The area

The Barn is situated in the North Pennines, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988. The landscape is open with heather moors and grasslands on which in late summer and early spring sheeps are grazing and in summer the hay crop is allowed to grow. Typical are the “dry stone walls” and the remnants of the old lead and silver mines. Nenthead was the centre of mining and information on this subject can be found in an interesting museum (Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre). The village was not built until the middle of the 18th century. The mines were employed by the Quakers, who also provided education, a school and public wash houses. The community shop in the village was the library and the reading room. Nenthead claims to be one of the highest villages in England (1500 feet, 450 meters) and the first village with lanterns in the streets. It is also an important halting place for the Coast to Coast (C2C) cycle route.


Down in the village is the Community Shop (5 minutes walk). Here, you can find the essentials e.g.  a newspaper. For more extensive shopping Alston is the first opportunity (10 miles). Here you can find the Tourist Information (opposite the church), a Bank (HSBC), a Co-op, and an Outdoor Shop on the market place. For serious shopping, possibilities are provided in Hexham (40 miles) or Penrith (50 miles). And, of course in Newcastle, Durham and Carlisle.

The weather

Who chooses the North Pennines as a holiday destination, chooses for nature, walking, wind and tranquility. Because the Barn is situated high (1500 feet), it can be colder than you would expect. It is advisable, therefore, to bring also warm clothing.


Close by is The Miners Arms, the pub in Nenthead. They provide the usual pub meals. There is a good restaurant in Overwater (on the other side of the main road), but we never found it open.

From our own experience we can recommend: Nenthall (on the main road to Alston, 5 miles), Alston House (in Alston, at the market go left and at the T-juction again to the left, 10 miles) and Allendale Inn (on the market of Allendale, 12 miles).

However, we should be more than happy to hear about your experiences.

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