Westgate and Middle Hope Valley

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This walk starts and finishes from the typical stone-built little village of Westgate in the heart of picturesque Weardale in the North Pennines. This is a walk of two halves, firstly out along the upper flanks of Middle Hope Valley with its fine views and old walled tracks, then on its return by way of the valley floor.

On the way the walk passes through some interesting old mine workings that nature has reclaimed and incorporated seamlessly into this quiet, peaceful valley. The Low Slit Mine in Middlehope Valley was one of the biggest workings in Weardale before its closure more than 100 years ago; the now silent remains of the workings are a Scheduled Monument and site of special scientific interest and the ruins are a popular visiting spot for walkers. Among the important relics of the mine's industrial history are the stone base for an Armstrong hydraulic engine, which served as a winding engine for the shaft, a row of bouseteams and an ore washing and dressing floor where water was used to separate the heavy lead ore from lighter waste minerals.

The fact that the latter part of the walk follows an enchanting burn with its lovely waterfalls through a tree-lined gorge that has a wealth of flora and fauna, all goes to make this a memorable walk.

England - North England - Durham - North Pennines


Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Pub, River, Wildlife, Woodland
7/25/2023 - Kevin Gruer

We did this walk today, and thoroughly recommend it - it contains such variety. A climb up onto the moor criss-crossed with stone walls, giving way to wide views. Then a return to Westgate by Middlehope Burn which held many nice surprises - remnants of small scale lead mining, now blended back into the landscape, leading onto pools and waterfalls under a native tree canopy, before suddenly emerging out at Westgate again.

4/22/2012 - Alan Smith

Just done this walk today. Very wet under foot. But enjoyed it was a laugh navigating the puddles. The ancient lead mine ruins are excellent.

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