North Pennine Cycles, run by Dave Raeside, will fix, tweak or even replace your bike should the rigours of the journey require. This excellent resource is now firmly established as one of the best in the north. Reasonable rates and fast action. Fully Park Tool equipped, wide range of parts and accessories. 01434 381324. firstname.lastname@example.org. Cycle nutrition drinks and food plus rescue service with 3-bike rack. www.northpenninecycles.co.uk.
About the village
Folk in both Nenthead and Allenheads - the next port of call - claim to live in England's highest village. I would be interested to know definitively which is the higher. Either way, Nenthead is 500m above sea level and has a colder climate than Aberdeen. It does seem incredible that only 300 million years ago it was on the equator. The village was purpose- built for mining in 1825 by the Quaker Lead Company. In addition to housing they provided a reading room, wash-house, public baths and a school for the 1500 employees in the Methodist stronghold. At weekends they ran smal holdings and this way of life lasted for more than 100 years. A decorative fountain in the middle of the vil age serves as a memorial to R.W.Bainbridge Esq, superintendent of the mine company. Falling markets destroyed the community, with cheap imports leading to a collapse in prices, and many families emigrated to the USA and Australia at the end of the 19th century. Zinc mining continued until the 1940s and Nenthead Mines eventual y closed its last pit in 1961.
Places of Interest
The Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre is a must. They have brought to life the old workings on this 200 acre site and have helped breathe life into a vil age that history somehow forgot. You can even do some mineral panning and visit the sites on self-guided trails. 01434 382294 Killhope Lead Mining Centre is off the A689 5km east of Nenthead. Underground visits possible April - Oct. 01388 537505.
Where To Sleep
Haggs Bank Bunkhouse
Run by: Danny Taylor
Great addition to the route and just a quick mile to The Miner's Arms in Nenthead. This is a terraced campsite and bunkhouse, ideal for self-catering groups of up to 24, though meals can be pre-ordered (from £6). Charming spot and beautifully converted bunkhouse with ample washrooms. Towel hire possible. Three bunkrooms sleeping 10, 9 and 5. Largest one has en-suite facilities. BBQ for hire and also a firepit. Breakfast can also be ordered, as well as provisions and drinks if you wish.
Bunkrooms sleep 10,9 & 5.
Bed: £20 including bedding.
Whole bunkhouse: £380 per night. Campsite has 12 hook-ups for motorhomes.
Run by: Alison Clark
Voted the 'Greenest Pub In Britain' after winning a Green Tourism Gold Star. Excellent food and good beer at the pub which lays claim to being the highest in England. The new luxury en-suite accommodation was amongst the 2012 Top 10 B&Bs in Cumbria in the Guardian travel section. Alison has run the Miners since 1988, adding a conservatory dining room. Member of the Green Tourism scheme promoted by the AONB. Silver award for B&B with Quality in Tourism Cumbria.
Rooms: 2T, 1T/Tpl.
B&B: from £40.
Eve meal: £7.50-£15.
Pk lunch: £4.
Green Tourism Gold Star.
Visit Britain: 3-star.
Mill Cottage Bunkhouse
Run by: Duty manager
Assay House & Mill Cottage bunkhouses are situated at the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre. Assay House sleeps up to 12 and has a kitchen diner. Mill Cottage sleeps 6 in beds styled like ship's cabin bunks, with curtains for privacy &small internal light and shelf. Both bunkhouses are available for group bookings and there is a cafe on site + a pub in the village. Nenthead is in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is an ideal hub for those wishing to explore the North Pennines. C2C passes the front door.
Drying facilities and secure lock-up.
Nent Hall Country House Hotel & Farmhouse B&B
Run by: Naomi Blamires
A bit of luxury at the end of a hard day in the saddle? Here you have it, with a pub attached, the Coach House. In addition to a good pint, main courses go from £8, not to mention afternoon tea for those wanting to pop in for sustenance before the climbs ahead. Look out for great online deals at the hotel. Cycle friendly and stylish, attractive setting in affordable country house accommodation. A splendid setting just off the A689, about 1.5 miles west of Nenthead.
Rooms: 4S/D, 2T, 2F, 6 four-posters, 2 superior 4-poster, five room suite.
B&B hotel: from £30.
Eve meals: bar meals from £8 - £15. Restaurant: 3 courses from £25, open Fri & Sat.
Pk lunch: by arrangement.
Meal deals for groups available in restaurant if you call in advance.
Run by: Pauline Elliott
Lying a little off the “official” route but on a delightful loop that even cuts out a couple of vindictive hills, Ninebanks welcomes all – members and non-members alike. Book a bed, a room or the whole hostel. Great for a mid-section base. The refurbished and extended Ninebanks offers en-suite rooms, excellent self-catering facilities, meals for sole use groups, plus local ales and a special atmosphere in a wonderful North Pennines location. 10% off Sunday to Thursday nights if you book direct mentioning this guide.
Rooms: 28 beds in 6 en-suite rooms. 1 x 8 bed, 1 x 6 beds, 2 x 4 beds and 2 triple rooms (which can be booked as double or triple) Bed: £18.50 adults, £14.50 under 18's, please phone for room rates. Secure cycle parking. 6 miles from
Run by: Marie & Peter Haynes
In this rugged section of the ride lies an oasis of comfort and calm: Lovelady Shield, an elegant Georgian former shooting lodge on the banks of the river Nent. Award winning food and three acres of secluded gardens in which to sit and relax after the ups and downs. Ideal for groups as there are three cottages, ideal for self-catering one-nighters as well as 12 bedrooms. Cocktail bar, library and lounge with log fires. The highlight for many is dinner, served in an elegant dining room. The menu varies daily and is imaginatively prepared by the longstanding master chef, Barrie Garton.
Rooms: 4T/D, 8D.
Three cottages: sleep 4/6 & 8.
B&B: from £35.
Dinner: from £27.50.
Pk lunch: by prior arrangement.
Run by: Phil & Julie Jones
Quality bunkhouse accommodation by Nenthead Mines on the route. Sole use of the bunkhouse cannot be guaranteed for your group unless you arrange this with us in advance. Each bed is styled like a ship’s cabin bunk with blinds for privacy and a small internal light and shelf. Downstairs is a sitting room / dining room. The bunkhouse is fully heated, has hot water and two showers. The Miners Arms does evening meals (01434 381427). Please book in advance, especially for groups.
Rooms : 1 bunkhouse sleeps 6.
Bed (and self-catering b'fast): £18.
Eve meal : Miners Arms pub.
lunch : by arrangement. Kitchen: cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave, toaster etc. Utility/washing room with washing machine & tumble dryer.
Bedding is provided (duvet, pillow & sheets).
Towels on request.
Secure cycle storage.