Before visiting the Bowes Museum last Saturday I went to Barnard Castle. I explored the town of around Castle, taking photographs of the castle itself, from the main road by the River Tees (see above). I decided it would be interesting to go into the castle, which cost me about £3. It is massive and quite high up from the river, disappointingly the grounds are 80% grass and only about 10% of the original castle founded by the Normans remains intact. The castle is now in the care of the English Heritage, a lovely garden has been built which nice benches and flower beds. I think that charging about £3 each for an adult to gain entry to this castle is a little pricey unless you have a specific interest. Whilst walking around though I did think it would be a fun place for young children to explore and there is areas for families to have picnics. So given a nice summers day, I think it would be a good day out but it wasn’t really my kind of castle to be honest.
Today has been the busiest day for taking photographs. I walked around Romaldkirk, then went to Egglestone Gardens in the nearby village of Egglestone. From there down through Barnard Castle to Egglestone Abbey. Went on to photograph Raby Castle but it was closed so had to get pictures from the main road. Then explored two or three large reservoirs a few miles west of Romaldkirk and finally back home Whilst my laptop processed my photos for the days photography back at the house, I went for a walk a couple of miles up the road to take a few evening photographs of the countryside and the River Tees.
As you can imagine I am pretty tired but feel I have made the most of the first day of “British Summer Time”. Having that extra hour of daylight in the evenings really helps me take more photographs. The picture above is of a section of Egglestone Abbey, looking on the information board provided it indicates this is in fact the main east wing of the church (where the alter used to be). The abbey is quite large (although not as big as Barnard Castle) and dates back to some point between 1168 and 1198.
Today I did a lot of exploring in and around the town of Barnard Castle, about six miles south of where we were staying this weekend in Romaldkirk. I took photos of many different things from old castles to huge waterfalls. Disappointingly the weather wasn’t quite as good as yesterday although I was lucky enough to get half an hour of blue sky behind the magnificent looking Bowes Museum. I just love this French style of architecture and massive gardens in front of the museum. It was opened in 1892 as a purpose-built public art gallery for John Bowes. I decided not to go inside the museum due to the range of other attractions I wanted to see and photograph in the area (and in part due to the high cost of entry to the gallery). Still, this is a great looking museum and is less than a mile out of Barnard Castle.