Weardale Way Update (S3&4) Rookhope Inn

I think we might have to face it: the Rookhope Inn has been closed for a couple of years now and doesn’t look like it’s about to open any time soon. When I was last up there (18/03/23) there was no activity; in fact it appeared to be derelict to all intents and purposes.

I’m sure it’s unfortunate for the village and is a major loss for Weardale Way and Pennine Journey walkers as well as C2C cyclists. For anyone walking the Weardale Way there’s little point continuing into Rookhope unless your objective is Barrington Bunkhouse or you’re interested in other features such as the ‘Rookhope borehole’ for instance.

Our advice – shame that it is – is to cut your losses, miss out Rookhope altogether, and follow this alternative route, which combines Sections 3 & 4 into a comfortable day-walk to Stanhope with a potential pub stop at Cross Keys Inn, Eastgate.

We’ll be keeping our eye on developments and posting here (if you have any information you’d like to share feel free to post in the comments).

2 thoughts on “Weardale Way Update (S3&4) Rookhope Inn”

  1. This is Val Livingston, of Barrington Bunkhouse.
    As you can probably imagine, I am struggling to survive and you have to rub my face in it …. put a nail in the coffin and say ‘miss out on Rookhope’. The pub closed down for Covid,then the owners decided to sell and the present owner has had it now for 2 maybe 3 years but is just living there. He is telling people that he might re-open it as a pub next year, by that time it will be too late for me. This isn’t my fault, my bunkhouse is still a nice cozy place to stay, people love it and I’m still getting returnees … pub or no pub. There is a club in the village which is open on Tuesday nights (darts) and Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so there is somewhere to have a pint or two.
    Some people eat before they get here, some people self cater and some people take a taxi (if they don’t have their own transport) to the nearest pub which is only 3 miles away. It’s difficult, but we’ve managed, but for you to say bypass Rookhope is so unfair, have some empathy and please reword this article.

    1. Hi Val,

      I’m sorry that you feel the contents of my post has hurt your business which, of course, was never the intention. On reflection, I might have been rather blunt but essentially stand by what I’ve said. I can’t in good conscience recommend that day walkers go to what’s effectively a blind alley in Rookhope now that there’s no casual hospitality outlet. They need somewhere to rest, drink, eat and shelter especially when the Weardale weather is at its worst.

      I’m happy, however, to modify the wording with respect to there being a facility for overnight accommodation at Barrington Bunkhouse – perhaps you’d like to suggest something? But I can’t recommend going all the way into Rookhope as things stand – unless it’s the walkers’ choice. There’s always been a link to Barrington Bunkhouse’s website in the post and I think that’s reasonable.

      Very simply, the comfort and safety of walkers is my priority. I’d be more than happy to do a low-cost feature on Barrington Bunkhouse but can’t do it for free I’m afraid.

      For what it’s worth, you have my sympathy and it would indeed be a shame to lose yet another facility like Barrington Bunkhouse (it is, as you say, a ‘nice, cosy place’) and notwithstanding the personal consequences to you. Neither does anyone have to promote the merits of Rookhope to me: I continue to spend happy hours there, exploring, walking, cycling and running through and around it. I was as crestfallen to learn of the pub’s closure as anyone.

      If this issue is as important as it seems then, in my humble opinion, the village would benefit from a basic but reliable hospitality outlet – a ‘pop-up’ cafe for want of a better term. That would change things completely though I stress that it needs to be reliable.

      By all means, send me some alternative wording for the post and I can have a look at it. I can’t get involved in promoting individual businesses however, unless I offer it to everyone and that of course, isn’t possible unless it’s paid for.

      Yours in good faith,

      Scott

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