Experience the Durham Dales

Desmond house is in the heart of the breath-taking Durham Dales and is the perfect location for a getaway break.

Situated in the stunning North Pennines AONB, the characterful white-washed cottages, village green and traditional tea rooms and shops in Middleton-in-Teesdale make it a charming location for a cottage holiday, with many tremendous attractions and beautiful countryside walks to enjoy in the area.


Situated on the north side of Teesdale between Eggleston and Newbiggin, a few miles to the north-west of Barnard Castle, Middleton-in-Teesdale has a variety of independent, local shops to visit and great tea rooms and pubs to enjoy. The town has a popular farmers market which runs on the last Sunday of each month.

The area is popular with walkers and cyclists, with the town’s location on the Pennine Way as well as its proximity to the Coast to Coast route. The nearby High Force Circular Walk takes you to the the spectacular High Force Waterfall in Forest-in-Teesdale and the walk from the nearby village of Mickleton to Grassholm reservoir is great for fishing and sailing! Hamsterley Forest offers mountain bike trails and has also staged rally events.

The Kingsway Centre, located on the outskirts of Middleton-in-Teesdale, offers rock climbing, gorge walking, kayaking and raft building if you are feeling adventurous.

For even more choice, head over to the historic market town of Barnard Castle (just 10 miles away) where you can visit the castle from which it took its name, a number of charming antique and curios shops as well as some household names.

The North Pennines

Teesdale is a well kept secret with a wonderful variety of scenery from dramatic sweeping moorlands and upland dales, to waterfalls and cascades, including High Force, Low Force and Cauldron Snout, to hay meadows, rich in wildlife and best of all no crowds!

There are well defined walks starting from the doorstep; from a 1.5 mile stroll around Middleton or 4.5 – 12 miles including Mickleton and Romaldkirk or make this your base for part of the Teesdale Way at 90 miles or the Pennine Way at 268 miles, or stop off while walking Wainwright’s Pennine Journey, a challenging circular walk 247 miles long. Or try one of our local challenge walks – Bronze, Silver or Gold standard. For more details visit Teesdale Challenge Walks.

Curlews, lapwings and sky larks are frequently to be seen, also the rare Black Grouse, with a Black Grouse lek site only 7 miles away. If you haven’t seen the lek it is a piece of bird watching theatre, where males display in order to attract a mate and Spring is the time to see it! The wild flowers are outstanding, in Spring particularly the Spring Gentians then later in Summer the Hay Meadows come into their own.

Alternatively you could enjoy angling with the upper stretches of the river Tees being famous for brown trout. There is also cycling, kayaking, golf, or visiting the museums – Bowes Museum, historic houses and castles – Raby Castle, and beautiful gardens such as Eggleston Gardens , all within easy reach.

Nearby Attractions

There’s no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful part of the world, from seeing the stunning Silver Swan and the collections of the Bowes Museum, immersing yourself in history at Raby Castle (which also has a beautiful 200-acre deer park) or wandering around the one-of-a-kind open air museum, Beamish, near the town of Stanley where you can explore replicas of period streets, shops and homes from the 1820s to the 1940s.

High Force, England’s tallest waterfall (4.5 miles)

Moor House, Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (8 miles)

The Bowes Museum, a hidden treasure, a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale (9 miles)

Raby Castle, a 14th century castle featuring a vast hall, medieval kitchen, gardens and deer park (11.5 miles)

Derwent Reservoir, (16.5 miles)

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon (18 miles)

Binchester Roman Fort, once the largest Roman fort in County Durham (21 miles)

Beamish Museum, recreating life in 1800s and early 1900s in the open air. (31 miles)

Slightly further afield are:

Durham City, with its magnificent cathedral, 32 miles away

The Lake District National Park, 38 miles away

Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage Site, 33 miles away

Northumberland National Park, 50 miles away

The Perfect Base for Adventure

Desmond House is ideally situated for you to explore the area.
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