Barnard Castle is a beautiful spot to spend sunny days with the whole family. The land around the market town delves deep into the dales – where you can let off some steam and enjoy the great outdoors. Foodies have plenty to choose from when it comes to farm shops, cafes, delis, market stalls and country pubs; and cultured explorers have plenty to choose from when it comes to museum mooching.

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Let’s start with something sweet! Swing by The Sugar Mouse for incredible edibles sure to put a smile on your face as  you stroll through town. This super cute sweet shop serves all of your confectionary favourites, including Archers Jersey ice cream – making it the perfect pit stop in the summer months! Specialising in traditional sweets of all kinds, there’s sure to be something for everyone. The Sugar Mouse will also help you tick off your gift lists, selling a wide range of unique goodies from aprons and tote bags, to craft kits and teddy bears. What’s more? Orders for specialised gifts can be taken upon request. You name it, they’ve got it. Located at 5A The Bank. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @the_sugarmouse.

A trip to Barnard Castle would not be complete without visiting Clarendon’s. Whether your looking for something special as a gift for a loved one, or you just want to relax and unwind with a pot of delicious tea, Clarendon’s is the place to be. Sourcing some of the finest local ingredients, you’re sure to get something unique and truly delicious here. From Peats Butchers and Teesdale Eggs, to Cotherstone Cheese and fresh fish from Hodgson’s of Hartlepool, you won’t find finer producers feeding into Clarendon’s kitchen. Whether it’s an afternoon tea celebration, a hearty brunch, light lunch or a glass of wine with a friend, you’ll find something for every occasion.

If it’s a stock the cupboards shopping trip, you’re in the right place! Barnard Castle is home to heaps of lovely farm shops. Stop off at Mainsgill Farm Shop – believe your eyes when you see camels, llama and even wallaby in the fields.

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Within walking distance of the high street is the beautiful Bowes Museum – a great place to explore on rainy days, or roam the gardens in the glorious sunshine. The museum is a real highlight for the area, and encourages local visitors as well as culture-vultures from across the UK and beyond. It’s filled with internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts, including paintings by Van Dyck, Goya, El Greco and Canaletto, as well as an award winning fashion and textile gallery where you can watch tapestries and clothing being restored as well as getting up close to gorgeous period costume reflecting the ages. There are regular exhibitions offering something for the whole family, including the upcoming LEGO®: Building The Bowes Museum exhibition arriving on 25th May, on show until 13th October 2019.

This colourful exhibition will encourage people of all ages – from children to the young at heart, as The Bowes Museum’s history is recreated in an exciting new way – using LEGO®!

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The stunning 17th century country house, Headlam Hall, is nearby. A rural retreat in the beautiful Durham Dales – surrounded by rolling farmland in an idyllic location, complete with a spa to soak in and a golf course for green days.

The Morritt Hotel & Garage Spa is also close by. A rustic boutique resort where comfort meets class. Go here for cosy accommodation, a sumptuous spa experience and a fantastic foodie offering.

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Barnard Castle plays host to a bustling Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month. Stalls are set up on the market town’s cobbles – serving up everything from sweet treats and local produce, to unique gifts, treats and trinkets.

The market town is much-loved for its range of quirky antiques shops and outlets – offering a tremendous selection of furniture, books, decorative items, clocks, cutlery, silver and jewellery.

You’ll also find a wide array of independent shops and boutiques, including interior stores, vintage clothing shops and delicatessens.

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Don’t miss the castle itself. Spot Richard III’s boar emblem carving, enjoy the sensory garden and stunning views of this riverside location.