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 email us or call us with your ideas and experiences as to what should be on here.

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

Tourist Information Sites

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 is the greatest Norman building in England, perhaps even in Europe.
  • Killhope Lead Mining Museum   - a GREAT day out, and a real insight into Durham's industrial past.
  • The Weardale Museum and High House Chapel  Volunteer-run folk museum, Weardale Tapestry, historic chapel and they’ll help you to research your ancestors in Weardale
  • The Weardale Railway NOW linked to the national railway network, running steam and diesel trains through IMMACULATE stations in Weardale.
  • Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle - a true "Folly", with a splendid art collection housed in a 19th
    century French chateau - stunning
  • 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.
  • Raby Castle, Nr Barnard Castle.  Home to Lord Barnard's family since 1626, Raby is one of the finest medieval Castles in England.
  • Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum  is an open-air museum located at Beamish, Stanley, County Durham. The museum's guiding principle is to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the climax of industrialisation in the early 20th century.
  • Durham Castle. Situated in the heart of the City, the Castle, along with Durham's world famous Cathedral, forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
  • Oriental Museum, City of Durham.  The Oriental Museum is the only museum in the North of Britain devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the Orient.  Its Chinese and Egyptian collections are among the finest to be found anywhere in Britain
  • Tanfield Railway, near Stanley. Tanfield Railway is the North East's oldest, biggest and most popular steam railway.
  • Locomotion, Shildon.  Part of the National Railway Museum, Locomotion combines a real insight into the history of rail in the area with a mind-boggling collection of trains and other "stuff"
  • Egglestone Abbey,  Barnard Castle. The charming ruins of a small monastery of Premonstratensian 'white canons', picturesquely set above a bend in the River Tees near Barnard Castle. .
  • Finchale Priory, near Durham The very extensive remains of a 13th century priory, founded on the site of a retired pirate's hermitage.
  • Gibside Park, Rowlands Gill. Stunning 18th-century landscape garden and haven for nature.
  • Escomb Church, Escomb.  One of the most complete Saxon churches in Europe.

And, in case we've missed anything...

  • ThisIsDurham - the local tourist boards comphrehensive guide to attractions

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

  • Hadrian's Wall Country offers infinite opportunities for cherished memories and special moments. The sheer scale of the World Heritage Site combined with the four seasons, the living landscape and the people who live, work and visit here mean it is an ever changing canvas.
  • Alnwick Gardens, Alnwick Northumberland
  • Lindisfarne Holy Island (remember to check the tides!) The cradle of Christianity in England since 635AD
  • Bamburgh Castle

What to do in Weardale

What to do in County Durham and Northumbria

IF you have any ideas and suggestions as to what else might be on these pages, please do let us know, by emailing us HERE.  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