Nenthead is a small village in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the border of the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland, and Durham. It the highest village in England, born to service the lead and zinc mines. At one time a hive of industry, now it is a quiet rural community. Much quieter than the neighbouring Lake District, we have no queues, little traffic, and only a few (enlightened!) vistors.
There is a community shop open 7 days a week for the essentials, a cycle repair shop, and a restaurant. In addition there is The Hive, a community run cafe, arts and events centre in the old chapel.
Nenthead is close to the Pennine Way and various other walking routes, such as Cross Fell and High Cup Nick. Footpaths and bridleways lead from the doorway to a vast landscape of open moorland, deep valleys, and hidden waterfalls.
Fragments of the area's mining history dot the moors, especially the characteristic dry stone arches of the mine entrances. The mining came about because of the area's unique geology, which has lead to it being classified as a UNESCO global geopark. Nenthead itself has some of the best preserved mines and surface features in the country.
For the cyclist, we are right on the C2C route, and surrounded by some of the finest passes to be found in England, including the amazing Hartside. Small wonder that long distance races such as the Tour of Britain and London-Edinburgh-London all put us on their routes!
Further afield, we are well placed for visiting the sites of Hadrian's wall, 25 miles to the North. To the south, some of the most scenic (and highest!) roads in the country lead into Weardale and Teesdale, home of the impressive High Force waterfall. The North Lakes is about an hour to the west, Keswick or Ullswater make a pleasant day trip.
For the nature lover, Red Squirrels, Buzzards and Deer can be seen from the kitchen window, and we have plenty of uncommon bird species in the area, such as Black Grouse, Golden Plover, Ring Ouzel, Curlew, Redshank, Snipe, and Short-eared Owl.
And finally, for those of an astronomical bent, we are blessed with the darkest of dark skies and clear seeing - weather permitting of course!
Nenthead Community Shop
Nent Hall Hotel
Killhope Mining Museum
Alston lies a 5 miles to the north, and is possibly the highest market town in the country. It as a Spar and a Co-op, a butcher, a baker, a pharmacy, several excellent pubs, fish and chips and other takeaways and a wholefood co-operative which sells amongst other things a wide variety of local cheeses. There are also stalls selling fresh produce in the market place. There is a tourist information centre in the Town Hall and two filling stations.
Alston House Hotel
The Angel Inn
The Turk's Head
The Top Cafe
Saddlers Bakery and Bistro