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Where is Barnard Castle and the best things to do here

Barnard castle is a market town in County Durham with lots of great attractions and walks such as Barnard Castle, Bowes Castle, Bowes museum and high and low force waterfall walks.

We visited Barnard Castle and stayed at Runa Farm which is a popular wedding venue with accommodation and The Smithy bar and restaurant offering farm to table fresh and sustainable meals. Runa Farm is decorated in Ibizan style. We stayed in a Junior Suite which had a roll-top bath and rainfall shower. The design was painted a beautiful turquoise colour which was modern, fresh and keeping within the boho style. Many of the rooms have their own private gardens, terraces and even private hot tubs.

We had the dinner, bed and breakfast package which includes a huge selection of food in the Smithy restaurant. We opted for a cobb salad and vegetable frito misto to start, buttermilk chicken burger and slow-cooked lamb ragu for mains and fruit granola crumble and creme brulee for dessert. It was delicious and the staff were so friendly and helpful. The restaurant is dog friendly and even have a menu for your four-legged furry friends. Runa Farm is a boho haven in the Durham countryside and soon will be introducing glamping on-site, rituals and retreats.

Things to do

Eggleston Abbey

Eggleston Abbey are the ruins of a small monestery of Premonstratensian 'white canons' which date back to the 13th century. You can learn all about the history of the abbey during your visit. It is free to enter but there is a £2 parking charge.

Eggleston Hall Gardens

Eggleston Hall Gardens is known as the secret garden of the North. The gardens date back to the 16th century. Follow the garden trail and enjoy all the beautiful botanical plant and flower species. Entry is £2.50pp and Eggleston Hall is a 10 minute drive from the centre of Barnard Castle.

Barnard Castle

You can't visit Barnard Castle without visiting Barnard Castle! The castle is named after its founder Bernard de Balliol. The fortress sits on a high rock overlooking the Tees Gorge. You can also walk to Egglestone Abbey from Barnard Castle in 40 minutes. Entry is £6.80pp.

Bowes Castle

Bowes Castle is a 10 minute drive from Barnard Castle and was built between 1171 and 1187 on the site of the Roman fort of Lavatris. Entry is free.

Bowes museum

Bowes museum is an art gallery which opened to the public in 1892. It is now home to a number of exhibitions and workshops for young aspiring artists. You can purchase a day ticket to the museum for £18pp.


Circular walk around Barnard Castle town

See the sights of Barnard Castle on a leisurely walk around the centre which will take approximately 1 hour 35 minutes. See the route here.

High force waterfall

High forces is England's largest waterfall with a 70 feet drop. You can complete the 5 mile circular route which starts from the Bowlees visitors centre. See the route here,

Low force waterfall

You can also complete the low force waterfall walk which also starts and ends at Bowlees visitors centre.

Egglestone Abbey to Barnard Castle

Instead of driving between these two attractions, you can walk from the abbey to the castle which will take approximately 1 hour 12 minutes. See the route here.

Barnard Castle is a wonderful day trip or weekend break in the Durham countryside with plenty to do for all the family.


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