What's good trailwise in the Weardale valley?

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  • What's good trailwise in the Weardale valley?
  • richpips

    Me and my lad are staying at Nenthead for a couple of days next weekend.

    Any suggestions for routes?

    We’ll be on CX bikes, so nothing too gnarr.

    I’ve seen this thread http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/trails-around-alston-pennines


    There’s lots of bridleways and fire roads up on hexhamshire common, although I don’t know what kind of condition it’ll be in after all this rain. Here’s a ride I did a couple of years ago: http://cyclemeter.com/bafca21a4c23eef1/MountainCycle-20111016-1339?r=s

    I’ll try and dig out the GPS files of the Beyond Hamsterley rides

    Premier Icon paul4stones

    Hmm tricky. The stuff north will be soggy at the moment (bridleways over Middle Rigg and The Dodd) and not great on CX bikes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/30189432@N00/354005374/in/set-72157594473758260
    Allendale common is good, a bit more sandy so will drain if it doesn’t rain too much this week, was jolly wet a couple of weeks ago when I was up there in the dark . . .
    You could go up onto Cross Fell from Garrigill – that track is fine in all weathers but it’s an out and back unless you go over the other side and back over Hartside. What looks a decent circuit down Trout Beck would involve some carrying/pushing.
    Plenty of good minor roads to explore though 🙂


    If you’re in Nenthead then the 2 obvious routes are posted above and on the other thread – Cross Fell (ride over the C2C track through the mines past seldom seen to Garrigill or the much steeper road option then you’re away, use the flagstones between Cross and Great Dun Fell) or High Cup Nick (described vaguely by OAP on the other thread you link to) are pretty OK draining and well surfaced for CX bikes. Unless of course the snow comes down or the wind really blows in which case they aren’t places to get stuck at this time of year. Quite long days out for most though, but you can link some good roads in and make quite good pace on a CX bike if you’re up for it. Often at this time of year there’d be better skiing than biking for quite a bit of these routes but as long as you avoid the trout beck singletrack (non existent/fallen into river) then these are probably reliable.

    Any of the bridleways further north (as described and linkes above by legolam/ paul4stones) are best avoided unless there’s a big freeze or a miraculous drying up.

    You’ll note none of these are actually in Weardale though (but then neither is Nenthead). If you are in Weardale then there are some loops if you mix road and landrover tracks (and like climbs/descents) but nothing amazing. Definitely worth exploring with a CX bike though , if you look at an OS then you should be able to plot loads of possible routes linking from Nenthead – Killhope – Weardale – Rookhope – Weardale – Teesdale – South Tyne using the roads (quiet, good climbs and descents but not great surfaces on the smaller ones) and the byways/ bridleways/ C2C sustrans bits between them (stick to the marked double tracks which are mostly pretty well made mining or estate routes and stony rather than grassy bog or peat hags) and you should be fine. This can be as hard or as long a day out as you like – recommend a stop at the Cowshill Hotel if you’re passing.


    Thanks folks for the info. 🙂


    Depending how much off-road you wish to include, there is an old tarmac track starting at the damn at Burnhope reservoir which peters out into gravel track then eventually old mine track. You could cycle over the top from Nenthead, then loop back via B6227 over Alston Moor back into Nenthead.

    For a more off-road trip, I can heartily recommend the Pennine way between Cowgreen reservoir to High Cup Nick (and possibly down to Dufton if you have the time).

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