One of England's prettiest villages, Blanchland sits on the Northumberland/Durham border at the upper end of the Derwent Valley. The village is surrounded by picturesque walking routes and best approached across the wild terrain of the North Pennines. When we went our route was through torrential rain and low cloud - I loved it and Sam hated it! especially the sheep that refused to get out of our way!
Blanchland village began when its abbey was founded in the 12th century and it gets its name from the French canons who lived and worked in the building and who wore white habits. When these white-robed Canons of Premontre were travelling the length and breadth of England to find locations for their secluded religious communities, it's easy to see why they chose to settle on the banks of the Derwent in 1143; a beautiful steep-sided valley, sparkling water straight from the hills, and far away from the bustle and noise of busy towns.
In fact Blanchland is still like that today - unspoilt, often used for films and tv series and a rather magical place to visit. Most of the hidings are constructed from the stone of the old abbey which was demolished during the reign of Henry VIII. The and spiritual air that is everywhere around the old Abbey church still remains - a building that really has a presence.
Its pub, The Lord Crewe Arms, also dates from the 12th century, and is one of the oldest hostelries in the country.
What a beautiful little village... you must have been up and about early as there are no people anywhere?? Great church... would love to wander around the cemetery taking photos of the interesting grave markers.