Barnard CastleBarnard Castle, County Durham
Barnard Castle is a charming historical visit great for both kids who like to get imaginative in the atmosphere and for those more academic types wanting to learn some of the rich history on offer. Set grandly on a high rock above the River Tees, Barnard Castle was named for its 12th century founder, Bernard de Balliol and was later developed by the Beauchamp family and then passed into the hands of Richard III.
Try and spot Richard's boar emblem carved above a window in the inner ward or visit the 'sensory garden' of scented plants and tactile objects, great for children and even better for those with sensory impairments.
You're welcome to picnic in the grounds, with particularly good spots being on the benches in the formal garden, or at the top of the hill with great views that make great family photo backdrops. Kites and ball games are allowed out here too as long as the kids are considerate of others using the space.
With fantastic views over the Tees Gorge this fortress sits on the fringe of an attractive working market town also known as Barney, so there is plenty more locally to explore for families on a day out. It's worth noting that there's no parking available on site but there's some 200m away and more a little further out. Some of it is free but some is charged for so be sure to take some change.
Please see website for details
Pricing & Tickets
Adults from £5.60
Kids (5-17) from £3.40
Concessions from £5.00
Family (2 adults, 3 kids) from £14.60
Book in advance for cheapest tickets
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Yes, there is parking nearby.