Barnard Castle, County Durham

The Caravan Club Site at Barnard Castle, County Durham in North East England was an absolute dream of a stay  after our previous stay at Appletreewick.  Nuff said!  This site is in a great location just approx.15 minutes walk into the town centre either via a woodland path or a busy road with a safe walkway along the grass verge.  It was peaceful and spacious on site, with good facilities, and we were surrounded by many friendly and chatty fellow campers.

Pitched up at Barnard Castle

Pitched up at Barnard Castle

We were welcomed with slight drizzle for most of the first day so had a walk into Barnard Castle that afternoon/evening. We took the woodland path there and the main road back afterwards due to a little mud slide over part of the woodland path following previous heavy rain, which could’ve been precarious in bad light.

Barnard Castle, or “Barney” to the locals, is a market town that stands on the River Tees and is steeped in history.

http://barnardcastlelife.co.uk/

Once at the bottom of the road via path or road, you walk over a footbridge and are rewarded with a beautiful view of Barnard Castle.  It looked particularly impressive beneath a brooding sky that evening.

Welcome to Barnard Castle

Welcome to Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle - built 1125 by Bernard de Balliol  (Bernard's Castle from which the town derived its name)

Barnard Castle – built 1125 by Bernard de Balliol (Bernard’s Castle from which the town derived its name)

Barnard's Castle

Barnard’s Castle

The weir on the River Tees

The weir on the River Tees

The Weir

The Weir information sign

During our stay we had a good meander through the town and attempted a cycle ride (unfortunately without preparing first!) which led us along the river bank and turned into an endurance test along an often very narrow riverside banking with a steep climb at the end with our bikes to get back up to civilisation.  It was fun though and we worked off MANY calories allowing us to order a fantastic curry from Spice Island on market place in the town centre which we enjoyed back at Jolly. Truly delicious food and ridiculously generous portions!  We also tried a couple of the local pubs during out stay – The Turks Head, The Three Horseshoes (good food), and the town’s oldest pub The Golden Lion where we spent a couple of hours enjoying the choice of ales and chatting to a friendly geordie couple.

http://www.spiceislandrestaurant.co.uk/

Another place worth visiting in this area is Bowes Museum, if art is your thing.  We didn’t go on this occasion, instead choosing to be out and about on foot and bike most of the time but who knows, maybe next time …

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/

Bri outside the Old Butter Mart in the town centre. Built in 1747 and previously used as a dairy market, fire station, court house and lock up

Bri outside the Old Butter Mart in the town centre.
Built in 1747 and previously used as a dairy market, fire station, court house and lock up

Keep an eye out for the many blue plaques adorning the town's buildings, including this one where Charles Dickens once stayed

Keep an eye out for the many blue plaques adorning the town’s buildings, including this one on a building on the main street opposite The Turks Head pub

Town centre

Town centre

This picture hangs in the Turks Head pub and we are convinced it proves Sir Ian McKellen has lived before!

This picture hangs in the Turks Head pub and we are convinced it proves Sir Ian McKellen has lived before!

A good first little trip to the North East area for us and somewhere we will gladly return to in the future.

Our next adventure is to Ripley in Yorkshire as we have a Segway experience booked at Ripley Castle so we’re going to make a trip of it.  It’s reported to be one of the most picturesque villages in Yorkshire so we look forward to seeing it.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

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