Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Barnard Castle

Bowes Museum

A monumental chateau half a mile east of the centre contains the lavishly furnished Bowes Museum. Funded by 19th-century industrialist John Bowes, and opened in 1892, this brainchild of his Parisian actress wife, Jo…
Top Choice Gastronomy in Barnard Castle

Raby Hunt

A two-century-old, ivy-clad drovers' inn 11 miles east of Barnard Castle is now the staging post for gastronomic expeditions by self-taught chef James Close, who received his first Michelin star in 2012 and second i…
Top Choice Gastropub in Barnard Castle

Bay Horse

It's well worth the 19-mile trip east of Barnard Castle to this 15th-century coaching inn in the pretty riverside village of Hurworth-on-Tees, but book ahead so you don't miss out on exceptional locally sourced dish…
Castle in Barnard Castle

Raby Castle

Sprawling Raby Castle was a stronghold of the Catholic Neville family until it engaged in ill-judged plotting (the 'Rising of the North') against the Protestant Queen Elizabeth in 1569. Most of the interior dates fr…
Deli in Barnard Castle

Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop

Sheep graze on the grass-covered roof of this award-winning farm shop and cafe 1.5 miles south of Barnard Castle. The cavernous interior brims with all-organic produce; breakfasts (home-cured bacon, homemade sausage…
Ruins in Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle

Built on a cliff above the River Tees by Guy de Bailleul and rebuilt around 1150, Barnard Castle was partly dismantled some four centuries later, but its ruins still manage to cover two very impressive hectares with…