St John's Chapel and Upper Weardale

C2C - Weardale Loop

Route Section: Weardale Loop

From Start: 142km (89m) | From Finish: 77km (48m)


Stanhope 11km (7m)

Consett 30km (19m)


  • Follow the A689 for about 500m and take the lane off to the right.

  • Crosslet Lane is a scenic backwater that will take you to the edge of Stanhope.

About St John's Chapel and Weardale

Unlike the splendid isolation of the official route via Allenheads and Rookhope, Upper Weardale offers cafes, stores, museums and a range of accommodation from camping to a luxury country house hotel, popular for years with C2Cers.

From Nenthead simply carry on along the main road over the three-hump hill of Killhope Cross (647m) and enjoy the exhilarating downhill stretch into Weardale. The villages of Lanehead, Cowshill and Wearhead line the route to Ireshopeburn, home of the Weardale Museum, which is full of fascinating insights into how life was when Weardale was a hive of mining and Methodism.

Chatterbox Cafe in St John's Chapel hosts the Upper Weardale Visitor Information Point and Weardale Bike Hire.

A kilometre down the valley in Daddry Shield, the Weardale Alternative turns off the main road and down a beautiful back road wending its way alongside the rive, past the Hare & Hounds pub in Westgate and the comfortable Horsley Hall before recrossing the river in Stanhope to put you back on the official route.

Where To Sleep

Dales Farm

Run by: Anita & Terry Holmes

Old farmhouse originally dating from the 16th century, with all the modern comforts and in 10 acres of farmland. Anita provides evening meals often including home-reared Black Wensleydale lamb. Hearty portions and there's an off-licence and pub just down the road.

Rooms: 2D.

B&B: £ 65-£75 per room.

Single occ: £55-£65.

Eve meal: £15 for 2-courses, £18 for 3.

Pk lunch: yes.

Secure cycle storage (lockable shed inside a lockable barn!) Drying facilities.

address : High Copthill, Cowshill DL13 1AD

telephone : 01388 537987

mobile : 07785 282293


Chatterbox Cafe

Run by: Cameron & Anne Marie Gordon

Splendid addition to the Weardale stretch of the ride, offering emergency relay, spares and bike  hire. The owner, Cameron, is a keen cyclist and veteran of the C2C. Hot and cold food - anything from cheesy beans on toast to all-day-breakfasts to locally made soups. And there’s always homemade flapjack, chocolate bars and peanut butter and jam sandwiches for calorie cravers. 

Open Every Day from at least 9am-5pm. 

Free coffee and tea refills. Dry Bike Storage.

Bike hire. Emergency relay.

Spares service . Cycle route maps and advice. Visitor Information.

address : 11 Market Pl, St John's Chapel, Bishop Auckland DL13 1QF

telephone : 01388 537536


Bridge House

Run by: Roger & Fiona Chambers

This splendid stand-alone house, towering over Harthope Burn commands splendid views of this main tributary to the Wear. From the street you get the Tardis effect as it appears to be a small house, but go down the path and you quickly see it's on three levels. Lovingly renovated with two king-size rooms with twin split options, there is free wifi and satellite TV plus the Golden Lion and Chatterbox cafe nearby.

Rooms: 2 T/D (zip lock kingsize beds).

B&B: £26 to £31.50.

Single occ: £40 or £50.

Eve meal: Golden Lion or Chatterbox.

Pk lunch: £5. Secure lock-up and drying facilities.

address : 2 Hood St, St Johns Chapel, DL13 1QB

telephone : 01388 537983

mobile : 07906 687109


The Golden Lion

Run by: Glenn & Caroline Royston

18th century coaching inn bang on the new route offering a bespoke service for C2Cers. There are four double bunk rooms with bathrooms, sleeping eight (£25pppn) now in newly refurbished accommodation plus two en-suite guest rooms which can be singles, doubles or twins. The Roystons, who serve good real ale, are keen to promote cycling in the new hub of activity that is St John's Chapel. Good food at reasonable prices and Taste Durham award winner. Free wifi in public areas.



Rooms: 2 S/D/T.

Bunkrooms: 4 sleeping total of 8. £25.

B&B: from £40.

Eve meals: from £8 (local produce).

Pk lunch: pse pre-order.

Secure lock-up and drying facilities.  

address : 12 Market Place, St John's Chapel DL13 1 QF

telephone : 01388 537231

mobile : 07736 672677


Westgate Manor

Run by: Kathryn & Stuart Dobson

Beautifully and sympathetically restored Victorian manor house set in the middle of the AONB. It's a five minute stroll to the pub if you can wrench yourself away from the lovely grounds and comfort of the house. Afternoon teas, lunches and dinners served. Log burners and antiques, hot baths and great service.

Rooms: 4/5. 4D, 1T. There is a family suite comprising 1D and 1T with a shared bathroom. 4D, including a 4-poster!

B&B: from £44.50pppn. Family suite: £179. 4-poster: £104 and £119.

Eve meal: yes - pse pre-book or use nearby pub.

Pk lunch: pse pre-order.

Secure cycle storage. Drying facilities.

address : Westgate, Weardale DL13 1JT

telephone : 01388 517371

mobile : 07719 551436


Hare & Hounds

Run by: Colin & Alison

Sadly no accommodation at this fine old Durham pub in Upper Weardale with its own brewery and great home made cooking. It scores top marks on all the important points and the beer's now selling to other pubs in the area. A welcome bolthole in this fine part of Weardale. Alison does the cooking and Sunday lunch is the busiest time of the week, so leave her to get on with the cooking on Sunday when you check out to tackle the rest of the route.

Eve meal: yes.

Pk lunch: yes.

Secure lock-up: yes.

address : 24 Front St, Weardale, Co Durham DL13 1RX

telephone : 01388 517212


Lilac House

Run by: June & Charlie


Lovely little B&B offering a family or twin room. Westgate is on the edge of town, an easy walk to the pub and only a minute's stroll from Slit Wood, with its waterfalls and pleasant walks. If you were staying longer, it's in easy reach of High Force Waterfall and Killhope Lead Mine. The local pub offers great home cooked food at reasonable prices and they brew their own beer.

Rooms: 1D/T/F (a double and a single).

B&B: £50 or £35 for single occ.

Eve meal: Hare & Hounds.

Pk lunch: yes.

telephone : 01388 517727


Hill House East Country B&B

Run by: Carol & John Graham

Renowned for its hospitality and fine, hearty fare, the Grahams run a top class B&B and are tailor-made for C2Cers. 'We don't do portion control,' says Carol. Country supper includes lamb broth, home baked bread and scones, and there are home-grown eggs for breakfast. Expect to revisit as many of their bookings are from repeat visitors. Afternoon tea is included on arrival.

Rooms: 1D, 1T.

B&B (plus afternoon tea): from £35.

Eve meal: £15. Pk lunch: £5.

Secure lock-up and drying facilities.

address : Westgate, DL13 1NU

telephone : 01388 517145


Pennine Lodge

Run by: Joyce Walton

Luxury 1-room B&B plus campsite on the banks of the Wear in 16 acres of private land, this is a relaxing, tranquil environment in the heart of Weardale AONB, where, if you have the energy you can walk, fish on their stretch of the river and visit the alpaca herd. The B&B is newly renovated to a luxury standard, complete with TV, tea/coffee making facilities, en-suite, private entrance, patio and seating area. Part of Camping and Caravanning Club, 10 pitches and 5 caravans.

B&B : £75 (£55 single occ). £65 room only.

Room : 1 D.

Tents : £6.  

Caravans : £8.

Eve meal : Golden Lion or Blue Bell.

Pk lunch : pse pre-order.

Secure cycle storage.

address : St. Johns Chapel, Bishop Auckland, DL13 1QX

telephone : 01388 537946


The Blue Bell Inn

Run by: Bryan & Kath Jones

Once a pair of terraced stone cottages, the Blue Bell has undergone a transformation into something of a chapel of worship for beer drinkers. One of only two Cask Marque outlets in the area, Bryan and Kath go to great pains to ensure their regularly changing ales are in tip top condition. Most are from mocrobreweries nearby. This is a pubman's pub, so not much in the way of lumpy stuff: Kath pickles the eggs and you might get crisps and scratchings. Pool room and beer garden. A veritable haven. Will open up if you're thirsty.

Weekdays : 5-12.

Weekend 12-12.

address : 12 Hood St, St John's Chapel, DL13 1QJ

telephone : 01388 537256


The North of England Lead Mining Museum

Run by: Pip Gill

Great pit-stop on the new Weardale Alternative, Pip and her team welcome you to the newly refurbished Killhope Café. Offering a wonderful menu from 10.30 (last orders: 4pm) with a choice of home-made soups, sandwiches, scones, cakes and lots more. Come in for lunch or just a relaxing cuppa. Ingredients are organic and/or locally sourced where possible. Caters for groups. Ask Pip about her special group deals. Al fresco dining! With funding from Leader, the cafe now has an awning over its picnic area. Date slices proving a real hit.

Killhope Museum is open daily 11-5 until Nov. Admission tickets valid for a year. Underground tours and a wealth of wildlife including red squirrels can be observed on the woodland trails. Award winning staff will answer all your questions about life at the top of the dale in the 19th C and ensure a memorable visit.

Serving from 10.30am until 5.00pm daily (until Nov).

Last order for meals: 4pm.

Visitor information.

Bike storage. Ideal for groups and a good place for back-up teams to hang out.

address : Near Cowshill, Upper Weardale, Co Durham DL13 1AR

telephone : 01388 537505