Saturday 11 February 2017

Barnard Castle

A few years ago, when one of the kidlings was doing a school project on Normans which inspired a spate of educational castle visits, I was convinced into signing up for English Heritage membership. As I'm utterly useless at getting round to cancelling things, I'm likely to have this for life - which means I need to get my money's worth every year. Which means, whenever there's one nearby - I visit a castle! 

Stone spiral steps castle

At the end of last month we had a lovely weekend stay away near a very pretty little town called Barnard Castle. It didn't seen to much of a stretch to imagine that there'd be some nice old ruins for me to explore! 

Barnard Castle Signpost

Castle GAteway

County Durham Ruins

We were there the weekend of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch so on the way in we were asked to keep our eyes peeled in in the sensory garden and report back to reception if we saw anything. We saw some really lovely little tweeters, but - knowing very little about birds - I can't actually tell you (or the lady keeping the tally) what they were... but even I could recognise this little cutie! 

Castle Barnard Sensory Garden

Wooden Bridge

Places to visit County Durham

Barnard Castle is situated high above the River Tees, offering grand views over the river and surrounding areas. It was build in the 12th Century by Bernard de Balloil (hence the name), though ownership has passed through many hands over the centuries (including Richard III's) before English Heritage became responsible for it. 

River Tees

Castle Ruins

Barnard Castle Ruins

I don't know why I'm such a castle nerd... it's not like I really know much about History or anything. I guess I just like that a lot of the English Heritage properties are quiet and peaceful,.. and very pretty! Nice places for picnics, and I do like picnics! (Even thought I didn't bring one on this occasion and despite the occasional blue skies, it was a bit chilly!) Maybe I should crack open my history books for a deeper understanding and appreciation of these historical spots. In the meantime though, I'm happy to just potter round them taking pictures and buy fudge from the gift shops! 

Castle window

Barnard Castle Tower

I do feel a little for poor long-suffering KC though, who has very little interest in castles but will bravely accompany me whenever he doesn't have an excuse not to! 

BArnard Castle Visit

BArnard Castle English Heritage

Are you a castle nerd too? Do you have a favourite English Heritage site you can recommend? I know I've still got a lot to get through!


  1. Oh how stunning, what beautiful photos! I love the shot of the robin too, how cute! I love visiting castle and ruins, I'm a bit of a history geek, so I always enjoy finding out about the history of the building and there's something beautiful about ruins as well. Lovely photos! - Tasha

    1. Yes, these places always have so many stories! I'm glad I'm not alone :D

  2. As someone with a history degree, I always love this sort of blogposts and I'm definitely a history/castle nerd haha! I love this blogpost and seeing all these photos makes me want to go there. Very well written!

    Marc |

    1. Thanks Marc! It's a nice place and definitely worth a visit if you are ever around the area :D A history degree must have been really interesting! x

  3. Oh wow. What a stunning place. And your photographs are simply stunning! xx

    1. Well thank you dearest! It's a pretty place :D x

  4. Looks like a great place to visit :) I've got English Heritage membership too... Can't wait for better weather!

    1. Me either - the summer is definitely the best time to make your money back on that membership!


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