Barnard Castle is a little market town in County Durham (located in the North-East of England). It’s the town I grew up in, went to primary school in, and have worked in for years. It’s the town I do life in.
Full of culture, history and breath-taking landscapes, Barney (as us locals call it) is one of the most beautiful spots you could visit if you’re ever in the UK. Here’s my favourite attractions, experiences and cafes that are worth a visit if you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods.
Just to confuse you, our Castle is also called Barnard Castle. Set above the River Tees, the Castle was founded in the 12th Century by Bernard de Balliol. It was later developed and then passed into the hands of Richard III. When Richard III’s remains were found in 2012, there was talk of his remains being reburied in Barnard Castle, so strong were his ties to the area. It is now an English Heritage Site, so there is a cost to enter, however the view from outside is just as spectacular.
The Bowes Museum is one of my favourite attractions in Barney. Built in the 19th Century by couple John and Josephine Bowes, the Museum houses international collections and art work. In recent years, it has played host to some phenomenal collections including one from Yves Saint Laurent. Not only is the Museum itself breath-taking, but it’s grounds are phenomenal too. You can easily spend hours walking round the grounds, taking in some amazing views of Teesdale and the surrounding areas.
Located a couple of miles outside of Barnard Castle is Egglestone Abbey. You can easily follow the river from the Castle to the Abbey which takes approximately 40 minutes on foot – or alternatively its just a two minute drive from the centre of town!
If you’re in Barney for a few days, The Witham is a perfect place to visit for a bite to eat, or to check out a live show or cinema screening. Before we were thrust into lockdown, The Witham hosted some big names from the world of comedy in the UK including Chris Ramsey.
One of the great things about County Durham is there are so many beautiful sites in close proximity to each other. If you’re looking to visit some sites further away from Barney, here’s my djfinitive list of places to visit…
-High Force Waterfall
-Wetheriggs Animal Rescue
Food Glorious Food
Sometimes you just need some grub. And Barney is full of places to get some delicious food, whether that be fine dining, pub grub or a coffee stop.
Moments Cafe is a great family friendly cafe, offering a wide variety of homemade cakes, scones and light lunches – many of which are gluten free, dairy free and vegan friendly. What’s more, their coffee is sourced from a local village!
Valentine’s restaurant is a great dining option that isn’t too expensive, but is excellent quality! We often go there as a family for birthdays and celebrations!
The Old Well Inn is one of the most popular pubs in town. The drinks are reasonably priced, the atmosphere is great and they also serve food. There’s often live music nights here too!
Whatever you end up doing on your visit to Barnard Castle, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the town just as many other visitors have done.
Been to Barney before? Let us know in the comments!