Good Evening, Hello, Hi All


Back with a new blog today.  Hands up those of you have heard of Groverake Mine?  I had certainly heard of it, I had seen photos of it in some Facebook groups I am a part of, but I had never been and didn’t really know where it was if I’m honest.  That is, prior to the 14th April this year when my mate and brilliant photographer Phil Roberts suggested it as the location for our regular #GoneTogging day out shooting all things wonderful.


Phil and I try to get out shooting together at least once a month, it is usually more if we factor in gigs and stuff, and we take turns choosing locations and ideas.  This was Phil’s shout and wow did he choose a beauty.  So, on 14th April we headed up and out towards Weardale with the trusty camping coffee making machine and the cameras in the boot.  It was still a bit cold and there was a threat of rain in the forecast so we were well wrapped up, no need for thermals this time though.

 ‘The most important piece of photography equipment after the camera is a good pair of boots – David Hurn

With Phil driving we passed through a village called Rookhope, kinda Northwest of Stanhope over in Weardale in County Durham.

It’s a bit of a twisty drive and there are things to see both left and right but just as you come through a right/left bend and then look down to the left, there it is, a mine head with a collection of abandoned stone buildings and a small stream running right through it.  It just looks amazing, I honestly felt as if we had stepped back in time using a time machine rather than Phil’s trusty Kia Sportage.  It’s in a valley location with greenery all around and has a feel almost as if it had been closed and abandoned in the early 1900’s, but the truth could not be more different.  It was actually still an active commercial mine until 1999. 

Click this link for the full history of Groverake Mine – Rookhope, England – Atlas Obscura

We parked up in a little pull in on the right-hand side of the road, brewed up a cuppa, then wandered down the footpath to the site itself.  We explored all over the site popping off images as we went, a lovely way to spend a couple of hours shooting.  BUT, be careful, it is private land but with open public access, be a bit sensible please if you do visit, I would not recommend going inside any of the dilapidated buildings, they are fragile at the very least and you would be taking your life in your own hands there, very safe if you stay on the outside.

With a load of (hopefully) good images in the bag for both of us we headed back to the car for another roadside coffee before travelling back whence we came to look at what we had captured and have a debrief over a beer in The Kopper Keg, OK well a couple if I’m honest.

Here’s a link to the finished images: Groverake Mine, Weardale – April 2024 | EnA Photography (

Onwards and upwards to more #GoneTogging.

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