Near Alston is an area of remote moorland interspersed with the remains of a lead mining industry. When doing this straightforward walk at Nenthead via Nent Hall it is difficult to believe that this place used to team with life.
At 1,500 feet above sea level Nenthead is not always bathed in glorious warm sunshine but as a place to visit and walk around it is a must. Fascinating mainly as one of the major lead and silver mining centres in the country, Nenthead was purpose built for the industry. What makes it unique however is that the village was built, run and managed by a group of Quakers. Not only did they make good profits they also treated the workers and their families very well. There was no other mining communities with such good facilities. Wherever you look from Nenthead the hillside is peppered with the signs of mining, the final one only closed in 1961.
The setting is therefore excellent for a walk. However walking a few hundred yards from the valley floor can also bring about some very remote moorland. This walk only skirts the moorland (try the walk from Nenthead to Garrigill to experience genuine wild moorland walking). However the fact that it touches the moors offers an excellent insight in to the character of the area. The return is along the River Nent which helps provide the power. Nenthead provides a history of lead mining within England’s Pennine spine.
Nent Hall is a lovely country house open to the public to stay. For such a building it is surprisingly good value.
For those not experienced in moorland walking the section near Roughside gives a good taster for what it can be like, particularly if the weather is poor.
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