This is night No 76/2018 living in my caravan. It's my second night at Barnard Castle C&MC Site in County Durham.

Got up around 0630 to a drizzly morning. It was forecast to be raining, so it was probably better than predicted. The weather continued to improve throughout the day.

The first walk was round the site's own dog meadow, then after breakfast I took the dogs a walk into Deepdale Wood. I followed a track which seemed to get more and more overgrown, and after about 40mins, had to turn back and retrace my footsteps. When I checked the map back at the van, I had actually followed a stream known as Ray Gill, instead of the Deepdale Beck. Great names for stretches of water!

I don't know why (?) but I hadn't packed enough underwear for this trip. Instead of laundering every couple of days, I decided to increase the stock by finding the nearest Asda. Google to the rescue, nearby Bishop Auckland had an Asda. Headed out on the 10-12mile journey passing through some lovely wee villages. Staindrop was a particularly pretty place. I thought it quite funny thats it's got a Snotterton Hall! You'd never get one of them in Scotland!

Bishop Auckland was a bit disappointment. I thought I'd been here before, but I must have got my places confused or I may have entered by a completely different direction. I got to Asda and it was an excellent big store, but the surrounding area was a very industrial, rugged place. Lots of shaven heads, football tops, staffies, etc, and that was just the women! What a difference just a few miles makes.

After lunch, I wanted to correct my earlier navigational mistakes and headed back down into Deepdale Woods. There's a path almost directly from the site.

It's a great natural broadleaf woodland on the banks of the meandering Deepdale Beck. The paths are a bit muddy in places, but the walking is excellent and the dogs can run free.

The path I was following starts on one bank, crosses a bridge, then after a few miles on the other bank, the path fords the burn and returns on the opposite bank.

Lots of these giant Rhubarb type plants. A spaniel is included for scale.

It was great following the path through these patches. The dogs ran wild in the undergrowth.

There's some lovely spots on the banks of Deepdale Beck. According to the information board, there is otter activity and I can understand why. There's very little upstream activity and the rough nature of the woods must limit the visitor disturbance.

A great walk taking about 90mins.

The weather continued to improve, and after dinner, we went for another blast around the dog meadow. It's a huge bonus on a site for any dog owner.

Later in the evening, we took a walk into town for another look at the castle.

The lovely bridge as you enter Barnard Castle.

It must have been quite a structure in it's day. The passageways on the upper floor is still visible.

A quite incredible castle.

A morning of packing tomorrow as we're off to the Yorkshire Dales and home of Wensleydale Cheese, the town of Hawes.


  1. I'm still waiting on you reaching Yorkshire; have you bottled it? Sharon's cousins were from Bishop Auckland and, although I've never visited, her description of it aligns with your experiences. Still, the remaining question from your blog is whether or not you sourced the needed kegs, or did the sight of "scary wummin" cause you to turn and run? On that giant rhubarb, that is another of those invasive species, Iain. I watched a Reporting Scotland item on the problems in some parts of Sutherland with it. It might be Gunnera or something similar. It comes from Brazil originally, so is a nice complement to the New Zealand burrs. Yorkshire tomorrow, maybe??

    1. Yes to both. Kegs purchased and Yorkshire tomorrow.


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