Teesdale is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you won’t be short of things to do and see! There's plenty of great walking, and from castles to gardens, England’s highest waterfall to world class art collections, there is much to see here, whatever the weather.
Hillcrest Park is just 7 miles from Barnard Castle, the pretty market town at the centre of Teesdale, which is home to the Bowes Museum. The Bowes Museum was founded by John and Josephine Bowes in the 19th Century and, built in the style of a grand French chateau, makes a striking impact on its surroundings.
A 40min drive from here will take you to Lightwater Valley where you can discover the excitement of five unique attractions set amidst 175 acres of glorious North Yorkshire countryside, along with thrilling seasonal events that are guaranteed to keep the whole family coming back for more.
Raby Castle, one of England’s finest medieval castles, can be seen from Hillcrest. It has a 200acre deer park, and is open to visitors over the Easter Weekend and then from May to September. High Force, the highest waterfall in England, located at the top end of Teesdale, is well worth a visit.
Hillcrest is also close to several routes on the National Cycle Network, including the Walney to Whitby route, and the Pods would be an ideal spot for those cyclists in need of a comfortable, overnight stop. For more information on cycle routes see Sustrans website.
The ever popular Beamish Museum is less than an hour away, and even closer is Head of Steam, The Darlington Railway Museum, home of Stephenson's Locomotion No 1, built for the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
If you are looking for somewhere local to keep the kids amused, you can't beat Walworth Castle Birds of Prey.
Set in the stunning grounds of Walworth Castle, just 10 mins drive from us, the falconry centre is the perfect place for a family day out. Meet the birds, see the fabulous falconry flying displays, and take a walk in the ancient woodland whilst looking for hidden creatures on the nature trail.
Afterwards you can pop down the road to Archer's Jersey Ice Cream at New Moor Farm where they serve delicious Jersey ice-cream from their own herd, and there is even a children's play area outside to keep them occupied.
We’re not short of local hostelries either. Hillcrest is a mile away from the villages of Ovington, Winston and Caldwell, each of which has its own pub/restaurant. In Caldwell, The Brownlow Arms has an extensive menu, from bar meals and snacks to fine dining. The Bridgewater Arms at Winston is a converted school offering a very high quality food, with a public bar.
If you enjoy a high quality authentic pizza, you can't beat Stable Hearth, an artisan takeaway in Gainford. Their pizzas are made with freshest ingredients and baked in a wood fired oven. Just remember to ring ahead with your order, to avoid disappointment!
Or better still, if you enjoy a good long walk, pick up the Teesdale Way at Winston Gate (just down the road from us) and walk to Fernaville's Rest at Whorlton. There you will find local ales, good food, and a friendly welcome for you – and your dogs – from the owners.
For a special treat try The Oak Tree, just over 3 miles away in Hutton Magna. It is owned and run by Alistair and Claire Ross – he’s the Chef and she’s Front of House – and they serve a fine modern European menu in a delightfully intimate converted end-terrace cottage. Open Tuesday to Sunday evenings. Bookings essential: 01833 627371.
Mainsgill Farm Shop is also well worth a visit. More a day out than an shop, they sell an assortment of delicious food including meat from the farm and freshly baked cakes to have with your cuppa in the Tea Shop. There are camels and alpacas in the field and mini tractors for the little ones to play on, and a delightful Gift Shop.
The Forbidden Corner, dubbed The Strangest Place is the World, is a day out for children of all ages. A unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales, a 40min drive from Hillcrest Park.
Headlam Hall is a country house hotel just a few miles away which has a challenging and picturesque 9 hole golf course and a luxurious spa for those who want to make their visit even more special.
Auckland Castle is just a short drive away and, from July 2016, they will be presenting a visually stunning night show called "Kynren - an epic tale of England". This open-air theatrical extravaganza depicts 2,000 years of British history, from the Roman and Viking invasions through to the second world war, in a 7½ acre arena. Tickets for the night show can be purchased at www.elevenarches.org.
For our more active visitors, Hamsterley Forest with its range of mountain bike trails and great walking, is just over 30mins drive away and offers a great day out.
For more details about what to see and do in Teesdale, visit Explore Teesdale.
|Bowes Museum||The Oak Tree|
|Raby Castle||Mainsgill Farm Shop|
|High Force||Headlam Hall|
|Head of Steam||Fernaville's Rest|
|Archer's Jersey Ice Cream||Walworth Castle Birds of Prey|
|The Brownlow Arms||The Forbidden Corner|
|The Bridgewater Arms||Lightwater Valley|
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