North Pennines walk – Barnard Castle and Eggleston

North-west out of Barnard Castle along the southern banks of the River Tees all the way to Eggleston. The route follows the Teesdale Way and passes the villages of Cotherstone and Romaldkirk. South-east back to Barnard Castle, following the Teesdale Way on the northern side of the river. A 13-mile walk in the North Pennines.

The River Tees as seen from Barnard Castle Bridge.

The 12th-century castle in the town of Barnard Castle.

The view of Barnard Castle from Deepdale Aqueduct.

Deepdale Aqueduct, Barnard Castle, a Grade 2 listed building erected in the 1890s. This Victorian cast-iron aqueduct with footbridge was built to carry water across the River Tees from the hills of County Durham to the towns of Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.

Mayhew’s Meadow, Lartington

This 15-acre wild flowering meadow and pond is a key habitat for fungi, invertebrates, insect-eating birds, small mammals, birds of prey, and pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Many such traditional meadows have been lost to intensive farming, and the numbers of insects, birds and mammals have seen huge declines.

Church of St Cuthbert, Cotherstone.

Cotherstone village green.

These very tame sheep came over to say hello as I crossed their field. Look how neatly they’ve been numbered.

The River Tees between Cotherstone and Romaldkirk.

The pretty village of Romaldkirk.

Church of St Romald, Romaldkirk.

Eggleston Bridge and Eggleston Hall just visible between the gap in the trees.

Beautiful house and gardens next to Eggleston Bridge.

Eggleston Bridge, which carries the B6281 single-track road over the River Tees into Eggleston. The Grade 2 listed bridge can be traced back to the 15th century, but was largely rebuilt in the mid 17th century.

The River Tees as seen from Eggleston Bridge.

The River Tees near Cotherstone Crag.

Barnard Castle weir

Completed in 2014, the weir is part of a gauging station that measures the depth and flow of the River Tees. The information is used to provide vital early flood warnings for people living downstream, and also in the management of river flows to help maintain a healthy water environment.

The previous weir, from 1963, had been a significant barrier to fish migration. The new Larinier fish pass has a series of baffles that slow the flow of the river. This allows Atlantic salmon and sea trout to move upstream to breed and downstream to live their adult lives at sea. Brown trout and grayling can now also move freely up and down the river.