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Winter Days Out

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It may be winter but there are still plenty of reasons for a break in Teesdale....

January and to a lesser extent February can be seen as rather dreary months of the year. It starts off with the post Christmas hangover when everyone has had too many nights out and over indulged and then fizzles into great intentions to eat less, drink less and become a better person. By February the realisation of failure to stick to these targets comes home to roost for most of us but look on the bright side.... its a great time of year for a bargain! As most of us well know, January and February are the quietest time of the year for hotels and inns, especially rural properties. This means that you will find the best deals of the year in this period and probably get a better pick of the dates than usual. Still the same place, the same bedrooms and food in the restaurant but I would say that at most places this can all be enjoyed for less money. Simple supply and demand. What to do on a winter break... Well if it is one of those occasional crisp sunny days then hallelujah! What can be better than a brisk walk in the countryside on a day like this. From Romaldkirk you can walk up onto the nearby fell to enjoy fabulous views over the dales or perhaps opt for the easy walking along the old railway line. Head west to Mickleton at east to Cotherstone. Both have decent pubs for a pit-stop before returning to the Rose & Crown to bagsie a seat by the fire to defrost with your favourite tipple (or a cuppa if your on a dry January). There's a good chance it will be dull or miserable weather, after all, we are in the green and pleasant land of England. Still, there is plenty to do if you aren't one for relaxing in the cosy lounge with a good book. Head into the nearby market town of Barnard Castle (Barny to the locals) and explore the fascinating antique shops, some of which hold stock that must have been there since the days of Dick Turpin. There are some nice independent 'arts & crafts' shops too in the town and then lets not forget the superb Bowes Museum. The best part of a day could easily be spent here exploring the vast rooms with world renowned collections of paintings, textiles and historical artefacts. This is a museum which has kept itself up-to-date with visitor expectations and gone are the days of a stuffy, boring day out. After all, the Bowes hosted the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 2015. All in all, plenty of reasons for an enjoyable and relaxing break in Teesdale.