The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), incorporates much of the Durham Dales, and is a stunning landscape of open heather moors, dramatic dales, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, close-knit communities, glorious waterfalls, fantastic birds, colourful hay meadows, stone-built villages, intriguing imprints of a mining and industrial past, distinctive plants and much, much more.
As well as being an AONB the North Pennines is also a UNESCO Global Geopark – an accolade awarded to areas across the world with outstanding geology. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are recognised as the equal of our National Parks and were established with the purpose of conserving and enhancing natural beauty so you'll be sure of finding some spectacular landscapes with plenty of opportunities to explore on foot and on bikes.
The Bowlees Visitor Centre is run by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership. Nestled within the North Pennines it's a great place for finding out more about the area's history, its people, its landscape and the wonderful wildlife found here.
The centre's knowledgeable staff, including botanists and archaeologists, can explain just what makes this landscape so special.
Whatever your interest, we can find a walk to suit you. And with the legendary Pennine Way, and the stunning High and Low Force waterfalls as its neighbours, there's plenty of choice.
So welcome to the North Pennines, a place where you can stretch your legs, spread your wings and explore one of the finest landscapes in England. This place has inspired many of Britain's most famous artists, writers and people of ideas for centuries. Come and let it inspire you too!
- Green Awards Green Tourism Business Scheme - Gold 2014