Only 40 minutes by car from the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Durham, the picturesque and historic village of Blanchland is a haven of peace and tranquility where you can escape the stresses and strains of modern life. Surrounded by the stunning countryside of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can enjoy this rural retreat at a pace to suit you: from pottering round the fascinating Abbey and village, with its gentle walks along the River Derwent, to hiking and biking the surrounding dramatic moors.
Come for the day
There’s lots of things to do in Blanchland for all ages. You can simply wander around the picture-perfect village, which has been used as a location for many films and TV dramas; from historical epics such as Jude the Obscure to CBBC favourite, Wolfblood. In Blanchland Abbey, you can soak up the peace and beauty of the church where you will also find information about how the original medieval monastery shaped the village’s unique history. On a fine summer’s day, bring the family for a picnic in the playing field beside the River Derwent, next door to a fantastic play area for younger children.
Walking and cycling
There are lots of walks to enjoy starting and ending in Blanchland, from a family-friendly stroll along the river or through a wood, right up to a day’s hike on the moors. Information can be found in the Village Shop and on OS maps OL43 (Hadrian’s Wall) and Explorer 307 (Consett and Derwent Reservoir). The North Pennines AONB has a downloadable Blanchland Geotrail for you to explore, as well as a guide to the short walk along the River Derwent with birdwatching information.
For something a little more adventurous, you can hire an electric bike from the Village Shop, by the hour or the day, to take some of the strain on the nearby hills. For more information, contact North Pennines E-Bikes.
Shop, eat and drink
No trip to Blanchland would be complete without a visit to sample the wonderful home-baking of the White Monk Tearooms, or the gourmet food and drink at the Lord Crewe Arms, with its medieval cellar bar and ‘cloister’ garden. You’ll also be given a warm welcome in Felons, the community-run bar.
The Village Shop is also a Post Office and stocks essential supplies, great ice cream, postcards and local information. And just up the road is the Jaspah Crewe gift shop with cards card for that special occasion and unique handcrafted gifts.
Stay for a while…
If you have more than a day to spare, stay in why not make the stunning Derwent Valley your unique base to explore Northumberland and County Durham? The award-winning Lord Crewe Arms Hotel in Blanchland village square has been named one of the top 50 romantic hotels in Europe! There’s also The Baa hostel and campsite in nearby Edmundbyers, where you can get to know the locals in The Baa’s Bar, and glamping at Derwent View. There is also self catering cottages at Hunstanworth Heath Holiday Cottages and Boltslaw Cottage.
There are many nearby attractions to make a day of it, in and around Blanchland. Nearby Pow Hill Country Park and Derwent Reservoir offer countryside walks, sailing and fishing. In wet weather, combine your visit to Blanchland with one of the nearby bustling towns such as Stanhope or Hexham. The North Pennines AONB regularly update their events calendar with things to do, including star gazing events in this designated Dark Sky Discovery Site.
Getting to Blanchland
Blanchland is a short drive from both the A69 and A68. If you’re coming by train, the nearest stations are Hexham or Corbridge, both of which have regular direct trains to Carlisle and Newcastle. To get here by bus, the 773 from Consett runs twice daily, Monday-Friday and drops you off in the middle of the village square.
Please use one the car parks in Blanchland when you visit – both of which give flat and easy access to the village. The main car park is signposted off the village square, on Shildon Road which runs up past the White Monk Tea Rooms. There is also the Village Hall car park which is next to the play area and playing field.
Please pay for parking by leaving a donation in one of the clearly marked honesty boxes in both car parks. These essential funds help support the Village Hall and other enterprises within the village. The boxes are emptied daily.
At Baybridge, just over a half a mile off-road walk from Blanchland, is a third car park adjacent to a picnic area with scenic views.
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