Cowshill Weardale Durham DL13 1AR

The iconic waterwheel announces your arrival at Killhope – the best-preserved lead-mining site in the UK, and a fantastic place to look back to the days when Weardale and the North Pennines were squarely at Britain's booming industrial heart. The 45-minute underground mine tour is the undoubted highlight – kitted out in hard hat, lamp and wellies, it's a sobering introduction to the fairly brutal life of a Victorian lead-miner. This might have been one of the richest mines in the country, but it came at a cost paid by real people. In the Mineshop you'll see how the miners lived – dressing-up optional – and later get a hard taste of life as a 'washerboy'. The working waterwheel and red squirrels in the woods lighten the mood a bit, and there's a cafe here too.