Things To Do

This page just gives a personal view of a few of the many, many ways to enjoy yourself in Weardale, County Durham and Northumbria.  We hope you find it useful; do contact us or call us with your ideas and experiences as to what should be on here.

Here is a map showing points of interest around us.  We hope you find it helpful

Those that are marked  are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme

Durham Cathedral - just 15 minutes from Dowfold House


To whet your appetite, here are a couple of short videos about Weardale, which link into lots of other ones covering the splensdours of County Durham.  Well worth a look!

Filmed by students from the Media course at New College Durham

Background music courtesy of Carol and Steve Robson of Fools Gold, County Durham

Tourist Information Sites

Discover Weardale

Dscover all that is most magical about "Englands last wilderness" (as famously described by David Bellamy).  Heather-clad uplands, magnificent cycling on the Roof of England, wondrous view and 1000 years of history.  We can't get enough of it.

Durham Tourism Information -

The most comprehensive guide to just what's going on in County Durham.  From Heritage to cycling, museums to multi-medi extravaganzas - it's all here

Explore The North Pennines

This site is packed with information (and downloadable routes) about activities and things to see and do in and around the North Pennines. The North Pennines Natural Landscape (formerly known as the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark is a stunning landscape of open heather moors, dramatic dales, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, inky-black night skies, close-knit communities, glorious waterfalls, fantastic birds, colourful hay meadows, stone-built villages, intriguing imprints of a mining and industrial past, distinctive plants and much more.


Weardale - the hunting grounds of the Prince Bishops of Durham; England's last great wilderness; vast source of mineral wealth; Cycling and walking on the Roof of England; rich cultural and ecclesiastical heritage and so much more. 

Weardale Museum and High House Chapel

The Weardale Museum and High House Chapel is a volunteer-run folk museum with fascinating insights into the lives of past inhabitants.  It sports the famous Weardale Tapestry, locally woven, as well as an historic - yet still functioning - methodist chapel.  If that's not enough, they’ll help you to research your ancestors in Weardale

Weardale Adventure Centre

Weardale Adventure Centre is the newest centre in the North East offering access to 400 acres of Weardale countryside for outdoor pursuits. Activities cover from archery, quad bike trails and mountain biking to Nature Safari.

Killhope Lead Mining Museum - a great day out from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

Killhope is a multi-award winning 19th century mining museum in the centre of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), where you can experience the life and work of the lead mining families of the North Pennines.

The Weardale Railway from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Weardale Railway

The Weardale Railway runs trains run every weekend from Easter to Halloween. During the school holidays there will be trains on Wednesday . Now, there are regular trains all the way to Bishop Auckland, where the railway joins the main line.  This joining means there are regular excursions up Weardale from all over the country - even London!

Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast is a preferred place to stay for visitors to Andrew Hall Hats

Andrew Hall Hats

Andrew Hall: International Demonstrator, Woodworker, Woodturner and - amazing - Wood Hat Milliner

Hamsterley Forest

From wildlife watching and dark sky gazing, to adventure play for all the family and high-octane mountain biking, there is something to keep all members of your group busy all day.

A great value day out, you can refresh in the café, or paddle and picnic by the river - oh and sadly for teenagers, there is no mobile phone signal!                     

Magnificent Trike Tours departing from Bradley Burn Farm Shop - just 5 miles from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Trike Tours in Weardale

If you're looking for things to do in the North East,  visit NORTH OF ENGLAND TRIKE TOURS & take the ride of your life today. 

The North Pennines & the Durham Dales, are areas of stunning unspoiled natural beauty - the 2nd largest area designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales.


County Durham - Heritage like no other

Few counties have as rich and varied a heritage as County Durham.  Industrial powerhouses; the first stirrings of Christianity in England; a turbulent relationship with the Scots - all have marked the area with graphic reminders of a rich history.  Dowfold House is smack in the middle of the county of Durham, and so perfectly placed as a base from which to explore the many wonders the area has to offer.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral is one of the great buildings of Europe. Set grandly on a rocky promontory next to the Castle with the medieval city huddled below and the river sweeping round, the profile of the World Heritage Site is instantly recognisable to people travelling up and down the East Coast Main Line.

Beamish the open-air Museum of the North - just 25 minutes from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Beamish - the living Museum of the North

Beamish is a world-famous open-air museum, telling the story of life in North-East England during the 1820s, 1900s & 1940s - and, now, the 1950s.  I never before realised I was a museum piece!  And, if you stay with us for your visit to Beamish, we can give you a 25% discount voucher.  Not to be sneezed at.

The world's oldest steam engine?

Locomotion: Railway history at the birthplace of the railway

Locomotion has a magnetic attraction for train and railway enthusiasts.  A huge collection for fascinating exhibits from the very old to the very, er, advanced (remember the Advanced Passenger tilting Train? It's there).  Well worth a visit.

The Bowes Museum - The North's Museum of Art, Fashion & Design

The Bowes Museum is a hidden treasure, a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. The magnificent building stands proud in the historic market town of Barnard Castle housing internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts.  Purpose built in the 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes, the Museum has a wonderful story to tell. AND, if you stay with us for your visit to the Bowes Museum, we can give you a 20% discount voucher.  Can't be bad.

Brancepeth Castle

Brancepeth Castle

If you really want History (note the capital "H"), go to Brancepeth Castle, just 10 minutes from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast.  Founded when a Norman Baron married into an Anglo-Saxon Family, and playing a key part in shenanigens through out the 2nd Millenium, It's (astonishingly) still in use today.

Auckland Castle - just 15 minutes from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland.  The fascinating historic home of the Prince Bishops of Durham, and where the world-famous Zurbaran paintings are to be found. Now a centre for the renaissance of the whole of Bishop Auckland.

Raby Castle, Staindrop

Raby Castle

Raby is without doubt one of the most impressive intact castles in the North of England. Built in the 14th century by the powerful Neville family, it has a long history. Home to Cecily Neville, mother of two kings of England, it was also the scene of the plotting of the Rising of the North and a Parliamentary stronghold during the Civil War.

The approach to the castle is particularly beautiful as its towers appear and disappear amongst the trees of the surrounding parkland with its ornamental lakes and herds of deer. The exterior with medieval towers, terrace and embattled walls dates back to the 11th Century.

An epic tale of England

Kynren - an epic tale of England and 11Arches historical theme park

Join young Arthur on his spellbinding journey through time and watch legends come to life in the thrilling tale of his quest.

From the fog of war and the noise of battle to the heat of industry; from Romans to Victorians; from the lavish pomp and pageantry of royal ceremony to thrilling choreography, amazing stunts, equestrianism, water jets, special effects and pyrotechnics, this multi-award-winning live action, outdoor theatre spectacular delights and dazzles the senses as the last 2,000 years are brought to vivid life on an enormous scale.

For Walkers, Cyclists & even Motorists...

Crook & Weardale Ramblers at rest...

Crook and Weardale Ramblers

We are a local group based in County Durham in the North Pennines – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  David Bellamy, who lives in our area, describes this area as: "The last great wilderness of England". The 74 mile long Weardale Way runs through our area and ends on the coast at Sunderland.

Hamsterley Forest - a great place to go to bike, to walk, to picnic - from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast

Hamsterley Trailblazers

The Trailblazers are a group of MTB enthusiasts with the common aim of making Hamsterley Forest a centre of excellence for mountain biking that attracts riders of all abilities.

Wolsingham wayfarers' walkers guides

Walking in Weardale? Visit Wolsingham Wayfarers

Wolsingham Wayfarers publish a great selection of walking maps for Weardale.  SO useful for finding your way around some of the most stunning scenery in England.

What to do in County Durham and Northumbria

For those who want to travel to Northumberland (no bad thing to do...)

Alnwick Garden, Northumberland - a great day out from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast.

The Alnwick Garden

When visitors to The Alnwick Garden step through the 16th century Venetian gates, they are wowed. Wowed by the space, the structure and the beauty of the landscape laid out before them. It is a view that’s appreciated every day, in every season.

Northumberlandia - Jst the other side of Newcastle from Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast


Northumberlandia is a unique piece of public art set in a 19-hectare community park providing free public access, with four miles of footpaths on and around the landform, along with a café and visitor centre. The park’s centerpiece is ‘The Lady of the North’, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady, scaling 100 feet in height and spanning a quarter of a mile.

IF you have any ideas and suggestions as to what else might be on these pages, please do contact us.  We're grateful for any ideas.

Note that these links are to external websites.  We at Dowfold House can take no responsibility for their content, or even their existence, although we do try to make sure they are good links that do work.  You visit them at your own risk