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Barnard Castle

Scar Top Barnard Castle Durham DL12 8PR

The fortified walls of Barnard Castle rise dramatically above the town of the same name, perched on the cliffs above the tumbling River Tees. There's been a fortress here since Norman times, and Richard III used it as a northern stronghold before it later passed into the hands of the owners of nearby Raby Castle, who used its stone to patch up their own luxurious pile. Ruined it might be, but the views are magnificent and the trimmed lawns pleasant for a stroll – there's a sensory garden within the walls and plenty of space for picnics and games. Out of the gate and you're right in the heart of the town of Barnard Castle – 'Barney' to its mates – which is a handsome market town at the foot of Teesdale. It makes a good approach to the wilder high moors if you're driving from Durham and is definitely worth a stop.

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