Heritage Britain

Teesdale, Durham County, England


A Historic Tour of Teesdale

A Historic Tour of Teesdale
Egglestone Hall

Teesdale

The River Tees is one of England’s great rivers and is the heart of Teesdale, a beautiful, unspoiled world in County Durham. Access to Teesdale is from the A1(M) at Scotch Corner, the M6 at Penrith and Tebay and from Darlington with its high-speed rail services. The important A66 cross-Pennine route passes through the District.

Although Teesdale is relatively easy to reach it has not suffered from the pressures of large numbers of visitors and is an ideal area for those in search of peaceful countryside, heritage and the outdoor life.

The starting point for many trips in Teesdale is the historic market town of Barnard Castle, a bustling little place which is full of fascinating old shops and a wonderful centre for antique collectors. It is also home to the Bowes Museum, a magnificent French style chateau housing art collections of international importance and set in beautiful gardens. There are also lovely gardens open to the public at Eggleston Hall close to the River Tees between Middleton-in-Teesdale and Barnard Castle. Then there are the beautiful gardens at Raby Castle, near Staindrop built by the Nevill family in the 14th century and one of the country’s most impressive medieval castles, set in an extensive deer park.

Another attractive base for touring is Middleton-in-Teesdale which grew up as the main centre of lead mining in the 19th Century and which retains its historical character. It is an ideal base for walking and is situated on the well-known Pennine Way and new Teesdale Way long-distance footpaths. The countryside around here is all included in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the highlights of which are the magnificent waterfalls on the River Tees, upstream of Middleton – Low Force, High Force and Cauldron Snout. There are also many walks in Hamsterley Forest in the north of the District, which also has facilities for picnicking, cycling and nature studies and is ideal for families. As an alternative, there is the popular Whorlton Lido situated beside the River Tees, 4 miles east of Barnard Castle. The Otter Trust reserve near Bowes Village is also ideal for families.

The beauty of the countryside of Teesdale has long been an attraction for visitors and has inspired artists and painters, including Cotman and Turner, as well as the writers Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. Teesdale formed the basis of the novel “Nicholas Nickleby” and you can visit the sites associated with the story on The Dickens Drive – leaflets are available from the T.I.C. in Barnard Castle.

For more Information please contact:
Barnard Castle Tourist Information Centre
Woodleigh
Barnard Castle
Co Durham
DL12 8AA
Web:  http://www.teesdale.gov.uk
Email:  tourism@teesdale.gov.uk
Tel: +44 (0)(0)1833 690909/695320

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