Hang Out Here: Barnard Castle
IN THE CENTRE
Eat: Blagraves House is the oldest house in Barnard Castle, and its food isn’t bad either. Expect high-grade country classics.
Drink: As Teesdale’s pub of the season in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, The Old Well Inn on The Bank must be doing something right.
See: You’ve come to Barnard Castle. You can’t leave without seeing Barnard Castle, the castle that’s in Barnard Castle.
Do: Throughout the summer holidays at the Bowes Museum you'll be able to enjoy Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection, Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World and blimey! Lucretia exhibitions as well as an exciting programme of family workshops.
5 MILES AWAY
Eat: The Rose and Crown at Romaldkirk, five miles north west of Barnard Castle, looks like a standard (if very handsome) coaching inn-turned-pub, but they’re putting out two AA Rosette-standard British classics like hare loin with bonbons.
Drink: Cross the Tees to Ovington and stop in at The Four Alls to sup the end product of the hard work by Mithril Ales, a local microbrewery.
See: Eggleston Hall Gardens is a delightful four-acre site from the late 16th century. Wander along the numbered stone walk here to work off your lunch.
Do: Westward ho to the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty, where you can pull on your walking boots and tackle breathtaking countryside.
10 MILES AWAY
Eat: The weather’s starting to warm up, so head to Reeth’s ice cream parlour, where there are 16 flavours to pick from. The black cherry whim wham’s a favourite.
Drink: The Fox Hole in Piercebridge is a traditional pub with a little bit of cunning added in, the perfect place for a pint.
See: Head south to the village of Crackpot, North Yorkshire, where you can get some LOL-worthy Instagram pics in front of the sign then explore Crackpot Cave.
Do: Ten miles due north is Hamsterley Forest, with 2,000 hectares of mountain biking trails.
30 MILES AWAY
Eat: It’s a smidgen over 30 miles away but heading west means you can end up in Kendal, where you’ll want to set your teeth on edge with a bit of the famous mint cake.
Drink: You can get a long way with 30 miles of petrol. Use it wisely and you can end up at the Staiths Café in Dunston, where the views across the Tyne are unparalleled.
See: Just over 30 miles to reach the top, head west out to see Roseberry Topping, and if you're feeling fit climb it. Its summit has a distinctive half-cone shape with a jagged cliff, and is often compared to the much higher Matterhorn.
Do: Get kitted out and clamber over Brimham Rocks, a National Trust site in the Nidderdale Area of Natural Beauty.