We are often asked to recommend places to visit and activities to do.
Where do we start, there is so much to do on the doorstep!
Barnard Castle is named after the men that built the stone castle and founded the town. In 1125 Bernard de Balliol succeeded to the lands first given to Guy de Balliol in 1095. The original timber castle was rebuilt in stone and expanded by Bernard and his younger son, Bernard de Balliol II. The large castle is built high on rocky cliffs above the River Tees, and is divided into four wards all walled in stone. The inner ward is protected by a deep ditch cut into the rock and within this ward are the remains of the most important castle buildings including the Round Tower and the Great Hall.
Antiques Shops - The town is well known for its antique shops, ideal for browsing on those rainy days. Starting from the historical butter market, the antiques pave the paths of The Bank heading towards the River Tees.
Blagraves Restaurant - Blagraves House is the oldest house in Barnard Castle. It is situated at the centre of this historic market town's other main attractions, namely Bowes Museum, Eggleston Abbey and the Castle itself. With its heavily beamed ceilings and large open fireplaces it has been playing host to weary traveler and businessman alike for some 500 years. So why not dine where Cromwell once dined and experience the atmosphere of this unique 15th Century building whether it be an important business meeting or a relaxing dinner with family or friends.
Bowes Museum - The Bowes Museum is a hidden treasure, a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. The magnificent building stands proud in the historic market town of Barnard Castle housing internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts. Purpose built in the 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes, the Museum has a wonderful story to tell. John Bowes was a successful businessman who travelled to Paris in 1847 to explore his interest in the arts. It was here he bought a theatre and met the Parisian actress Joséphine Coffin-Chevallier whom he married in 1852. Joséphine was a talented amateur painter who was interested in a whole range of art forms including paintings, ceramics, furniture and textiles.
Raby Castle - One of the largest and most impressive of English medieval castles, Raby Castle, in County Durham, Northumbria, provides a wonderful day out for all the family. Wonder at its towers, turrets, embattled walls, interiors and artworks from the Medieval, Regency and Victorian periods. See the herds of deer roaming the surrounding parkland, enjoy the ornamental gardens, the horse-drawn carriages, relax in the tearooms and be tempted by traditional and unusual gifts & souvenirs in the gift shop. Built in the mid 14th century on the site of an earlier fortified manor house by the powerful Neville family who owned it until the Rising of the North in 1569, Raby Castle has been the home of Lord Barnard's family since 1626.
England's Highest Waterfall, High Force - The woodland walk leads you to this spectacular sight. As you begin the descent down the gentle slope the well-maintained path twists and turns giving a different view every few yards. From its rise as a trickle, high on the heather covered fells at the top of the North Pennines, to the top of the whin sill rock at Forest -in-Teesdale, the River Tees steadily grows and gathers pace, then it suddenly and spectacularly drops 21 metres into the plunge pool below.
Eggleston Hall Shops & Gardens - From the 1970's Eggleston Hall, the family home of the Grays, became increasingly well known for fine food, a nursery garden of unusual plants, and flower arranging and as a striking, wonderfully situated. The tradition founded by Rosemarie Gray who now lives in retirement on the estate is being carried forward by her son William and his wife Juliet. Eggleston Hall is on the north bank of the River Tees in the north east of England just south of the dales village of Eggleston on the B6278 between Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale. A classical Georgian country house, the Hall offers an impressive combination of natural beauty and architectural style. Take the opportunity to visit Eggleston's renowned nursery gardens and enjoy the delights of the Coach House Bistro - specialising in locally sourced ingredients.
Walks - The Teesdale Way explores the course of the River Tees for exactly 160km, from its source on the high moors of Cross Fell in the Cumbrian North Pennines to its outlet at Middlesbrough on the north east coast. This is a delightful walk through unmatched river scenery including historic sites, SSSI's, pretty villages, woods, rolling farmland and wetlands. Passing as it does from remote Pennine moorland through traditional dales towns and finally to Teesside's industrial heartland, the Teesdale Way gives a fascinating cross-section of the region's social, cultural and economic life.