Trains to Beeston Castle
Some 13 miles away is the nearest station to Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, which is served by trains to and from Darlington, Middlesbrough and Saltby. Either grab a cab from the station, which takes 30 minutes, or get to Barnard Castle by bus, by taking the X1 service to the town hall and then changing to either the X75 or X76 Arriva service, which runs directly to the site. The journey takes approximately an hour and a half.
About Barnard Castle
The first thing to do at Barnard Castle, rather surprisingly, is to look in the opposite direction. Not that this historic site is lacking anything - far from it - but the views from its vantage point, high up on a rock above the River Tees, must be seen to be believed. Once you've taken in your surroundings, make your way to the ruins of the once-dominant castle and cast your eye over the striking remains of its imposing 12th-century architecture. The castle was once home to Richard III, and the more eagle-eyed visitors might be able to spot his famous boar emblem carved into one of the windows.
Take a gentle stroll around the stunning grounds, then recharge your batteries with a nice cup of tea from the castle's snack bar, or pitch up at one of the many picnic spots, either on the castle site itself or in its gardens and lawns.
Before you leave, make sure you visit the sprawling sensory garden, which is home to hundreds of scented plants and tactile objects for you to feel your way through as you get lost in the history of this truly magical place.
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00
Winter opening times vary.
Check the website for details.
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