Slitt Mine, near Westgate
**** This picnic site cannot currently be reached via Slitt Wood as part of the footpath collapsed in last winter’s floods ****
The best picnic sites, like the best beaches, can only be reached by foot and the walk up from Westgate village to Slitt Mine is, if not the best short walk in Weardale, at least in the top one as Brian Clough might have said. (If picnicking here please remember that this is an important archaeological site and treat it with respect). Rather than doing a there and back walk why not download and follow the brilliant North Pennines leaflet from Discover Weardale HERE which describes a circular three mile walk from Westgate, including Slitt Mine, and gives the geological and historical background to the area.
While there, climb up the steep hill behind and just to the left of the old mine to inspect the reservoir which provided the water to drive the huge waterwheel which powered the mine.
Park in the centre of Westgate in the long recessed parking bay on the right of the A689 (coming from Stanhope), walk in the St John’s Chapel direction to the end of the car park and bear right up a track signed “leading to Weeds”. Turn right at the first track junction and left at the second to reach some houses. Turn left at the “Slitt Wood” footpath sign and climb up to the picnic site.