Teesdale

The sweep of the moors and crags of upper Teesdale have an unrivalled drama which people come back to savour time and time again.

Discover more in Teesdale

Discover more in Teesdale ... with the interactive map

with the interactive map

Teesdale is a big draw for botanists with some of England’s rarest upland plants found here. Heritage fans are spoiled for choice with its impressive medieval castles and the exquisite Bowes Museum which is home to a wonderful collection of fine and decorative art. Some of the most impressive sections of the Pennine Way National Trail are found in Teesdale and there are numerous excellent circular walks. Bowlees Visitor Centre is a great place to start your discovery, with access to the impressive waterfalls of High and Low Force. To discover what else Teesdale has to offer click on the map and start exploring!


Ark on the Edge © Ark on the Edge
Ark on the edge is an animal rescue centre and sanctuary and has a fully equipped wildlife education centre and a mile-long nature trail. The centre offers courses in animal care and group visits are welcome. It is open to the public to visit, see the animals, walk the nature trail, or you can do a spot of pond dipping. Ark on the Edge welcomes disabled visitors, call for details (01833 630505).
Location:
Woolley Hill Farm, Woodland, Co. Durham, DL13 5RX
Distance:
2 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Outdoor education
Interests:
Wildlife

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Balderhead Reservoir has been recognised for the quality of the night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. It is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
From Barnard Castle follow the B6277 to Romaldkirk and then follow the Balderhead road via Hunderthwaite. The reservoir is signposted at the entrance to the car park approximately 4.5 miles along this road. Car park on the NE side of the reservoir.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Pushchair
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing
Interests:
Panoramic views, Reservoirs

Gibsons cave © NPAP/Beck Baker
Bowlees picnic area is found is located in a beautiful part of Upper Teesdale. There are four small waterfalls and a riverside footpath leading to Summerhill Force and Gibson’s Cave; Gibson was a 16th century outlaw who lived behind the waterfall to stay hidden from the law. There are plenty of places to sit in quiet contemplation surrounded by the sound of cascading water. Look for the white breast of the dipper bobbing in and out of the water searching for food or the buzzard soaring above your head. The old limestone quarry contains many limestone-loving wildflowers, including seven species of orchids, knapweed and wild thyme. These plants attract butterflies and other insects, which are prey for magnificent dragonflies.
Location:
The picnic area is located in the car park behind Bowlees Visitor Centre off the B 6277.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Picnicking, Walking

Low Force © Emily Ball/NPAP
Bowlees is a fantastic base for exploring Upper Teesdale, with footpath links to Low Force, High Force, Newbiggin and the Pennine Way. The North Pennines AONB Partnership reopened the centre in June 2013. The Centre provides information and displays on the geology and landscape, wildlife and people of Upper Teesdale and the wider North Pennines. You'll find a delicious range of food and drinks and our shop stocks nature inspired gifts and books. Events are running at Bowlees throughout the summer. You can also hire the venue for family get-togethers, parties and meetings. We have a range of outdoor cooking facilities which can be pre-booked. There is free wi-fi access, an iGlass (24-hour information touch screen) and an electric car-charging point. Follow the Richard Watson Trail from the Centre - a 2¾-mile circular route exploring the life and times of Richard Watson, Victorian lead miner and poet. The most popular walk is probably the High Force-Low Force Round. It is also home to a Dark Sky Discovery Site.
Location:
Newbiggin, Bowlees, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0XF. 01833 622145.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Arts and craft, Bird watching, Culture, Cycling, Information points, Nature watching, Outdoor education, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Rivers, Wildlife, Woods

Bowlees Visitor Centre Dark Sky Discovery Site ©
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Bowlees Visitor Centre has been recognised for the quality of its dark night skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze.
Location:
Newbiggin, Bowlees, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0XF. 01833 622145.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing

Cauldron Snout on the River Tees © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
The trail will introduce many of the rocks which make the Teesdale landscape so special and which make the dale a haven for rare and interesting plants. This trail is within Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR), an internationally important place for wildlife and earth heritage. The NNR is managed by Natural England in partnership with Raby and Strathmore Estates and local farmers. Do examine the rocks, minerals and plants you will see along the way but please do not collect them: leave them for others to enjoy.
Location:
Starting from Wheelhead Sike car park at Cow Green.
Distance:
8 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Industrial heritage, Moorlands, Panoramic views, Reservoirs, Rivers, Wildlife

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Cow Green Reservoir has been recognised for the fantastic quality of its night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Cow Green Reservoir is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
From Middleton-in-Teesdale head up the dale to Langdon Beck on the B6277. Turn left onto a small road (signposted Cow Green Reservoir) and continue along here for approximately 2 miles to a car park.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Pushchair
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing
Interests:
Panoramic views, Reservoirs

Mountain bikers on the Tees Railway Path © KGibson/NPAP
Mid Teesdale sits between the two market towns of Middleton and Barnard Castle. The area is defined by the communities which form the Mid Teesdale Project Partnership (Romaldkirk, Cotherstone, Mickleton, Eggleston, Hunderthwaite, Lunedale). The River Tees meanders its way through this beautiful valley, which is surrounded by the high moorland of the North Pennines. The area has a wealth of history and nature waiting to be explored, with attractive villages from which to base your visit. This leaflet will help you to discover the area and its main settlements at a leisurely pace, with routes for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Location:
Routes starting from either Mickleton and Middleton-in-Teesdale.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling, Horse riding, Walking

This woodland came into Durham County Council ownership when the sand and gravel quarry closed in the mid 1960s. Since that time the trees have seeded into the quarry and we now have mixed broadleaved woodland. Eggleston Burn runs along the western edge beside the old sand quarry. In the summer sand martins nest in the cliff face and can be seen from the bottom path. Other birds to watch out for are dippers and birds of prey such as red kite and buzzard. Deer and badger occasionally stray through the wood and many rabbits burrow through the soft sandy soil. Every now and then an otter is sighted on its journey along the river. There are fantastic views over Teesdale and Mickle Fell, which, standing at 788m, is the highest hill in County Durham.
Location:
1 mile west of Eggleston on the B6282 between Eggleston and Middleton-in-Teesdale. The entrance is next to Egglesburn bridge. Nearest postcode for GPS navigation is DL12 0BD. There is limited parking at the entrance.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Rivers, Wildlife, Woods

Low Force in Teesdale © NPAP/Simon Wilson
A 2 ½ mile walk exploring landscape, rocks, fossils and mines in Upper Teesdale. This landscape, which has been 300 million years in the making, has been shaped by tropical seas, molten rock, glacial movement and more recently by people. This circular walk will introduce you to some of the special features of this landscape associated with these processes. By spotting clues in the fields, walls, crags and River Tees you'll find out how to read the landscape and discover more about its fascinating past.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Bowlees.
Distance:
4 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Cafe, Pub, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Rivers, Woods

Fishermen at Grassholme © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
Grassholme is firmly established as one of the top any method fisheries in the country, lying in the picturesque rolling pasture land of upper Teesdale. With four miles of bank space and many inlets and bays it offers a great variety of fishing. Grassholme also enjoys the luxury of its own local fish farm. Grassholme is suitable for disabled anglers and visitors. On site Northumbrian Water have provided an excellent lodge shop stocked with everything you need for a day’s fishing including rods, reels, tackle, accessories, clothing, worms, bait, ice creams and refreshments including hot and cold drinks. Environment Agency rod licences are also on sale at the fishery. There is a circular footpath around the lake providing magnificent views across the water and a pleasant picnicking area next to the visitor centre for you to relax at.
Location:
Take the B6277 from Barnard Castle towards Mickleton. Turn off at the western end of the village, sign posted Grassholme Reservoir. The trout fishery is roughly a mile up the road on the right
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled
Accessible toilets, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Fishing

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Grassholme Reservoir has been recognised for the stunning quality of its night skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to the reservoir for stargazing is only available during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk for details). Grassholme is also firmly established as one of the top 'any method fisheries' in the country.
Location:
Take the B6277 from Barnard Castle towards Mickleton. Turn off at the western end of the village, signposted Grassholme Reservoir. The main car park is roughly a mile up the road on the right.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing
Interests:
Panoramic views, Reservoirs

Hamsterley Forest © Forestry Commission
County Durham's largest forest is a mixture of woodland, meadows and forest. There are excellent walking, cycling and horse riding trails for all abilities. The forest also has a childrens' adventure playground, tea room, cycle hire, shop and downhill mountain bike course.
Location:
Hamsterley
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Cafe, Playground, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Bushcraft and adventure, Cycling, Horse riding, Information points, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Panoramic views, Rivers, Wildlife, Woods

Hannahs Meadow © NPAP/Shane Harris
Hannah's Meadow Nature Reserve has some of the least improved and species rich upland hay meadows in upper Durham. The meadows were previously farmed by Hannah Hauxwell, who managed the meadows using traditional methods that avoided adding artificial fertilizers or reseeding. By doing so the species rich habitat hay meadow habitat that evolved over centuries was maintained. When Hannah retired in 1988 Durham Wildlife Trust purchased her farm and they now manage it as a nature reserve. An unmanned visitor centre at the site provides information about Hannah and her special meadows. Note facilities are located at Balderhead Reservoir car park.
Location:
From Barnard Castle follow the B6277 to Romaldkirk and then follow the Balderhead road via Hunderthwaite. The reserve is adjacent to the public road a 1.5 mile east of the Balderhead Reservoir car park. The Pennine Way footpath runs through the reserve. The grid reference refers to the Balderhead Reservoir car park.
Distance:
2 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Built heritage, Hay meadows, Reservoirs, Wildlife

Species rich meadow © NPAP/Rebecca Barrett
This short walk in Baldersdale visits some of the most spectacular hay meadows in the North Pennines. It also passes close to Hury Reservoir, a popular site for over-wintering wildfowl such as mallard, teal, tufted duck and goosander. The best time to see the flowers is between April and August. Meadows are great for water voles as they favour stream sides with a wide range of flowering plants. The North Pennines is one of their last strongholds
Location:
Starting from the small car park at Fiddler House.
Distance:
6 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Reservoirs, Wildlife

Hayberries is a reclaimed sand and gravel quarry which is now a haven for wildlife. parts of the quarry cliff have been retained and put to good use by a colony of sand martins which arrive from Africa at the end of march. They set up home by burrowing into areas of hard sand found along the old quarry face to the west of the site. This part of the site is fenced to prevent disturbance to the birds. Please do not climb over the fence, the sand martins can be seen quite easily from the car park as they collect nesting material. The sandy soil is a rare habitat which contains specialist plants as well as invertebrates such as solitary bees and wasps. The grassland has many native species of wildflowers colonising the bare ground. Of particular note are a number of rare flowers of the Alchemilla family, commonly known as Lady's Mantle, some of which are only found in County Durham. The ponds attract large numbers of frogs and toads during the breeding season, along with many aquatic plants and insects. The woodland at the eastern end of the site is mainly sycamore with a few old oak and elm trees. You may see a variety of birds including long-tailed tits, woodpeckers, tree-creepers and heron. Buzzards circle the skies above, along with curlew and lapwing.
Location:
Hayberries is located on the B6281 between Eggleston and Mickleton, approximately 1.5 miles west of the junction of the B6281 and B6282 at Eggleston, signposted from the road. The nearest postcode for GPS navigation is DL12 9EQ.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Wildlife, Woods

High Force ©
This circular walk, from Bowlees Visitor Centre or High Force car park, will introduce you to some of the special features of the landscape around High Force and Low Force waterfalls. You'll discover rocks with dramatic origins, ice age features, ancient settlements, lead mining heritage and wonderful wildlife.
Location:
A lovely walk starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre or High Force car park in Upper Teesdale.
Distance:
8 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Moorlands, Rivers

Fishermen and waterfowl © Natural England/Charlie Hedley
Hury is exclusively a fly fishery and is the ideal venue for traditional fly anglers who like to fish with wet and dry flies as well as lures. Stocked weekly, often with grown on fish from our Teesdale fish farm, Hury is a must for traditional fly fishing enthusiasts. For non-anglers, there is a circular walk around Hury. There is a picnic and play area on the south shore next to the dam wall for you to relax at. Hury is suitable for disabled anglers. Please note, from Wednesday 5 September 2012, day permits for Hury Reservoir are available to buy in person from Grassholme Reservoir, by calling 0845 155 02366 or online at www.fishpal.com.
Location:
Located in the Balder Valley, the lake can be reached from either Romaldkirk or Cotherstone on the B6277 Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale road
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled
Accessible toilets, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Fishing

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Hury Reservoir has been recognised for the quality of its night time skies. This is a great place for professional and amateur astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to Hury Reservoir is only available for stargazing during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk). Hury is also a renowned fly fishery.
Location:
Located in Baldersdale, the reservoir can be reached from either Romaldkirk or Cotherstone on the B6277 Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale road.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing

High Ropes Course © Kingsway Adventure Centre
A family run multi-activity centre based in Middleton in Teesdale. For GROUP BOOKINGS ONLY. Minimum group size - 8 people.
Location:
Alston Road, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL12 0UU.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bushcraft and adventure, Climbing, Outdoor education

Canoeists at Low Force © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
The walk will introduce you to some of the natural landscape features which make this one the most beautiful parts of Teesdale. Look out for interpretation panels along the way that highlight how the landscape has evolved. Please keep to the footpaths, be especially careful near to the river and on road crossings, and do not attempt to enter mine workings. Do look closely at the rocks along the way, but please do not hammer or attempt to collect them. Please leave them for others to enjoy.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
4 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Pub, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Walking

Grassholme Reservoir © NPAP/Simon Wilson
The four routes are designed as a series of mainly circular routes starting from Middleton-in-Teesdale and linking into the National Byway. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Route 1 is the main circuit with a choice of two shorter variations which can be selected at the appropriate junction. Each variation is worth doing in its own right for the superb scenery, the magnificent views and the stunning descents. Warning: always descend in full control - the roads are narrow with some sharp gravel-covered corners. The route starts in the main Tees valley but the character and scenery soon changes as quiet country lanes gently gain height to offer excellent views of County Durham’s hidden ‘lake district’. On a fine day, these views change to vistas as an amplified reward for your effort.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale.
Distance:
24 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling

Hay meadow in Teesdale © NPAP/Shane Harris
The four routes are designed as a series of mainly circular routes starting from Middleton-in-Teesdale and linking into the National Byway. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Route 2 utilises the first part of Route 1 but then follows an additional loop which can also be used to extend Route 1 which it re-joins. Route 2 then follows very narrow minor roads as well as off-road sections. This route is memorable for its fine off-road sections although the narrow country lanes it otherwise uses are a joy to cycle on. The gentle ascent from the valley, with the associated views and options, makes this route a good choice for a wide range of cyclists.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale.
Distance:
34 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling

Holwick Scar © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
The four routes are designed as a series of mainly circular routes starting from Middleton-in-Teesdale and linking into the National Byway. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Route 3 is a gently undulating ‘there and back’ linear route along a quiet minor road parallel to the River Tees. The beautiful cliffs of Holwick Scar can be seen along this route.
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale.
Distance:
13 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling

Cycling the Wheels to the Wild cycle route © NPAP/KGPhotography
The four routes are designed as a series of mainly circular routes starting from Middleton-in-Teesdale and linking into the National Byway. The area is shaped by a long history of farming, lead mining and quarrying. Traditional management means that Teesdale is still awash with flower-rich hay meadows. The whitewashed farm buildings of the Raby Estate are a distinctive feature in the upper dale. Route 4 follows a rectangle to the north of Middleton-in- Teesdale and is worth doing for its scenery, views and descents - not to mention the heritage value!
Location:
Starting from the intersection between the Market Place and Bridge Street in Middleton-In-Teesdale.
Distance:
10 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling

Knock Pike and the Eden Valley © NPAP/Gearoid Murphy
On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House – Upper Teesdale NNR. The Reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of Moor House – Upper Teesdale can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land. This walk takes you right up along the summit ridge of the Pennines. You’ll be able to see evidence of the area’s mining and quarrying history, take in some stunning views over the high Pennines, and look across the Eden Valley to the Lake District fells.
Location:
Start point at the end of the public road from Knock village, past Knock Christian centre. Please park with consideration.
Distance:
12 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Industrial heritage, Moorlands, Panoramic views, Wildlife

High Force © DCC/Mike Ogden
On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House – Upper Teesdale NNR. The Reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of Moor House – Upper Teesdale can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land. This walk follows the banks of the River Tees from Low Force, through the juniper woods up to High Force waterfall. Here you can turn round and follow the same route back or continue further upriver and follow the lower slopes of Holwick Fell to return.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees car park.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Built heritage, Geology, Moorlands, Rivers, Wildlife, Woods

Cow Green Reservoir © NPAP/Beck Baker
On the backbone of England, around the headwaters of the River Tees, 8,800 hectares of upland country forms the Moor House – Upper Teesdale NNR. The Reserve encompasses an almost complete range of upland habitats typical of the North Pennines, from lower lying hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and the summit heaths of the high fells. Nowhere else in Britain is there such a diversity of rare habitats in one location. The remote and dramatic landscape of Moor House – Upper Teesdale can be enjoyed from the Pennine Way National Trail, the Public Rights of Way network and on Open Access land. This walk takes you over Widdybank Fell, along the track to Cow Green dam and Cauldron Snout waterfall. The walk follows a tarmac track with 1 large kissing gate and 3 steep sections. Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs with strong pusher! However for the last 100 m section, to view Cauldron Snout waterfall, the track is rocky and uneven.
Location:
Starting from the Cow Green car park.
Distance:
5 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Panoramic views, Reservoirs, Rivers, Wildlife

Redshank © NPAP
The meadows and pastures around Harwood Beck and Widdybank are some of the best places to see breeding waders and black grouse. If you sit quietly in your car you may be rewarded with the sight of a snipe shepherding its chicks through the vegetation or a precocious young lapwing chick pecking for food in the short turf.
Location:
Static viewing from a grassy verge on the road to Cow Green Reservoir.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Pub
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching
Interests:
Hay meadows, Moorlands, Panoramic views, Rivers

Black grouse © NPAP
Upper Teesdale is one of the best places to see waders in the breeding season and black grouse throughout the year. The wide expanse of the upper dale offers stunning views of the meadows and allotments and the imposing fells of Cronkley Scar and Widdybank. The River Tees is always impressive and there’s a chance of seeing birds such as dipper, goosander and oystercatcher.
Location:
Starting from the car park at Hanging Shaw, Forest-in-Teesdale.
Distance:
7 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Public transport
Pub
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Moorlands, Panoramic views, Rivers, Wildlife

Oystercatcher © NPAP
The meadows, pastures and allotments of Baldersdale support large numbers of breeding waders which make an impressive sight during the spring and summer months. Like all areas of open water in the North Pennines, Blackton Reservoir also provides a refuge for wildfowl during the harsh winter months. This area is therefore worth a visit at any time of year.
Location:
Starting from the small car park at the road end.
Distance:
6 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Industrial heritage, Moorlands, Panoramic views, Reservoirs, Rivers, Wildlife

Raby Castle © Dugald Cameron
Home to Lord Barnard's family since 1626, Raby is one of the finest medieval Castles in England. Built by the mighty Nevill family in the 14th Century, Raby remained in the Nevill family until 1569 when after the failure of the Rising of the North, the Castle and its lands were forfeited to the Crown. In 1626, Sir Henry Vane the Elder purchased Raby and the Castle has remained in the Vane family ever since. Highlights include an impressive gateway, a vast hall, a medieval kitchen and a Victorian octagonal drawing room. The rooms display fine furniture, artworks and elaborate architecture. Enjoy the deer park, walled gardens and carriage collection. Sample the menu in the stable tearooms. Events take place throughout the summer.
Location:
Staindrop, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL2 3AH
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Culture
Interests:
Built heritage, Wildlife

 © Beck Baker
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Selset Reservoir has been recognised for the outstanding quality of its dark skies. This is a great place for astronomers to stargaze in the North Pennines AONB. Access to Selset Reservoir is only available for stargazing during organised events (see www.northpennines.org.uk). Selset is also one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country.
Location:
About 4 miles west of Middleton-in-Teesdale, along the B6276. The reservoir is signposted from the road.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing
Interests:
Panoramic views, Reservoirs

Spitfire Cycles © Spitfire Cycles
Spitfire cycles are a small, independent and family run business that first opened its doors in the historic market town of Barnard Castle in May 2010. Since then we have moved to a larger premises with improved access for our customers and also expanded our product range to hopefully accommodate all disciplines of cycling. They pride themselves on customer service and quality, and aim to provide good advice and goods that are fit for purpose. Their well-equipped onsite workshop can carry out anything from a puncture repair to a full overhaul of your cycle, and all of their work is guaranteed.
Location:
Galgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 5BH
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling

Spring gentian © NPAP/Elizabeth Pickett
Teesdale is a botanist’s paradise, but one plant stands out: the spring gentian. Spring gentians are best seen on warm, bright days, from April to early June. A sun worshipper, this little flower closes as the weather becomes dull, leaving nothing to see but small, dark-blue spikes. However the flowers quickly open again when the sun emerges from behind the clouds. Hidden among the short vegetation, spring gentians often go unnoticed, but when you do find them they stop you in your tracks with their startling deep-blue flowers. The flowers are typically 15 to 30mm across. Look out for a delicate plant with a solitary, intense-blue flower, like a tiny, five-pointed star. It is surprisingly small for a flower with such a big reputation! You can see gentians in flower from many public footpaths in Upper Teesdale. Please stick to the paths to protect these and other rare plants.
Location:
Car park at Forest-in-Teesdale.
Distance:
11 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Pub
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Moorlands, Rivers, Wildlife

 © Alistair Lockett
Tan Hill Inn was one of the first five Dark Sky Discovery Sites to be designated in the North Pennines AONB. It's famous for being the highest pub in Britain (at 528m above sea level). The Inn is found on the border between the North Pennines (to the north) and the Yorkshire Dales (to the south) - well away from any light pollution. The designation is official recognition that there are high quality dark night skies here with opportunities for astronomers to stargaze. The open moorland landscape provides fantastic horizon-wide views of the skies so that nearly all features in the northern hemisphere can be seen. In clear skies, all of the major constellations, including Orion, can be seen, and the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. Tan Hill Inn also offers some warmth and a place to discuss the latest astronomical news and sightings following an evening’s stargazing - www.tanhillinn.co.uk
Location:
On the border between the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales border. It's signposted as ‘Tan Hill Inn’ off to the south of the A66 Bowes to Brough road. The nearest postcode is DL11 6ED.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled
Pub, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Stargazing
Interests:
Panoramic views

Tees Railway path © NPAP/Shane Harris
This route takes you along the old railway line that serviced the stone quarrying industry in the dales. The route start is close to Barnard Castle, although you can pick up the route at a number of points along to way to take the route in shorter sections. This guide has been written as a linear route but if you choose to walk it is possible to make shorter circular walks connecting up with other footpaths including the Teesdale Way. The majority of the path is along the old railway line. The section of the railway line from Barnard Castle to Middleton-in-Teesdale was built by the Tees Valley Railway company during 1868 with stops at Cotherstone, Mickleton and Romaldkirk. There are two major engineering features on the line the Lunedale and Baldersdale Viaducts, you will pass over both these on this route. The decline of this section of railway started in the late 1950s and the line was earmarked for closure as part of the Beeching cuts with the last train running in April 1965.
Location:
Starting from Deepdale aqueduct layby on the B6277 outside Barnard Castle.
Distance:
16 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Playground, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling, Food trails, Horse riding, Walking

This 0.45km (1/4 mile) walk beside the River Tees enters the Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve and has a wealth of wildlife, including numerous plant species. Many are common British species and some belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ – a uniquely rich association of plants for which Upper Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones, trees and ferns that can be seen, at the appropriate time of the year (when they are flowering), from this well-used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rare plants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
0 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Rivers

This 0.9km (1/2 mile) walk beside the River Tees has a wealth of wildlife, including over 200 plant species. Many are common British species and twelve belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ — a uniquely rich association of plants for which Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones, trees and ferns that can be seen, at the appropriate time of the year (when they are flowering), from this well used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rare plants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
1 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Public transport
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Rivers

This 1.6km (1 mile) walk beside the River Tees has a wealth of wildlife, including over 200 plant species. Many are common British species and twelve belong to the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ — a uniquely rich association of plants for which Upper Teesdale is famous. The plants included here are the larger flowering ones which can be seen, at the appropriate time of year (when they are flowering), from this well used path. Not all will be in flower on one visit. The flowering times indicated are for the peak period. To prevent trampling on inconspicuous and perhaps rareplants it is advisable to keep to the path and already trampled areas; please do not extend them.
Location:
Starting from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Distance:
2 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Nature watching, Walking
Interests:
Geology, Hay meadows, Rivers

Hury Reservoir © NPAP/Beck Baker
This interesting walk takes in 3 of Northumbrian Waters reservoirs in Teesdale, with the opportunity to view another 3 reservoirs from the walks highpoint. The walk follows the Pennine Way from Grassholme Reservoir over moorland to reach the rocky flat-topped summit of Goldsborough Hill. Afterward you will descend to follow the shores of Hury and Blackton Reservoirs where you may see wigeon, common sandpiper and tufted duck. You will also pass by Meres beck meadow and Hannah’s meadow, which during the summer will be filled with beautiful wildflowers.
Location:
Car parks at the Northern end of the Balderhead Reservoir dam wall.
Distance:
13 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Bird watching, Nature watching, Picnicking, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Moorlands, Reservoirs, Wildlife

Teesdale Sailing Club has been established on the Teesdale Reservoirs since 1981 and currently sails on Grassholme Reservoir with a club house near the Northumbrian Water visitor centre.
Location:
Grassholme Reservoir
Area:
Access:
Recreation opportunity:
Sailing
Interests:
Reservoirs

The Bowes Museum © The Bowes Museum/Mike Kipling
This magnificent museum has undergone a major transformation, creating a stunning 21st century visitor attraction in beautiful grounds. It contains a wonderful collection of fine and decorative arts housed in an array of stunning new galleries. The silver swan automaton is a must see! Exhibitions, guided tours, family activities, fine dining and shopping add up to a wonderful day out.
Location:
Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 8NP.
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Arts and craft, Culture

Upper Teesdale walk  © The North Pennines AONB Partnership
A beautifully capturing circular walk from the parking area at Hanging Shaw will introduce you to some of the special plants of the North Pennines and the creatures that depend on them. Along the way you will discover plants that dance and others that keep insects captive. You might even see rare bees and long-distance visitors from Africa. The spring and summer months are the best time to enjoy this walk, May and June are the time of peak activity for wading birds with June to August being the prime time for wild Flowers.
Location:
The Start and finish is the Hanging Shaw Parking area.
Distance:
6 km
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Accessible toilets, Shop
Recreation opportunity:
Food trails, Walking
Interests:
Hay meadows, Rivers, Wildlife

Gordon Lamb painting © Jean Lamb
Gordon Lamb is a professional artist with a distinctive style, who specialises in painting with watercolours. Gordon holds workshops at the NeST Gallery in Newgate, Barnard Castle on the second Tuesday and last Friday of each month. There are two sessions; 10am - noon or 2pm - 4pm. The cost is £10 per two-hour session, including a refreshment voucher for NeST Cafe. Booking via jean@gallery-upstairs.co.uk or 01434 675415. Keep your eye on his website for information about upcoming classes. If you are visiting the area or if you simply want to have a one-off taster, a single session with Gordon costs only £10 for 2 hours and can be tailored for beginners or the more advanced. Gordon also runs workshops for art groups, retreat groups or business groups seeking a creative professional development session at your chosen location.
Location:
NeST Gallery, 25 Newgate, Barnard Castle, DL12 8NG
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Public transport, Pushchair
Accessible toilets, Cafe, Disabled toilets, Pub, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Arts and craft, Culture

Fly fisherman © NPAP/Shane Harris
Balderhead Reservoir in Teesdale is one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country. It is full of fighting fit trout, providing excellent sport. Surrounded by the fantastic scenery of the North Pennines grouse moors, there are few more tranquil and relaxing ways to spend a day’s fishing than roaming the banks of these waters, and even fewer places where you can catch truly wild browns. The trout in these reservoirs are 100% native, having descended from the original upland brownies which lived in the streams before the dams were built. Lightning quick and very hard fighting with unique colours and markings, these fish are a joy to catch. Please note, from Wednesday 5 September 2012, day permits for Cow Green, Balderhead and Selset are available to buy in person from Grassholme Reservoir, by calling 0845 155 02366 or online at www.fishpal.com.
Location:
Car park on the north east side of the reservoir.
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Fishing
Interests:
Reservoirs, Rivers

Preparing the net © NPAP/Shane Harris
Cow Green Reservoir in Teesdale is one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country. It is full of fighting fit trout, providing excellent sport. Surrounded by the fantastic scenery of the North Pennines grouse moors, there are few more tranquil and relaxing ways to spend a day’s fishing than roaming the banks of these waters, and even fewer places where you can catch truly wild browns. The trout in these reservoirs are 100% native, having descended from the original upland brownies which lived in the streams before the dams were built. Lightning quick and very hard fighting with unique colours and markings, these fish are a joy to catch. Please note, from Wednesday 5 September 2012, day permits for Cow Green, Balderhead and Selset are available to buy in person from Grassholme Reservoir, by calling 0845 155 02366 or online at www.fishpal.com.
Location:
Starting from the Cow Green car park
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Fishing
Interests:
Moorlands, Panoramic views, Reservoirs, Rivers, Wildlife

Fly fishing © NPAP/Shane Harris
Selset Reservoir in Teesdale is one of best wild brown trout fisheries in the country. It is full of fighting fit trout, providing excellent sport. Surrounded by the fantastic scenery of the North Pennines grouse moors, there are few more tranquil and relaxing ways to spend a day’s fishing than roaming the banks of these waters, and even fewer places where you can catch truly wild browns. The trout in these reservoirs are 100% native, having descended from the original upland brownies which lived in the streams before the dams were built. Lightning quick and very hard fighting with unique colours and markings, these fish are a joy to catch. Please note, from Wednesday 5 September 2012, day permits for Cow Green, Balderhead and Selset are available to buy in person from Grassholme Reservoir, by calling 0845 155 02366 or online at www.fishpal.com.
Location:
Car park on the north east side of the reservoir off the B 6276.
Area:
Access:
Car parking
Recreation opportunity:
Fishing
Interests:
Reservoirs

Mountain Biking at Hamsterley Forest © K Gibson/NPAP
Wood n Wheels are the only licenced cycle hire centre in Hamsterley Forest. They offer a full range of cycles for all the family! Hamsterley is the biggest forest in the North East and County Durham and the premier bike destination in the region. With over 5000 acres of forest to explore and over 33 miles of way marked trails. Whether its big downhill thrills in the purpose built centre, a fun filled ride on the skills training loop, or a quiet cycle with your kids, this forest has something for you to enjoy truly cycling for all-abilities. All cycle trails start by the information point opposite the cycle hire centre and shop, so cover more distance get into the more remote areas of the forest. Hire a bike, discover more, experience more, enjoy more and find your full potential.
Location:
Hamsterley Forest, Redford, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL13 3NL
Area:
Access:
Car parking, Cycle parking, Disabled, Pushchair
Playground, Shop, Toilets
Recreation opportunity:
Cycling
Interests:
Woods