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About Teesdale & Durham Dales

Image of Barnard Castle

With their location on the east side of the Pennines, with large parts of Teesdale and the Durham Dales falling in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Teesdale and the Durham Dales make a fantastic place to enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle.

The area has a beautiful mix of open heather moors, rolling dales, stunning woodland and pretty meadows with some of the most beautiful areas of countryside in England. Be sure to visit Hamsterley Forest, Durham’s largest forest, which sprawls over 2000 hectares providing a perfect backdrop for cycling, walking, fell running and horseriding, with routes available for all abilities.

The area is famed for its geology with the North Pennines globally recognized as a geopark for its outstanding rock formations and waterfalls. Holwick Scar, formed over 200 million years ago by magma, is popular among rock climbers, and the majestic High Force, one of England’s highest waterfalls, plunges for 70ft and is surrounded by picturesque woodland and a variety of wildlife and flora and fauna.

Traces of Teesdale's lead mining past, dating back to the middle ages, can still be seen imprinted in the landscape and in the local towns and villages. The town of Middleton-in-Teesdale served as the headquarters for the London Lead Mining Company in the 19th century, with many structures in the town dating back to this period meanwhile the village of Nenthead boasts one of the largest accessible mines in England, with a labyrinth of mine stretching on for miles open to the public.

The low level of light pollution in Teesdale makes this a great place for stargazing, the area has many dark sky discovery sites such as Burnhope Reservoir, Grassholme Reservoir and Cow Green Reservoir. These sites are best visited in early spring or late autumn though if you’re lucky you may even catch sight of the Northern Lights over the open moorland at Tan Hill Inn!