper are often seen. Row deer can be spotted in the woods and over head red kite and common buzzard are regularly seen. The skyline walk takes you from Snipes Dene up onto the estate farm then back down into Westwood. They have two cafes one near the chapel and another in the centre of the estate in the converted stable block. There is a book shop, toilets, history room and nature room at the stables.
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Gibside
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For those interested in history, Georgian landscapes and royal connections. The old hall is a ruin but the chapel remains in tact and is a stunning and rare example of its type. The grounds are mainly woodland and include a riverside walk where otters kingfisher and dipper are often seen. Row deer can be spotted in the woods and over head red kite and common buzzard are regularly seen. The skyline walk takes you from Snipes Dene up onto the estate farm then back down into Westwood. They have two cafes one near the chapel and another in the centre of the estate in the converted stable block. There is a book shop, toilets, history room and nature room at the stables.
Newly opened on the site of the old coke works this visitor centre and cafe is the gateway to the history of Derwentside. With maps of the local area, walks and history. Great for discovering more about the Derwent valley, where nature has reclaimed the area where there was once a huge industry.
Land of Oak and Iron
Newly opened on the site of the old coke works this visitor centre and cafe is the gateway to the history of Derwentside. With maps of the local area, walks and history. Great for discovering more about the Derwent valley, where nature has reclaimed the area where there was once a huge industry.
Weardale and Teesdale are some of the most incredibly stunning places in County Durham. The advantage is that, unlike the Lake District, you can really escape the hordes up here. The scenery is stunning, the villages charming and wildlife surrounds you.
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North Pennines AONB
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Weardale and Teesdale are some of the most incredibly stunning places in County Durham. The advantage is that, unlike the Lake District, you can really escape the hordes up here. The scenery is stunning, the villages charming and wildlife surrounds you.
Nature
Situated near the upper reaches of the Derwent river, the reservoir offers some good walking, a SSSI nature reserve at Pow Hill where there is the popular clamping spot and cafe The Boat Shack. With a sailing club on the Northern shore and a picnic site with children's play, toilets and a shop below the dam, Northumbrian Water have offered people plenty to do on the shores of this tranquil spot.
Lovely quiet walks round this wetland and woodland site. A number of ponds are connected by paths for easy access around the reserve. Numerous wading and water fowl bird species use the different ponds throughout the year. Woodland birds provide colour and song throughout the plantations. The meadows are alive with wild flowers and insects during the spring and summer.
Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve
Lovely quiet walks round this wetland and woodland site. A number of ponds are connected by paths for easy access around the reserve. Numerous wading and water fowl bird species use the different ponds throughout the year. Woodland birds provide colour and song throughout the plantations. The meadows are alive with wild flowers and insects during the spring and summer.
Set in the Wear valley, Low Barns is a real little haven. Peaceful and easy to get round. Plenty of wildlife and lovely scenery. There is a small visitor centre with toilets a cafe and gift shop. The nearby village of Witton Le Wear is picturesque also.
Low Barns Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre
Set in the Wear valley, Low Barns is a real little haven. Peaceful and easy to get round. Plenty of wildlife and lovely scenery. There is a small visitor centre with toilets a cafe and gift shop. The nearby village of Witton Le Wear is picturesque also.
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Derwent Reservoir
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