Along the River Wear and in the northern county of Durham is the small market town of Stanhope with a smattering of cosy holiday cottages. Surrounded all round with the beauty of the North Pennines moorland, Stanhope falls in the second largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in both England and Wales. Rent a holiday cottage with your loved one in this breath taking place and explore all that Stanhope has to offer, such as the Durham Dales Centre, which includes an elegant tea room, as well as a sweet crafts shop and plenty of tourist information. Go for a walk around Stanhope and cross the stone bridge, or choose the local ford, which has many large stepping stones dotted through the water. For a truly unique and magical experience, take a dip in the Weardale Open Air Swimming Pool, where you can float along heated waters while looking up at the sky.

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Stanhope’s history is obvious everywhere you turn – just take a look at the local church, which boasts a fossilised tree stump, over 300 million years old! The church itself dates from the 12th century, while the gorgeous and colourful stain glass windows in it are medieval. Stanhope Castle in the heart of town is a majestic must-see, while the heritage railway, going from the nearby civil parish of Bishops Auckland to the calm village of Frosterley, provides stunning scenery all along the route. Visit Stanhope during the autumn and you can take part in the agricultural show, which has been running since 1834. A fascinating town with endless culture and history, Stanhope is perfect if memorable holiday experiences are what you seek. If you come with the kids and are looking for a excitement, simply travel one mile away to the neighbouring town of Ashford where the Imagination Play Centre, fit with trampolines, slides and plenty of more guarantees fun for the youngsters (and young at heart).