19 Jun 2023

Barnard Castle

 16th to 19th June 2023

First new site of the year - Barnard Castle in County Durham.  We have been meaning to visit Barnard Castle for a long time but something has always stopped us.  It's quite a long journey.


A traditional Friday start to a three night trip and we timed the journey just right, arriving dead on the earliest arrival time of 1pm.  Of course, there was a queue, but it didn't take long to get through and we drove around the site watching people setting up on what had been our first choice pitches based on Google Earth!  The following day we saw someone turn up at 11.30 and get turned away.  How we laughed.  They had to drive right round the site and then exit, they didn't look happy.  We are very easily pleased.

We ended up on pitch 36 which is right next to the exit barrier.  It turned out to be a good choice with a nice grassy area to sit out on and a neighbour on one side only.  Plenty of space, too.  Very sunny, so a rare outing for our canopy to get a bit of shade.

First choice pitches on this site seem to be the other side of the facilities block, away from the road.  A few reviews had mentioned road noise being a problem and it was noisy at times, but we'd rather have that than annoying neighbours.  The other side of the site looked very crowded.

It's about a 30 minute walk into Barnard Castle, through trees, or a bit quicker along the road.  We chose the trees.

Barnard Castle is not what we expected.  We were expecting a quaint village but it's actaully quite a big town with a busy road running through it.  And a Heron Foods!

At first glance not much outside seating in any of the pubs but they all seems to have beer gardens at the rear.  We liked The Old Well Inn and Crobar.

Crobar - mostly outside seating

We headed back to the site for a lateish barbecue and to make the most of the nice weather.


The weather forecast today was hot and sunny so we decided to postpone a walk until the next day, whcih was supposed to be cooler.  Not an entirely accurate forecast.

Instead we walked into Barnard Castle and had a look around the castle and the shops and of course, the pubs and cafes.

Another barbecue in the evening and we sat outside until late again.  The site was pretty full but not at all noisy where we were.


A walk from Low to High Force waterfalls.

Both quite spectacular.  You have to pay to get to the bottom of High Force, but only £3 each.  Better value than the castle.

The sign clearly says one person on the bridge at a time but we saw lots of groups going across together!

We got back to the site ealy afternoon to find it much quieter.  There must have been a lot of departures while we were out and we would have seen them all, being right next to the exit barrier.

The thunderstorms forecast for later in the day never arrived but it did rain a bit in the afternoon and a lot overnight.  We thought about walking into Barnard Castle but drove instead, for dinner at Babuls, a really nice Indian restauarant.

Then back to the caravan where we managed to sit outside for a while until the rain came, and for a bit longer thanks to our canopy...


The rain played out overnight and it was nice and sunny in the morning.  A near disaster when a gust of wind got hold of the canopy as we took it down and flipped it over the caravan but no harm done.  Apart from  that no trouble packing everything away or on the journey home.

Lots of caravans and motorhomes left before we did and the site was almost empty when we left.  We really need to start going away mid week.

All in all another excellent trip, our good luck continues in 2023.

Coming soon...

Nothing for a few weeks, we  are going on a cruse to Norway and Denmark at the beginning if July.

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