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 Bowlees Visitor Centre

Bowlees is a fantastic base for exploring Upper Teesdale, with footpath links to Low Force, High Force, Newbiggin and the Pennine Way.  

The visitor centre, which lies just off the B6277 between Middleton in Teesdale and Alston, was reopened by the North Pennines AONB Partnership in June 2013. The building is a former Primitive Methodist Chapel which was built in 1845 and remodelled several times over the years. It is shown on an OS map dated 1860 but lying east /west rather than north/south. There is a re-set inscription stone in the current building which dates it to 1868 and the OS map of 1897 shows the outline of the building as it is today. It was last used as a chapel in 1968.

Bowlees Visitor Centre, Newbiggin, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham   DL12 0XF

Tel: 01833 622145 


If the centre is closed please contact the AONB Partnership staff unit on 01388 528801 or email

Opening times

  • From 1 April 2014 seven days a week from 9am - 6pm 

Admission to the visitor centre is free, small voluntary charge for the car park.Small admission charge to some events as advertised.


Easter Fun! Bank Holiday Monday 21 April 2014

A day of seasonal fun including an Easter egg hunt, willow star making, honey tasting, craft activities and much, much more.

Children £3, adults free. Family discounts available.

For further details contact Nic Cullens


Tel: 01833 622145

Volunteering Opportunities

Landscape lovers, wildlife watchers, walkers, craftspeople and anyone who wants to learn new skills or teach old ones are being encouraged to become part of the team. We would love to hear from you if you think you could help us with educational visits, activities or staffing the centre.

For further details contact Sarah Kelly or Nic Cullens or download the



Tel: 01833 622145 


Bowlees Visitor centre provides information and displays on the geology and landscape, wildlife and people of Upper Teesdale, and the AONB. 

Car parking (small voluntary charge) is available at the nearby picnic area. Accessible parking and an electric car charging point are available in front of the centre. Toilets (including an accessible toilet) are available at the centre when open. 

The centre has an upstairs room which can be booked for meetings and courses. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Cafe 1618 @ Bowlees

Serves teas, homemade produce and other delicious refreshments including the Teesdale Lead Miners' Pasty.


The shop sells a range of maps and guidebooks together with nature inspired gifts and locally made produce.


An upstairs gallery provides an exhibiton space for local artists and photographers. The current exhibiton which runs until the end of April, features the work of four local artists: Paul Morgan-Clarke, Glynnis Carter, Simon Wilson and Ann Mason.

Forthcoming events

Wild Wednesdays will run each Wednesday of the Easter and summer holidays.

Our next event will take place on 21st April 2014. Come along to our Easter Fun event and take part in our Easter egg hunt, taste some honey, weave a star out of willow and make an Easter craf to take home.

Childrens' activities are available all year round - come and make a badge to remind you of your visit to the North Pennines. Just ask at reception for further details.


Upper Teesdale provides a wealth of opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Contact Nic Cullens on 01388 528801 or email for further details.

Other places to visit nearby

There is plenty to do in Upper Teesdale.

Within walking distance:

Within 30 minutes drive:

Eating and drinking

At Cafe1618@ Bowlees you can get coffees, teas and cold drinks, cakes and light meals, but there are plenty of other places to eat and drink in Upper Teesdale. There are hotels at High Force and Langdon Beck and a variety of cafes in Middleton-in-Teesdale

Staying nearby

If you are looking to stay in Teesdale a bit longer there are lots of places within a short drive which will offer Bed and Breakfast accommodation.  Look out for B&Bs with a Green Tourism (GTBS) accreditation!

View of the waterfall at Gibson's Cave, near Bowlees
Logos - This image contains the North Pennine Dales funding logos 
Walking through hay meadows along the Pennine Way National Trail in Teesdale
High Force waterfall in Upper Teesdale