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St John's Chapel 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 St John's Chapel 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.


Cycling around St John's Chapel


From St John's Chapel you can try your hand at some of the really challenging climbs or simply take a leisurely ride along the back lanes between Cowshill and Stanhope. You may still have a climb or two to make but there are breathtaking views across the valley.

If you're doing the alternative C2C route this is a good place for an overnight stop or food break.

WARNING! the A689 is a busy main road not suitable for family cycling.

Visit Hamsterley Forest and try their off road cycling tracks.

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


St John's Chapel

St John's Chapel has grown around the church of St. John the Baptist which was built in the Weardale Forest in the 15th century to serve the Bishop of Durham and his friends during the times of their hunt. In 1750 the church was enlarged to serve the growing polulation of lead mining families who were settling in the area.

Click below to enlarge images in the gallery

St John's Chapel is the largest village in the upper dale with a population of about 300, a town hall with fortnightly cinema, a foodstore, post office/gift shop, two public houses (The Golden Lion and The Blue Bell) and Chatterbox Cafe.

Being situated in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, St John's Chapel is increasingly popular with cyclists doing the alternative C2C route, or trying their hand at the challenges. For walkers there is the long distance Weardale Way, quiet walks by the river and Harthope Burn or more strenous walks to the higher ground overlooking the valley.

Click below to enlarge images in the gallery

It's a great place just to chill out, watch the birds and have a quiet relaxing holiday in lovely countryside.

Places to Stay

Black Dog House, Westgate
Stone Carrs Cottage, Westgate
The Old Barn, Westgate


Places to Eat

Chatterbox Cafe
The Golden Lion

Places to Visit

The Weardale Railway

The Durham Dales Centre

Durham Dales Craft Centre, Stanhope

The Weardale Museum, Ireshopeburn

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

The Bowlees Visitor Centre

Harehope Quarry

Auckland Castle

Spanish Gallery

Mining Art Gallery

Auckland Tower


High Force in Teesdale

Low Barns Nature Reserve

Tanfield Railway


Nenthead Mine (pre-book Open Days)

Hamsterley Forest

Hall Hill Farm

The Open Air Swimming Pool, Stanhope


The Weardale Show, the last Saturday in August