Barnard Castle Tourist Information

The ancient capital of Teesdale, the picturesque town of Barnard Castle has a rich history dating back to the Norman Conquest, and shares its name with the impressive fortress that is a highlight of the local skyline, situated on a high crag overlooking the River Tees. Within close driving distance of Durham, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, this idyllic market town is the ideal holiday stopover, with a warm, welcoming atmosphere and plenty to see and do.

Being a market town, Barnard Castle’s monthly Farmers’ Market, held at the Market Square, draws many visitors from around the region. While surveying wares ranging from local seasonal produce to hand-crafted ornaments, tourists can enjoy the sight of the 18th century Market Cross, fondly known to locals as the ‘Butter Mart’, standing tall at the head of the bank. Known throughout the region as a bona fide treasure trove for collectors, Barnard Castle is also home to many antique shops like The Mission Hall Antiques Centre and Whites Antiques, where lovers of collectible items are guaranteed to find a bargain.

Of course, while in a town called Barnard Castle, the castle itself is a must-see. Named after its first owner, Bernard de Balliol, this dramatic fortress has been uninhabited for over three centuries and stretches over six and a half acres, affording beautiful views over the Tees Valley. Nearby is Eggleston Abbey, a 13th century monastery with most of the church still intact, a great find for admirers of religious history.

One of the most important features of Barnard Castle is the splendid Bowes Museum, a purpose-built 19th century French-style chateau that is home to some of the finest collections of art, furniture and textiles in the world. Visitors can take a tour around the displays, take part in some of the exciting events that occur on the grounds each year, or even just explore the parks and gardens around the premises.

Situated close to the major cities in the North East and blessed with both cultural and historical attractions, Barnard Castle is a great destination for families and friends, where one can sit back and enjoy a cup of tea whilst taking in the fresh country air, knowing that your day ahead is going to be a truly memorable one.

Interesting fact: Favoured with an exceptional water supply, Barnard Castle has been shown via public health statistics to be one of the healthiest towns in the North of England.

Things to see and do around Barnard Castle:

Bowes Museum
The Collector
Egglestone Abbey
Flatts Woods
Market Square
Market Cross
The Mission Hall Antiques Centre
Penny’s Tearooms and Restaurant
Rokeby Park
Whites Antiques