Barnard Castle Travel Guide

  • Get tucked in....
    Get tucked in....
    by nickandchris
  • Finally....
    Finally....
    by nickandchris
  • Waiting......
    Waiting......
    by nickandchris

Barnard Castle Highlights

  • Pro
    nickandchris profile photo

    nickandchris says…

     Old-fashioned, intersting town 

  • Con
    Sjalen profile photo

    Sjalen says…

     Hard to get to 

  • In a nutshell
    Sjalen profile photo

    Sjalen says…

     Overlooked place for a daytrip 

Barnard Castle Things to Do

  • Visit Barnard Castle

    The castle is on a high rock overlooking the river. It was well known under Bernard de Balliol in the 13th century, though it had been built by the Normans. Richard III inherited from his wife Anne Neville. Now it is the care of the English Heritage.The castle is massive and looks very impressive from the outside , perched as it is on the rock and...

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  • the Market Place

    The Market Place or Buttergate Market is an interesting feature, and on the Saturday we were there there was a Farmer's Market.I had imagined stalls overflowing with vegetables and fruit, but though there was one, the majority had pre-packed meat, even venison and eggs. Some cake stalls were also there

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  • Over The Moors Route...

    This was a route we had hoped to travel on the motorbike but unfortunately it suffered a puncture on an earlier ride so we ended up driving the motorhome over this road. Fortunately, it was a good road, plenty wide enough in places with lots of passing places. It is, however, very steep at the start of the route.It is a scenic route, passing...

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  • River Walks

    This is great river walking country, with the Tees and the Greta joining forces just south of Barnard castle. Whilst camped near Scargill, south of BC, we chose to take a walk along the Greta. This entailed following a tributary from the site down to the Greta and then supposedly along the river bank. This did not turn out to be the case, as the...

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  • Bowes Museum Gardens

    The grounds surrounding the Bowes Museum are a public park and open all year, free entrance.Park either at the top, behind the museum, in the car park or on either side of the curving drive. Have a wander through the formal parterre garden with it's neat flower beds and recently restored fountain. A grand view of the French chateau-style Bowes...

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  • The Butter Market

    The Butter Market, also known as the Market Cross can be found at the end of the main street of Barnard Castle. It has served many purposes over the years including a market area for farmers wives to sell their produce and even a jail. Today it is a landmark in the centre of the town. Old engravings and photographs show it remains virtually...

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  • The Witham

    As I was having my stroll though the town centre, I came across "The Witham". There was even an art exhibition taking place. It does seem to be in need of some care and attention but does appear to be a busy cultural facility.

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  • The Bowes Museum

    After a long and slightly confusing walk, I came across the Bowes Museum - I was unsure what I was expecting, but was pleasantly surprised when I came across this very large building and grounds.It was the home of the family of the late Queen Mother' s extended family.

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  • Visit the castle in Barnard Castle

    Source: English HeritageSet on a high rock above the River Tees, Barnard Castle takes it name from its 12th-century founder, Bernard de Balliol. It was later developed by the Beauchamp family and then passed into the hands of Richard III.This was a please experience, and I was so surprised at how large the area of the castle was during it's period...

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  • Raby Castle

    Again, unfortunately the castle was closed as we passed, you could not even get in the grounds. It opens selected days in summer only.The present castle was built by John, 3rd Baron Nevill in about 1360; Sir Henry Vane the Elder, MP, purchased Raby in 1626 and his family still own Raby, now the home of Lord Barnard's family. Raby is one of the...

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  • Egglestone Abbey

    The charming ruins of a small monastery of Premonstratensian 'white canons', picturesquely set above a bend in the River Tees near Barnard Castle. Remains include much of the 13th-century church and a range of living quarters, with traces of their ingenious toilet drainage system.In the care of English HeritageAdmission free

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  • Bowes Castle

    Bowes castle is in the small village of Bowes, some 8kms west of Barnard Castle.The castle is thought to have been built by Alan, Earl of Richmond, soon after the Norman conquest of 1066 on the site of the old Roman fort, a date of 1087 indicating how strategic the location was to the Normans. It appears to have been involved in considerable...

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  • Bowes Museum

    The museum lies just outside the town, built in the style of a French chateau, unfortunately we did not have the time to visit this trip.It has one of the most impressive collections of pictures, ceramics, textiles, tapestries, clocks and costumes in the north of England. The Bowes Museum developed from the collection of John Bowes, Earl of...

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  • The River Tees

    The town satnds on the River Tees which is quite shallow at this point. From the castle you get a fine view of the river and the point where the Romans forded it just downstream.

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  • County Bridge

    We came into town via the County Bridge, an old bridge, built in its current form in 1569 . It lies at the foot of the castle hill. You can park near here for free and walk up to the castle and main town.

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  • Butter Market

    In the town centre, the octagonal Market cross, or Butter Market, served a number of purposes, dairy produce was sold here and it was also the town's lock up, Town Hall and Court House.

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  • The Castle

    Taking its name from Bernard de Balliol, who rebuilt it in the 12th century, the castle stands on a rocky hill overlooking the River Tees.Unsuccessfully besieged by the Scots in 1216, it was confiscated when John de Balliol, briefly King of Scotland, was deposed by Edward I. It last saw action during the Northern Rising against Queen Elizabeth in...

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  • Bowlees Picnic Area

    On our way home from Barnard Castle we decided to detour to Middleton-in-Teesdale. This time we didn't go to High Force, having been on a previous trip. We parked in a picnic area, Bowlees, in the woods where there was a visitors centre. Being a Bank Holiday, it was busy and we were lucky to get parked. It seemed a popular spot. The centre was a...

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  • High Force

    An easy third of a mile woodland walk to England's highest waterfall. The path is surfaced and well maintained but in winter months can obviously be slippy. The Pennine Way passes close by.You pay £1.50 to park in the large carpark and then you pay another £1 for your admission ticket to the waterfall walk. Make sure there's going to be some water...

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  • Whorlton Lido

    We had seen this name on our O.S. map for a few years and always wondered what it was. Whilst staying in the area we went to have a look.It was a picnic and play area on the banks of the River Tees with swimming in river pools above waterfalls. There was a miniature railway, small golf course and a cafe. There was an admission charge to park in the...

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  • Egglestone Abbey

    The ruins of this 12th c. abbey are on the borders of Yorkshire and County Durham and sit amongst a rural farm setting in splendid scenery. Very tranquil and a nice place to stop for a picnic and a walk. The River Tees runs below the ruins and there are walks along it's banks to where the Tees meets the Greta or into Barnard castle the other...

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  • The Castle

    Obviously the number one choice attraction in Barnard castle.Built by the Balliols in 1125, it stands high above the river Tees on an outcrop of rock on the steep banking. An impressive sight when arriving in Barnard castle from the west.There is a walk up to the ruins from this end of town, limited parking by the river, or you park in a carpark...

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  • Raby Castle

    A great day out. We loved this castle,a 14th c. stately home which is still lived in by the Barnard family, who have owned it since 1626. We even saw them playing cricket on their lawn.A lovely entrance to the parking in a nice garden area, under trees.Although this was a Bank Holiday weekend, the place appeared to be quieter than we had...

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  • Bowes museum

    I have to admit, we haven't actually been in the museum. I don't think it would have been Philip's "thing" so one of these days, Nick and I will visit on our own.This wonderful building is home to the most amazing collection of things, including clocks, pictures, costumes and textiles. I imagine once you are in there, you could spend all day...

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Barnard Castle Hotels

Barnard Castle Restaurants

  • Central Town.

    It was nearly two o' clock (the time when most pubs stop serving lunch) and we were hungry! After a couple of failed attempts at rural pubs (closed) we hurried into Barnard castle, parked in the car park and looked at a couple of pub menus. We chose the Golden Lion, it seemed to have a good menu at reasonable prices and served food all day....

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  • Ahh Jennings!

    Friendly pub in the centre that sells Jennings beers, always a favorite of mine! looks like they do B&B too.

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  • Another Chinese!

    Lucky we found this one, love Chinese food, a friendly small restaurant serving good food - need say no more - recommended

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Barnard Castle Shopping

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    ginger cake 1 more image

    by uglyscot Written Jul 3, 2011

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    I came across a stall selling Parkin, a ginger cake renowned in Yorkshire. The stall holder informed me that the cake had been baked the previous day. He advised me to keep it as long as possible as the flavour improves. However after 24 hours more, I gave in.
    The cake was moist and with a full ginger flavour. Delicious

    What to buy: I also bought some honeycomb. This had obviously been made in a large tin, and then broken into pieces. It was sweet and crisp and delicious

    What to pay: Ginger cake £3 and honeycomb £1

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel

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Barnard Castle Off The Beaten Path

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    Angel of the north? 4 more images

    by nickandchris Updated May 13, 2011

    This is known as the secret garden of the north and as we were in the area, thought we'd take a look.It is mainly a nursery, selling a large selection of plants and garden sculptures and seemed a popular place for a browse.

    The hall is privately owned but you do get some lovely views of the magnificent building from the grounds.

    You are given a guide with your admission price, (£1.00 I think) and this takes you through the garden in a numbered trail.

    Although not overly large, the place is interesting, having it's own ruined church that is now been incorporated into the garden with shrubs growing out of it and a couple of huge trees poking through empty windows and the roof.

    As our visit was in early April, we were too early for it to be very colourful, nor were the vegs. very advanced but we still enjoyed our gentle wander round. I particularly like the ancient contorted hazel tree, twisted and gnarled like an old hag.

    At the top of the garden, a surprise is in store - a replica of the Angel of the North!! Not sure when this was added.

    The garden and nursery are home to an unusual plant, the spikey, silver leaved plant Celmisia spectabilis, Eggleston Silver, very sought after.Eggleston is famous for it's quality and quantity of these, originally and carefully nurtured from just three plants.

    There is ample parking, a gift shop and a cafe.

    The gardens are 5 miles northwest of Barnard Castle, off the B6278 and are well signposted.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Barnard Castle Favorites

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Oct 6, 2002

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    Favorite thing: If you happen to be here in April, you will often find the annual Dales Pony Show. The Dales pony, local to Northeast England, is little known outside Britain but very nice. It was used as a pack pony in early days, then nearly died out and is now on its way back again. Even if you are not interested in horses, it is a great day for meeting northern countryfolk and/or find a weatherproof jacket :-)

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County Bridge
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