C2C - Weardale Loop
Route Section: Weardale Loop & Route 7
From Start: 150km (94m) | From Finish: 69km (43m)
Stanhope 5km (3m)
Consett 22km (14m)
Newcastle 50km (31m)
Heading from St. John's Chapel, either stick on the A689 and you are there in just over 6km
Alternatively take the back lane 500m east of St John's Chapel and continue for 6km before going left at Whitehouse caravan park and crossing Hagg Bridge over the Wear.
Out of Eastgate
Better than the A689 is to turn right after 150m over Hagg Bridge and past the caravan park.
Turn left and follow the lane into Stanhope, recrossing the Wear and emerging into Stanhope at the daunting foot of Crawleyside Bank.
There's more to Eastgate than meets the eye.
Quite apart from having a jolly good pub with accommodation plus campsite (the Cross Keys) and a jolly fine country house hotel (Horsley Hall), there is the Eastgate bus stop. This is not any old bus stop. In fact it is the only bus stop in the world to be parked next to a Roman altar.
This altar is dedicated to Sylvanus, the god of the woods and hunting. It was erected by the Roman cavalry commander from Longovicium (Lanchester), one Aurelius Quernius, to give thanks for the successful hunting of a very large wild boar. The altar shows that during Roman times Weardale must have been a favourite hunting ground for soldiers from nearby forts during their leisure time and the original is now in nearby Durham's Museum of Archaeology.
This area was also the hunting ground of the Prince Bishops of Durham and its name comes from the fact that it marked the eastern perimeter of their private hunting park, the second biggest in England after the royal hunt grounds in Hampshire's New Forest.
Eastgate was also the birthplace of Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge, the founder of the world's first department store, Bainbridge's of Newcastle, now part of the John Lewis Partnership.
It also featured in the Beowulf series on TV as the Beowulf set was situated in the old Blue Circle cement works.
Where To Sleep
Run by: Gaynor and Brian Irwin
Friendly country inn with lots of character the cross keys dates back to 1617 and is a real gem of a traditional co Durham pub. The rooms have recently been refurbished to a comfortable and high standard and all have en-suite, central heating, flat screen TV, tea & coffee making facilities. Enjoy a drink in the bar by the open fire, or have a meal in the dining room. The Cross Keys enjoys catering for cyclists. Dogs welcome, but not allowed in the bedrooms.
Rooms: 4T/D (zip-link into K-size doubles). 1F with 4S, 1F with 2S and 1D ( can configure as 4S). Up to 16 adults catered for in single beds.
B&B: £32.50 to £60 (single occ). Family rooms £110.
Lunch and eve meals: yes - from £7.50 to £15.95 (12oz sirloin). Gluten free menu also available.
Pk lunch: by arrangement.
Secure lock up.
Hole House Bunk House
Run by: Lizzy & Sophie Jackson
Bunkhouse located on a small farm just 5 minutes walk to the local Crosskeys Inn. Evening meal can be provided if required if you do not fancy the trip down to the pub. Good clean accommodation with attached large kitchen and TV room. Great quiet location with secure bike storage/workshop.
Rooms: 3 quad rooms, ie 2 pairs of bunks in each room - all en-suite.
B&B: £20 per person.
Eve meal: £10 (please pre-order food and refreshments).
Pk lunch: £4.50 (please pre-book).
Secure cycle parking. 0.5 miles from alternative route. Pub: 0.5 miles.
address : Hole House, Eastgate, Weardale DL13 2HX
telephone : 01388 517311
mobile : 07968 204599