We spent a fantastic 5 days over Easter at the Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning site in the North East and here is our review.
Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning site is medium sized with about 90 pitches, including grass and hard standing and with electric hookup. Pitches are large, with plenty of space between them, and we could fit our storage tent behind the motorhome easily. The washing up, showering and toilet facilities were brilliant – really clean, modern and well maintained. There’s a small children’s play area on site, although as it has only 2 swings and a small slide it’s really aimed at younger kids. The site managers were very friendly and helpful, and there is lots of information about the local area available from reception. There’s a reasonable shop on site selling the usual camping essentials, including milk, bread and camping gas. There’s also a fish’n’chips van that visits once or twice a week (depending on the season). We went out to eat on the Saturday night when the van came so can’t vouch for the food sadly.
The best thing about Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning site for us was the beautiful location, set in rolling fields with lovely views of farming countryside. There is an off-road walk into the town of Barnard Castle which takes about 30 minutes, walking through lovely woods along the river Tees and through a farm with the most beautiful horses in the fields. We’d been in two minds about taking our bikes but were so glad we did – the route to Barnard Castle was accessible on bikes so that avoided too much grumbling about the walk! From Barnard Castle itself there are loads of options for walking and cycling, with the Teesdale Way running through the town and a great 8-mile round walk to the stunning Egglestone Abbey along the river, with lots of opportunities for paddling (and even swimming) and skimming stones.
Just next to the town centre itself there are some great woods which the kids (and dog) loved playing in, and of course you can visit the ruined Barnard Castle itself. There’s a lovely village green in front of the castle, with a small kids’ playground and mini golf which was really good fun. We only needed to drive somewhere once, and that was to visit Raby Hall which had been recommended by friends who have a holiday house in the area. As well as walking and cycling, the site would be a really good base for visiting other attractions in the area – Beamish is under an hour’s drive away, and the north Yorkshire moors and the brilliant Forbidden Corner family attraction are about a 30 minute drive.
Barnard Castle town itself is a really charming place, and we enjoyed sampling the local-made ice cream in the cute cafes and browsing in the local shops and small art galleries. There are some really old traditional pubs in the town – one has a lovely beer garden with great views which backs on to the old town walls.
Raby Hall is a 10 minute drive from Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning site and is a medieval castle with beautiful grounds, with deer roaming free. Dogs are welcome but we had to keep Baxter on his lead because of the deer. In the lovely castle gardens, there was an Easter trail and quiz which the kids enjoyed doing (while we admired the arrays of amazing flowers and the castle views) and there were all sorts of Easter craft activities in a large greenhouse area, all included with the entry price (£18 for a family of 5, excluding castle visit). We made Easter baskets, headbands and decorated eggs. As it was such a hot day, we decided not to go into the castle itself, but we were very tempted by the tours specifically aimed at children and we’ll definitely do it when we go back. The kids enjoyed playing in the large woodland play area, which was a welcome relief from the Easter heatwave!
All in all, we loved our stay at Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning site and will definitely be back to this campsite again!
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