We moved up from Cambridgeshire in Dec 2020, having spent most of our lives 'down south'. We had a vague notion of where the North Pennines were, but hadn't heard of the Weardale. Now we feel silly - we would have missed out one of the most gloriously rugged and remote places in Britain - the 'roof of England'.
Living near Cambridge we were familiar with flat, farming landscapes and gloriously big skies with magnificent sunrises and sunsets.
However, we always had a hankering for hills and mountains, and on the way from home from numerous Lakes and Dales holidays we'd scour Rightmove for properties thinking 'one day....'
Now, we're here.
But where is here??
If you can ignore the fact that the drawing looks like the sideways on view of a person (now you've seen it you can't see anything else, can you?!) this is roughly where we are. If you were to draw a line from Newcastle to Keswick in the Lake District, we'd be roughly half way along that line. We're also right in the centre of the North Pennines. The North Pennines is an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, a UNESCO Global Geopark and more Dark Sky Discovery Sites than anywhere else in the UK.
We're less known, more rugged and therefore all the more attractive to explorers and those looking for time away from people and crowds.
To be fair, we haven't yet experienced the Weardale in the height of non-lockdown summer.
But, where we are, I doubt those intrepid cyclists who brave the hills around us on the Coast to Coast cycle route are going to impact much on the quiet beauty of Killhope (the dale we're situated in, meaning narrow valley).
You can get to us from the east or the west of the country.
Coming from the East, you're likely to travel up or down the A1(M) and the take a turning inwards at Darlington or Bishop Auckland.
Coming from the West, you're likely to travel up or down the M6 and take a turning inwards at Penrith.
Either way, the journey in is spectacular - through the dales-like country of the Weardale from the East or the moors-like country from the West.
Located where we are, as well as enjoying the calm and quiet of the house itself, and the majesty of the North Pennines, you're never very far away from beauties in the north, south, east or west.
North, you have Hadrian's Wall and the glorious and unspoilt Northumberland NP
South, you have the Yorkshire Dales, and possibly even the Moors.
East you have the Weardale, and the beautiful cities of Barnard Castle and Durham, and the fascinating behemoth that is Newcastle.
West you have the stunning Lake District.
One of my favourite views of the Lake District - as well as all the stunning vistas inside the NP, is from Hartside Pass, on the West of the North Pennines, overlooking the Eden Valley below you, and the towering and often snow-capped mountains of the Lake District in the far distance.
Whatever you choose to do while you're here, we're pretty sure you'll be back one day soon to discover more!