Enjoy nearby attractions such as Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle and
High Force Waterfall
Explore County Durham - Land of the Prince Bishops
Venture further afield to Northumberland, The Yorkshire Dales,
York, Newcastle and the Lake District
Visit England - Discover Teesdale & Barnard Castle
Enjoy the Dales' Timeless Treasures
||A fantastic example of an English Medieval Castle
and the reason for Barnard Castle's existence.
||A magnificent French style chateau housing an Internationally
renowned collection of European paintings, ceramics and furniture.
||One of the most impressive castles in the UK - with
beautiful gardens and a large deer park.
||Simply spectacular! High Force is England's biggest
The Castle (www.barnardcastlelife.co.uk)
appreciate the history of this great castle is to understand the true
nature of this typically English small market town. Barnard Castle is
one of the great fortresses of Northern England, sited on a cliff above
the River Tees. Originally built after the Norman Conquest by the Baliol
family, its defences were successively developed during the Middle Ages
to create the castle we can see today. After the death of its most famous
owner, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, the castle was
gradually neglected in the hands of the Crown, even though it managed
to hold out for eleven days against rebels during the Rising of the North
The Castle is now in the care of UK English
Heritage and you really must do the tour. Enter the castle by the
North Gate, spend the 'princely sum' of £3 on an audio tour and within
an hour or so you'll see 'quaint and quiet dales life' in a completely
The Bowes Museum (www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk)
Bowes family first acquired land in Teesdale following the Norman Conquest,
eventually accumulating vast estates in County Durham and Yorkshire. Their
land in north Durham contained large coal reserves and from the 17th -
19th centuries the family acquired great wealth from mining and transporting
coal. The first view of this magnificent building comes as something of
a shock. It looks like a French chateau, but is in fact a purpose built
museum on a grand scale. It was commissioned by Josephine and John Bowes
to house a collection of European art that they bought to show in it.
The Bowes amassed the collection in just fifteen years. Sadly neither
of them saw the project completed, as they both died before it opened
to the public in 1892.
The Museum has public galleries on three floors. To enjoy your visit you
are advised to spend at least two hours taking in a selection of the exhibits.
Your admission ticket is valid all day. You can break your visit with
lunch in the Café Bowes or a stroll around the grounds and formal gardens,
or perhaps visit Barnard Castle and return later in the Day. Note that
the most famous exhibit in the Museum, the Silver Swan musical automaton,
plays each day at 12:30pm and 3:30pm.
Raby Castle (www.rabycastle.com),
is one of the North of England's most impressive castles. Built in the
14th century by the Neville family, it has been the home of Lord Barnard's
family since 1626. The rooms display fine furniture, impressive artworks
and elaborate architecture. You can see large herds of red and fallow
deer in the Deer Park, enjoy five acres of glorious 18th century walled
gardens, a splendid carriage collection and a children's woodland adventure
playground. Note; Opening times and events vary, it's best to check before
planning your visit.
Flatts Woods flattswoods
woodland walk in the historic heart of Barnard Castle. The Woods formed
part of Marwood Chase, the hunting park of the Baliol family, who were
the Lords of Barnard Castle. In the 13th Century, Hugh Baliol granted
the townspeople the right to graze their pigs in the woods.
For a perfect start to your holiday, try an early morning walk through
the woods. You can start your walk right from the front door of Riverdale
High Force (www.rabycastle.com/high_force)
its rise as a trickle, high on the heather covered fells at the top of
the Northern Pennines, to the top of the Whin Sill rock at Forest-in-Teesdale,
the River Tees steadily grows and gathers pace. Then, suddenly and spectacularly
it drops 70 feet/21 metres - High Force is reputed to be the highest unbroken
fall of water in England. Postcards and photographs can't portray the
sheer size of this vertical wall of water, the ceaseless roaring sound
and the power of this natural phenomenon.
High force commands respect. Its power is its beauty but must be treated
with great care. Children should be supervised at all times and dogs must
be kept on short leads.