Isaacs Tea Trail is a 36 mile walk which takes in a number of Independent Hostels and bunkhouses providing accommodation in Alston, Ninebanks, Allendale, Carrshield and Nentsbury. Isaac Holden lived down the road from Ninebanks Hostel and travelled the area selling tea and raising funds for good causes including the local village school and a hearse house to look after people at both ends of their lives. Walk this trail yourself to discover glorious dales and wild moors with stunning views across the North Pennines and enjoy a welcome at one of the hostels providing accommodation on the trail.
Accommodation on Isaac's Tea Trail
Accommodation near Isaac’s Tea Trail
The 36 mile trail is a showcase of the North Pennine’s rich heritage both natural and man-made.
High among the memorable features are the Bastles or defensive farmsteads from the troubled times of the Border Reivers (see Rowantree Bastle) to more peaceful times with the Bavarian-styled church and spire at Kirkhaugh. Another surprise amongst many is the model village within what was a model village at Nenthead built for the lead miners. At Ninebanks is a rare hearse house refurbished as a heritage stop for visitors wanting to learn more about the trail and its inspiration Isaac Holden. From the past to the present and future, there’s even a sci-fi Museum in Allendale.
Over 36 miles there’s something for everyone and nowhere else like it. This is an undiscovered and quiet corner of Northern England, with the chance to discover an almost timeless upland landscape of upland fells and green dales. The open space and peace and quiet of the countryside are a tonic if you are wanting to find somewhere for a short break to get away from it all.
The trail is divided into 4 sections with an independent hostel, bunkhouse, or camping barn at the end of each. Allow between 2-4 days depending on how relaxed you want to be.
- Allendale Bunkhouse to Carrshield Camping Barn (near Carshield) or Haggs Bank Bunkhouse (Nentsbury). Follows the East Allen valley upstream and gently climbs the Black Way to the high heather moors.
- Carrshield Camping Barn, Haggs Bank Bunkhouse to Alston Youth Hostel in Alston, or Garrigill Village Hall in Garrigill. Alternates between the fell side and waterfalls.
- Alston Youth Hostel or Garrigill Village Hall to Ninebanks Youth Hostel and Chalet. Follows the Pennine Way before crossing the River South Tyne. Then climbing the valley of the Ayle Burn into the West Allen
- Ninebanks Youth Hostel and Chalet to Allendale Bunkhouse. Crosses the watershed from the West Allen to the East Allen through a mixture of rough pasture, meadows, and woodlands with a riverside walk into Allendale.