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Looking up Weardale from near Collier Law
Looking up Weardale from near Collier Law.
Introduction General Alston Killhope Wheel
Weardale Museum Stanhope Frosterley Wolsingham

The River Wear begins high in the Durham Dales (north of the Yorkshire Dales) at the junction of the Killhope and Burnhope Burns next to the village of Wearhead. The high plateau of the moors dips into a deep valley as the river heads east, passing many villages along the way - Ireshopeburn, St. John's Chapel, Westgate, Eastgate, Stanhope, Frosterley and Wolsingham. Emerging into the lowlands stretching to the North Sea, the river meets its first big town (Crook), first city (Durham) and then bends north to meet the sea at Sunderland.

Many tourist guides call Weardale "the last undiscovered Yorkshire Dale" (even though Weardale is actually in County Durham!). Sadly this is no longer true. There are many caravan sites in the valley and the road through it between Crook and Alston seems to get busier every year. But the bleak and wild moors are still there and many beauty spots can be found hidden away from the tourist hordes in the rest of the Dales.

Why is a Kiwi interested in a remote English dale? The reason is because my mother's side of the family comes from the small village of Frosterley in the lower reaches of the dale.

This page contains links to various other sites that I have found with information about Weardale. These are not arranged in any particular order in the sections below.

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Durham County Council Durham County stretches from the North Sea to the headwaters of the Tees and Wear Rivers.
Lead Mining in Weardale A good introduction (with a map) to lead mining in Weardale compiled as John Stark researches his ancestry.
North East England History Pages An impressive site by David Simpson based on a series of his books. Look here for his Weardale information but his other pages are very well done.
Wear Valley District Council Everything that you would want to know about living in the Wear Valley. It includes 10 walks around local beauty spots.
Wear Valley Portal Just established in September 2002 but promises to be a great Weardale resource.
Weardale On-Line Home Page A good site with lots of information.
The Weardale Railway Project Lost of information on developing and protecting the the historic railway line along the valley.
Weardale books

I can also recommend: Weardale in Old Photographs and Weardale in Old Photographs: A Second Selection.
Alston (just over the moors from Weardale)
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Alston A good introduction with lots of information about the town.
Killhope Wheel
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Killhope Lead Mining Centre A great place to visit. Lots of mining remains, a tour of the mines and good displays.
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St. John the Evangelist, Rookhope All about Rookhope's church.
The Coast-to-Coast Guide Some information from a Coast to Coast Cycle guide that passes through Rookhope.
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Stanhope The best place in the dale to visit for tourist information is the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope.
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White Kirkley in Weardale A hamlet just across the river from Frosterley
Frosterley, County Durham, England Short, one paragraph description
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Wolsingham, County Durham, England Short, one page description
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