Exploring for families

Things To See And Do In Teesdale

Egglestone Abbey

Exploring the 13th century monastery  home to the “White Canons” is a great way to spend a few hours with children. Even the very youngest will enjoy exploring the remains and what is left of the toilet drainage system will no doubt, entertain!

Take care with children as there are some steep drops and supervise all party members should they climb the stairs to the upper floor.

The view of the river Tees is beautiful from up there.  But be aware the steps are slippery when wet.

There is a small car park and anyone not a member of English Heritage is asked for a small parking fee.

The abbey is situated withing walking distance of Barnard Castle.

Dog friendly.



Egglestone Abbey, home to so many games of hide and seek for my family in their younger days! Sorry English Heritage! So many tumbled down walls behind which to hide…and we even examined the history behind the ruins on some of our visits. 



High Force

The iconic High Force waterfall will impress everyone, no matter how many times you have been. The walk along an accessible path meanders through a pleasant wood, revealing the spectacular falls, little by little. The noise of the force, pluging 21 metres into the gorge becomes deafening.

No-one can fail to be impressed by the power of the waterfall, or the sight of the ancient whin sill underpinning the falls.

There are charges to visit High Force and to park in the car park opposite.

Dog friendly.


Low Force


Low Force  lies approximately 2 miles down stream and whilst it does not rise to the magnificent height of High Force, is for me, one of the  “must-see” things in Teesdale.

It is spectacular. It is accessible. And if you are looking for things to do with children, whilst on a budget, this is FREE!

There is car parking beside Bowlees Visitor Centre  but do take care crossing the B6277.

A journey across the Wynch Bridge should be undertaken with care, only one person crossing at a time.  The original bridge being built to allow miners living in Holwick to cross to the Middleton lead mines in approximately 1741, it was the scene of a tragic accident in 1802.

The area around Low Force is a wonderful spot to explore, picnic, walk, relax and feast on the views of the stunnning sequence of  falls.

Dog friendly.


Gibson’s Cave & Bowlees

Whilst visiting Low Force there is plentiful parking on the opposite side of the B6277 at Bowlees Visitor Centre. The centre owned and managed by the AONB stocks a good range of maps, books and information about the AONB and the Global Geopark. Outside there is a wildlife garden, a mud kitchen, places to picnic and when ready to return indoors, aim to visit the cafe in the centre, where the cakes and scones are highly recommended.

Dog friendly.


Hannah’s Meadow

Visit Hannah’s Meadow nature reserve and find a pefect unique area of Teesdale.  A site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) the meadows enjoy outstanding diversity of species and are some of the least improved in the dales.

Named for the amazing Hannah Hauxwell the lone female farmer brough to fame by Yorkshire TV programmes Too Long A Winter and A Winter Too Many, this upland hay meadow is awash with wild flowers in the late Spring.

Walk. Picnic. Wonder. Hannah survived alone eaking a living out of the family farm, after the family had passed. She had no electricity or running water.

Hannah who sadly passed herself in 2018, will forever be remembered battling to feed her few cows during a bleak Balderesdale winter.