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The Allen Dales

East and West Allendale is the catchment area of the Rivers East Allen and West Allen. The sources of the rivers are high in the North Pennine fells near the boundary with County Durham and Cumbria. It is an area characterised with large rounded grassy hills increasing in elevation towards the watersheds and the county boundaries. The higher the fells the more the grass gives way to heather giving wonderful views in late summer.

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For centuries this meeting of the three counties was a focal point of lead mining employing many thousands of people. Some of the mines have been reopened and it is possible with guided tours to begin to understand the appalling conditions the miners were exposed to. There are still signs of mining with the odd, now grass covered waste heap, the flue chimneys at Catton and occasional mine shaft. The area has seen a massive reduction in population since mining was abandoned over one hundred years ago – it is now a peaceful landscape of small communities, magnificent views and towering skies. Some old miners’ cottages can be seen in states of decay amongst the higher slopes – good material for photographers.

Allendale Town, with its large market square, is the capital of the East and West Allendale. Allenheads has a claim to be the highest village in England and is home to a small ski club. The rivers are small, but in late autumn at the bridge near Catton, hundreds of salmon and sea trout can be seen crossing the small weir under the bridge. The two rivers eventually join to form the River Allen at the stunningly beautiful Cupola Bridge. The river then weaves its way through the scenic gorges of Staward Gorge and Allen Banks and eventually into the River South Tyne.

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East and West Allendale is the catchment area of the Rivers East Allen and West Allen. The sources of the rivers are high in the North Pennine fells near the boundary with County Durham and Cumbria. It is an area characterised with large rounded grassy hills increasing in elevation towards the watersheds and the county boundaries. The higher the fells the more the grass gives way to heather giving wonderful views in late summer.

Read More

For centuries this meeting of the three counties was a focal point of lead mining employing many thousands of people. Some of the mines have been reopened and it is possible with guided tours to begin to understand the appalling conditions the miners were exposed to. There are still signs of mining with the odd, now grass covered waste heap, the flue chimneys at Catton and occasional mine shaft. The area has seen a massive reduction in population since mining was abandoned over one hundred years ago – it is now a peaceful landscape of small communities, magnificent views and towering skies. Some old miners’ cottages can be seen in states of decay amongst the higher slopes – good material for photographers.

Allendale Town, with its large market square, is the capital of the East and West Allendale. Allenheads has a claim to be the highest village in England and is home to a small ski club. The rivers are small, but in late autumn at the bridge near Catton, hundreds of salmon and sea trout can be seen crossing the small weir under the bridge. The two rivers eventually join to form the River Allen at the stunningly beautiful Cupola Bridge. The river then weaves its way through the scenic gorges of Staward Gorge and Allen Banks and eventually into the River South Tyne.

Read Less

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