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Ireshopeburn Walks

Wellhope Bird Walk PDF (2.41Mb)

Cowshill Bird Walk PDF (2.57Mb)

Cowshill to Killhope PDF (491 kb)

Wearhead PDF (758 kb)

Ireshopeburn Haymeadows PDF (1.2Mb)

St John's Chapel PDF (2.7Mb)

Weardale Way 1: Cowshill to Westgate PDF (513 kb)


The County Durham Definitive Public Rights of Way

This website is not a PDF but it will provide maps of the definitive rights of way for all of County Durham's footpaths - just select Ireshopeburn from the list of towns/villages.

The publication of the public rights or way is a guide for visitors but not a guarantee that the footpath will be open. Please report any issues.


Cycle around Ireshopeburn

WARNING! The A689 is a busy main road

Take a leisurely ride along the back lanes overlooking the valley between Cowshill and St John's Chapel

Try your hand at some really tough climbs like New House Bank on the road from Ireshopeburn to Rookhope.

Visit Hamsterley Forest and try their off road cycling tracks.


Click here to seek out the quieter C roads in and around Weardale.

Ireshopeburn village

Ireshopeburn is a pretty village at the western end of Upper Weardale. The name pronounced locally as "Eye-sup-burn" may derive its meaning from ironstone deposites in the area or from nearby Irish settlers. This was once part of the high Forest of Weardale where Bishop's of Durham brought their rich friends to hunt deer and boar. It was later given over to farming and became the headquarters for the Blackett and Beamont lead mining operations in Weardale during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Click below to enlarge images in the gallery

Ireshopeburn also became a centre for 'dissenting' communities as first the Presbyterians built a 'Scots Kirk' in the village and then the Methodists built their preaching house. Wesley made many journeys out into Weardale to visit his Methodist Society in Ireshopeburn and High House Methodist Chapel is now the oldest Methodist Chapel to have continuous weekly services since its foundation in 1760. The Chapel can be viewed by visitors during the opening hours of the adjoining Weardale Museum which is bursting at the seams with stories of local life.

The Weardale Museum is seasonal and only open in the afternoon from 2pm - 5pm at Easter and then between 1st May and 31st October, but a a visit is highly recommended.

Above the village lies Burnhope Reservoir which affords beautiful views especially from May to August, the seasons of nesting wading birds and wildflower meadows.

Click below to enlarge images in the gallery

Places to Stay

High Watch, Lanehead

Places to Eat

Chatterbox Cafe, St John's Chapel
The Golden Lion, St John's Chapel

Places to Visit

The Weardale Railway

The Durham Dales Centre

Durham Dales Craft Centre, Stanhope

The Weardale Museum, Ireshopeburn

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

High Force in Teesdale

The Bowlees Visitor Centre

Low Barns Nature Reserve

Auckland Castle

Spanish Gallery

Mining Art Gallery

Auckland Tower


Harehope Quarry

Tanfield Railway


Nenthead Mine (pre-book Open Days)

Hamsterley Forest

Hall Hill Farm

The Open Air Swimming Pool, Stanhope