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Review: Barnard Castle

City/Town/Region/Island

Teesdale, United Kingdom

A busy small market town and a good base for exploring the North Pennines

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2314 reviews

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  • Jun 2014
  • Husband

42 people found this review helpful

Barnard Castle, or Barney as it is affectionately called by the locals, is a thriving small market town at the mouth of Teesdale. Although it has a Morrisons behind the market place, it still manages to retain many small family owned shops. Some like the old fashioned men’s outfitters and chocolate shop selling hand made chocolate animals, have been there for decades. GlaxoSmithKlein have a large factory on the edge of the town and is a major employer.



The town grew up round the Norman castle and still retains its cobbled streets, twisting lanes and narrow passageways. It still has a medieval feel to it.



At the bottom of Horse Market, the broad main shopping street, is the Market Cross or butter mart. The octagonal building dates from 1747 and was built to replace the old tollbooth. Originally the base was closed off with heavy wooden shutters. It now serves as a roundabout.



Close by is St Mary’s Church which was built at the same time as the castle.



On the edge of the town is the amazing mock French Château built in the mid 19thC by John and Josephine Bowes to hold their eclectic collection of fine art, porcelain, furniture and paintings. The Bowes Museum is a major tourist attraction drawing visitors in to the area.



We always enjoy visiting Barney with its stone buildings and slab roofs. It has very much the feel of an upland town and is gateway to some of the best scenery in England with Stainmore, Teesdale and Weardale all within a short distance. Next time you drive the A66 to Scotland, drop down the hill into Barney and see for yourself. 

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