North Pennines Cycling
  Cycling Rides in the North Pennines

Cycle Rides                 


The Etape Pennines Challenge

Training ride for the Virgin Money Cyclone and the Etape Pennines cyco sportives

Harthope Moor         
Harthope Moor (Chapel Fell) and Middlehope Bank

Within a small area of Weardale and Teesdale are some of the toughest climbs in the North Pennines. This circuit covers most of them all in one day. The two highest climbs in England  and some leg breakers thrown in. Not for the faint hearted! Small gears essential!

This route is an ideal training ride for the Marie Curie Etape-Pennines sportive to be held in October.

Most of the climbs are tackled in the opposite direction to the Etape Pennines but are much more difficult in this direction.

The North Pennine Challenge "The Hell of the North" 49 miles
 To view this route in Google Maps click button

Cycle Route

3:1 Leaving the Dales Centre at Stanhope turn right onto the A689 main valley road.
3:2 Continue through the village of Eastgate (2) until reaching Westgate (3)
3:3 Turn RIGHT (4) in the centre of the village at sign marked Rookhope.
3:4 Climb the 1 in 4 bank of (Peat Hill) until the T junction at the summit of (Scarsike Head)
3:5 Turn LEFT (5)  onto descent
3:6 Stay on local road descending through the hamlet of Newhouse to Ireshopeburn (6)
3:7 Turn left at T junction on A689, on arriving at St John's Chapel (7) turn right before village square to Langdon Beck.
3:8 After the climb of Hartstop (Chapel Fell) descent into Tees valley.
3:9 Turn RIGHT (8) at T junction and take valley to road to Alston climbing gradually over (Yad Moss) to the head of the Tees Valley.
3:10 After 10 miles turn RIGHT (9) onto unclassified road to Nenthead climbing (Nunnery Hill).
3:11 At Nenthead (Nenthead Mines) (10) turn RIGHT on A689 to the climb of (Killhope Moor) (2056ft)(Killhope Mining Visitor Centre)
3:12 Continue down the valley through Wearhead towards Ireshopeburn (Weardale Museum)
3:13 At 30 mph sign before Ireshopeburn (11) turn LEFT to West Blackdene
3:14 Continue over bridge climbing (Carway Bank) to road Junction.
3:15 Turn RIGHT (12) to hamlet of Newhouse.
3:16 Turn left at T Junction (13)
3:17 Climb (Well Bank) and continue for 200yds take LEFT (14) turn after cottages to summit, descend (Middlehope Bank)
3:18 After descent into valley climb up to the summit of (Scarsike Head)
3:19 After descent to T Junction at Lintzgarth (15) turn right towards Rookhope (16) passing the (Lintzgarth Arch)
3:20 After half  a mile turn left (17) to St John's Church and over the climb of (Brandon Walls)
Turn LEFT at junction with A689 returning to Stanhope.




Elevation Profile: Hell of the North, total gain 7874 ft

The Hills

Peat Hill (Scutterhill Bank) to Scarsike Head
Height approx 2050 ft
Length 1.5 miles
Steepest section 1 in 4
Peat Hill or its other name of Scutterhill Bank is possibly the steepest and hardest climb in Weardale, this hill starts with a very difficult 1 in 4 section right from the start. The rest of the climb is long and steep up to the summit at Skarsike head at 2050 ft

Middlehope Bank
Height 2000 ft
Length: Quarter of a mile
Steepest section 1 in 4
From the top of Scarsike Head the view of this hill looks really daunting. The climb is short and steep with a section at 1 in 4. A real leg breaker straight after climbing Peat Hill

Harthope (Chapel Fell)
Height 2056 ft
Length: approx 2.5 miles
Steepest section 1 in 5
From St John's Chapel the road climbs steeply out of the valley. The sign at the bottom of the climb warns cyclists of poor conditions at all times. This sign should not be taken lightly. I have been blown of the bike by the high winds and freak weather conditions that can occur towards the summit. Climbing into the Helm Wind gusting at up to 50mph is no joke. This is a tough climb with a sting in the tail towards the summit as the gradient increases.  

Yad Moss
Height 1958ft ft
Length: approx 5 miles
Steepest section 1 in 15
The long climb from Langdon Beck over Yad Moss to the head of the Tees Valley and summit of the Alston Hills is a wide exposed road that can be busy at weekends.

Nunnery Hill
Height 1670 ft
Length 1.25 miles
Steepest section 1 in 5
Turning of the main valley road onto an unclassified road towards Nenthead. Nunnery Hill  is a narrow single track climb.

Killhope Cross
Height 2056 ft
Length 1.5 miles
Steepest section 1 in 5
The highest climb on a classified road (A689) in England
The climbing starts from the village of Nenthead and goes up in stages with several false summits to its peak at Killhope Cross. It would spoil the fun if I mentioned how many false summits there are on the way!

Carway Bank
Length 300 yds
Steepest section 1 in 5
Starting as soon as you cross the bridge in West Blackdene, a short sharp hill with a 1 in 5 section before the right hand turn.

Well Bank (New House Bank)
Length 1 mile
Steepest section 1 in 5
A steep 1 in 5 section to start with a couple of tight corners thrown in before the long straight section to the summit of Middlehope.

Scarsike Head
Height 2050 ft
Length 0.75 mile
Steepest section 1 in 5
Straight and steep leg breaker at the start dragging out to a long exposed climb to the summit

Brandon Walls & Hill Top
Height approx 1570ft
Length approx 2 miles
Steepest section 1 in 5
After leaving Rookhope there is a left hand turn marked St John's Church, The road climbs steeply from the start over the hills in short sharp climbs to  Hill Top before descending into Stanhope.



Local Information                
Chatterbox Cafe

Chatterbox Cafe

St Johns Chapel

Cycling cafe, an essential stop in Weardale

Virgin Money Cyclone

The ultimate Northumberland challenge

Open For Entries

Earth Wind & Tyre

June 9th 2018

Road Cycling (2 day event)

Durham to Edinburgh

Open for entries


Beware falling sheep! 

Beware falling sheep!


01325 257837

North Pennines Cycling

 Cycling Group


(Saturday Morning Cafe Ride)

 Cycling Blog

Pinch Flat

For storage system needs in

 the North of England 

 County Durham Flag

County Durham

Northumberland Flag