Discover the Top 5 Things to Do in Teesdale

by | Activities, Attractions, Teesdale

This article is part of our Discover Alston series. You can find more articles here


Nestled in the heart of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Teesdale offers a wealth of natural wonders, historic sites, and outdoor activities. Here’s a guide to the top five things to do in Teesdale, each paired with its address and web address for your convenience. These recommendations ensure you get the most out of your visit to this stunning part of the UK.

1. High Force Waterfall

A stunning view of High Force Waterfall, one of the top things to do in Teesdale, with the River Tees plunging over a dramatic cliff.

High Force Waterfall is a must-see in Teesdale, offering breathtaking views and a scenic walk through ancient woodlands.

High Force is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in England, where the River Tees plunges 21 meters over a dramatic precipice.

  • Address: Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 0XH
  • Website: High Force
  • Description: Visiting High Force is an essential part of exploring Teesdale. The waterfall is accessible via a short walk from the car park through ancient woodlands.

Things to do in Teesdale at High Force:

  • Enjoy the breathtaking view from the foot of the waterfall.
  • Walk along the nature trail to appreciate the local flora and fauna.
  • Capture stunning photographs of this natural wonder.

2. Bowes Museum

The grand exterior of Bowes Museum in Teesdale, showcasing its French-style architecture and extensive art collection.

Bowes Museum in Teesdale captivates visitors with its impressive collection of fine and decorative arts, housed in a magnificent French-style chateau.

A grand French-style chateau, Bowes Museum houses an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts.

  • Address: Newgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP
  • Website: The Bowes Museum
  • Description: This magnificent museum was purpose-built in the 19th century and continues to captivate visitors with its impressive collections and exhibitions.

Things to do in Teesdale at Bowes Museum:

  • Explore diverse exhibits, including paintings, ceramics, and textiles.
  • Witness the famous Silver Swan automaton in action.
  • Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the museum.

3. Raby Castle

The historic Raby Castle in Teesdale, surrounded by lush gardens and a deer park, one of the top things to do in Teesdale.

Explore the grandeur of Raby Castle in Teesdale, with its rich history, stunning interiors, and expansive deer park.

One of England’s finest medieval castles, Raby Castle is surrounded by a large deer park and beautiful gardens.

  • Address: Staindrop, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3AH
  • Website: Raby Castle
  • Description: This well-preserved castle offers a glimpse into the life of the powerful Nevills and provides a wonderful day out for history enthusiasts and families alike.

Things to do in Teesdale at Raby Castle:

  • Tour the castle’s grand interiors, including the impressive Great Hall.
  • Explore the 200-acre deer park and gardens.
  • Participate in seasonal events and activities hosted by the castle.

4. Teesdale Way

A scenic section of the Teesdale Way, a popular walking trail that follows the River Tees through beautiful landscapes.

Hiking the Teesdale Way offers stunning views of the countryside and riverside, making it one of the top things to do in Teesdale.

The Teesdale Way is a long-distance footpath that follows the River Tees from its source to its mouth, passing through spectacular landscapes.

  • Address: Various access points, including Middleton-in-Teesdale and Barnard Castle
  • Website: Teesdale Way
  • Description: This scenic trail is perfect for walkers of all levels, offering a mix of riverside paths, woodlands, and moorland scenery.

Things to do in Teesdale along the Teesdale Way:

  • Hike sections of the trail for stunning views of the countryside.
  • Discover hidden gems like the Low Force and High Force waterfalls.
  • Enjoy picnicking by the riverside in peaceful surroundings.

5. Barnard Castle

The ruins of Barnard Castle overlooking the River Tees, a historic site and one of the top things to do in Teesdale.

Discover the rich history and scenic views at Barnard Castle, a historic town in the heart of Teesdale.

The historic market town of Barnard Castle, with its namesake ruins, offers a charming experience for visitors.

  • Address: Scar Top, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8PR
  • Website: Visit Barnard Castle
  • Description: Overlooking the River Tees, the castle ruins provide a fascinating insight into medieval life and offer panoramic views of the town and river.

Things to do in Teesdale at Barnard Castle:

  • Explore the ruins and learn about the castle’s history.
  • Visit the nearby Bowes Museum.
  • Wander through the town’s quaint shops and cafes.

That’s Your 5 Things to do in Teesdale

Teesdale is a treasure trove of experiences, with each attraction offering a unique glimpse into the area’s rich heritage and natural splendor. From the majestic High Force Waterfall to the historic Bowes Museum and the serene trails of the Teesdale Way, there is no shortage of things to do in Teesdale. As you plan your visit, consider spending ample time exploring these top sights to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of this captivating region. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Teesdale promises an unforgettable journey.

Stay at Salvin House Alston

For a truly memorable stay during your visit to Teesdale, consider booking accommodation at Salvin House Alston. This elegant and welcoming guest house, located in the heart of Alston, provides easy access to the many attractions in Teesdale and the surrounding areas. Salvin House features beautifully appointed rooms, each with its unique charm and modern amenities, ensuring a restful retreat after your days of exploration. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast made from locally sourced ingredients and take advantage of the friendly hosts’ extensive local knowledge to enhance their Teesdale adventures. Salvin House offers the perfect blend of comfort and convenience, making it an ideal base for exploring the wonders of Teesdale.




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