C2C - Route 7
Route Section: Alston > Consett
From Start: 139km (87m) | From Finish: 83km (52m)
Stanhope 21km (13m)
Consett 40km (25m)
Coming down from Black Hill, at 636m (2,087ft) the highest pointy on the C2C, take care descending Paxhill (Thorn Green Accommodation) as the road winds and there is a road junction at Ropehaugh.
From here an easy run to the welcoming door of the Allenheads Inn.
This is a delightful village nestling among the trees. Its focal point is a marvellous little pub called the Allenheads Inn, one of the most popular stop-off points anywhere along the route.
A century ago this prosperous, peaceful little haven was a toneless grey valley of slag heaps shrouded by smog, a mining community that provided one sixth of the nation's lead. It slipped into decline along with the industry, but has revitalised itself.
There is now a village Trust, a visitor centre, mining exhibitions, a shop and a café. It is also home to the British Norwegian Ski Club. There are three tow ropes on the run to the top at 540 metres. Annual family membership is £30. Facilities on the piste include a small bait hut where there is a BYO glühwein facility. Apres ski is in the pub. An ideal place for celebrities, it is usually free of paparazzi and gossip columnists.
For localised weather, click here: allenheads.myzen.co.uk
Places of Interest
Woodland Nature Trail - walks that take you around the village.
Old Blacksmith's Shop - smithy with display.
The Allenheads Trust, Allenheads Heritage Centre, 01434 685043
Where to Eat and Drink
The Hemmel Cafe is a charming little stop-off with a wood-burning stove, an airy courtyard and free WiFi. Amanda Noble, who took over in 2013, offers home cooking using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and teas, coffees, wines and bottled beers. Breakfast is served all day and the home-made bread, scones and cakes are to die for. Details: Main courses: £6.25 to £7.95. April 1 to Sept 30 open every day 9-5; Oct 1 to Mar 31 open 10-4 (except Wed). Contact: !(http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/wp- content/plugins/CycleGuideLocations/images/telephone.jpg) Tel: 01434 685568 !(http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/wp- content/plugins/CycleGuideLocations/images/email.jpg) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org !(http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/wp- content/plugins/CycleGuideLocations/images/web.jpg) Web: www.thehemmelcafe.co.uk
And of course, the Allenheads Inn, one of the best known C2C hostelries and a favourite stopover!
Out of Allenheads
Just follow the sign up the slight incline. Sadly the incline gets steeper and turns into one of the bigger unsung climbs of the route, through a patch of thick forestry commission darkness before emerging into the daylight.
At Currick you will cross a cattle grid and from here it is a splendid downhill run to Rookhope, a glorious and long, fast stretch (and after this there is only one BIG climb left - Crawleyside Bank, out of Stanhope.
Where To Sleep
Thorn Green Accommodation
Run by: Julie Macdonald
Splendid bunkhouse and campsite right on C2C route about 1.5 miles before Allenheads Village. There are 2 rooms in the Bunkhouse, each sleeping 6 people. The campsite is small but secluded right at the back of the Bunkhouse. There are showers and a locked bike shed for the Bunkhouse. No kitchen facilities and booking is essential. Evening meals available in the village. Julie has been looking after C2Cers now for well over a decade.
Rooms: 2 - 6 bunks each + 2 showers.
Camping: £8 pppn.
Packed lunch: please give a day or so advance warning.
On C2C route.
Pub : in the village.
Drying facilities and secure lock-up.
The Allenheads Inn
Run by: Ann & Phil Homer
Right on the original C2C route, this is a lovely 18th century village inn and a must for cyclists who enjoy atmosphere, hospitality and all-round rustic comfort. Fine ales and big helpings of tasty fare make this probably the most popular stop-off on the entire route. CAMRA and Good Pub Guide. Single occupancy restricted during busy season. Dinners from £8.99. Secure lock-up, free parking, free wifi. This is on of the great pubs in the north east, a national treasure.
Rooms: 2D, 5T, 1F. Open all year.
B&B: £39. Single occ. £55.
Eve meal: yes.
Pk lunch: £5.50.
Secure cycle parking.
Run by: Amanda Noble
The Hemmel Cafe is a charming little stop-off with a wood-burning stove, an airy courtyard and free WiFi. Amanda Noble, who took over in 2013, offers home cooking using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and teas, coffees, wines and bottled beers. Breakfast is served all day and the home-made bread, scones and cakes are to die for. Amanda has made this a really thriving hub and popular stop-off among regulars looking for a breather before the steep climb out of Allenheads!
Main courses: £6.25 to £7.95. April 1 to Sept 30 open every day 9-5; Oct 1 to Mar 31 open 10-4 (except Wed).
The Old School House
Run by: Helen Ratcliffe & Alan Smith
Ideal for groups and just a short walk to the bustling pub, this Victorian Schoolhouse has a refurbished accommodation wing which includes a large open plan area with big comfy sofas, wood burning stove and built in kitchen. Approx 100 metres from the route with spectacular views over village and North Pennines. Helen has been hosting C2Cers for several years and the School House offers a comfortable pitstop at what will be the final night for many of you.
Rooms: 2T and 2 bunk rooms (4 beds in each). Max 12 beds.
2 bathrooms with shower.
Pk lunch: no.
Eve meal: pub. Secure cycle storage.
address : Allenheads, NE47 9HR
telephone : 01434 685040
mobile : 07966 257276
Blacketts Retreat at Newhouses
Run by: Janine & Mike Swindale
Blacketts Retreat Bed and Breakfast is a Grade II listed building, built in 1788 by Sir Thomas Blackett standing 1400 feet above sea level. Warm and comfortable, with amazing views over the West Allen Valley. There are three bedrooms sleeping up to 6 people and a hearty breakfast is provided. There are refreshment facilities and a comfortable lounge with log burner for chilly evenings. There is a secure lockup for your bikes. The village pub serves evening meals and is a short walk from your accommodation. Therapy treatments are available on site, including post-exercise aromatherapy massage and hot stones treatments available from £20.
Rooms: 1S/D, 2T.
B&B : £35-£40 (single supp applied).
Pk lunch : from £5.
On C2C route.
Drying facilities. Secure lock-up.