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Living in Allendale: The local area guide

Allendale is an award-winning village and civil parish in south-west Northumberland, England. It lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and draws tourists from far and wide thanks to its beautiful setting and heritage.

Allendale has been home to humans for thousands of years and evidence of this is scattered across the land. Ancient artifacts spread throughout the moorland have drawn a lot of archaeological attention over the years, and evidence of frequent battles with raiding Scots in the middle ages is abundant.

Indeed, the violence that marked the border with Scotland throughout the middle ages led to the building of fortified farmhouses, or bastles, which functioned to protect residents from harm. 40 of them are still standing today, standing testament to a more brutal time gone by and offering visitors a fascinating scenic ruin to explore.

Since the late Roman times, mining shaped the local economy and it was the prevalence of lead in the ground that led to the rapid development of Allendale in the 19th century. Those days are gone, with the village becoming a tranquil spot favoured by tourists looking for a weekend getaway, retirees, and mature commuters. Now, the smelting mill has been repurposed by the award-winning Allendale brewery.


Just over 2000 people live in Allendale, the bulk of which are retirees, farmers and commuters. The population is slightly older than the rest of the country, with an average age of 43. More than 50% are over 45, and about one in five are over 65.

Agriculture and tourism dominate the local economy, while another large section of residents commute to Newcastle upon Tyne, 36 miles away. Unemployment is very low, even by the standards of the rest of the region.

The small size and relative maturity of the local community should not be mistaken for complete tranquility. The residents are a party-loving bunch, and their celebrations have fantastic reputations far and wide.

At New Year, the Tar Barrel celebration dominates the village. Local 'guisers' carry whisky barrels filled with flaming tar down the main street in a tradition dating back to the 1850s. Flocks of tourists and notable celebrities have found this occasion a big enough draw to visit.

The Allendale festival is another stand-out example of the community's fun-loving spirit. Strongman competitions, wheelbarrow racing, food and craft fairs, and live music make this a great annual event. When they're not partying, there's a big sporting scene run by the residents. Fishing, football, tennis, running, golf, cricket and long-distance fell walking are popular among all ages.


Within the village itself is the newly relocated Allendale Primary School. Excellent Ofsted reports aside, the school has a brilliant reputation and thrives as part of the local community.

There is no secondary school in Allendale, but nearby towns such as Hexham offer a range of options to parents.


Allendale's railway station was closed in the 1930s. The falling mining production meant it became unfeasible for it to remain open for both passengers and goods.

The nearest stations are now Hexham and Haydon bridge, on the Carlisle-Newcastle line. Allendale is, however, serviced by the 668 bus service which travels to Allenheads, Hexham and Langley. It also has a local taxi operator.

The residents generally prefer to use their own methods of transportation, and by car the village is 10 miles from the A69 at Hexham, which provides quick and easy links to major cities.

Amenities and shopping

As a small village, Allendale isn't blessed with major high street brands and famous boutique shops, but it certainly holds its own when it comes to convenience. It has a health centre, village shop, Co-Op supermarket, a butchers, a fantastic bakery, Post Office, tea-room, cafe, and a selection of good pubs.

The Allendale Brewery is another big draw. Built into the old smelting mill, it brews award-winning ales that are enjoyed locally and across the country.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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