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 Bowlees Visitor Centre

Your North Pennines Adventure Starts Here!  

Bowlees Visitor Centre, Bowlees, Newbiggin in Teesdale, County Durham DL12 0XF


T: 01833 622145

Opening times



Please note, our electric car charge point is currently out of order, the nearest charge point is at Mickleton Service Station.

Visit our events page to find out about the exciting things happening this season and our plans for next season are being added too.

Discover & Explore

Acres of accessible countryside, miles of quiet rural roads, an abundance of wildlife and one of the best places in the UK to enjoy the night sky are just some of the reasons why you should make the North Pennines AONB a place to discover and explore in 2016.

Situated amidst stunning woodland in Teesdale, next to Low and High Force waterfalls, and surrounded by rolling fields boasting some of the best hay meadows in England, Bowlees Visitor Centre has all you need to make your visit to the North Pennines a memorable one.

Outdoor enthusiasts can make the most of the vast expanse of unspoilt land and sky by exploring on foot or wheels, or by simply sitting back and soaking up the scenery. We have booklets for self-guided walks, bike rides and nature-spotting, so you can explore at your leisure and then relax and unwind with some delicious food and drink in our café.

Inspiring Young Minds

At Bowlees Visitor Centre, children can get to grips with nature through a range of hands-on events - inside and out - that focus on learning, living and most importantly, laughing.

Our school trips and special events are designed to engage, educate and entertain young people, whether they are feeling adventurous or creative.

Bowlees Discovery Club

Do you know a child of primary school age who loves wildlife and the outdoors? Then this monthly club could be perfect for them. 

Bowlees Discovery Club meets on the last Saturday of every month and each month our intrepid explorers will learn about our landscape and the creatures that live in it. 

Annual membership is £5 and for that our explorers will get a goody bag and a certificate. Then each session is £1, which includes a drink and snack. 

It's been fun and busy so far, so booking is essential. Contact Nic or Mark on 01833 622145 to join.. 

Wild Wednesdays

Throughout the school  holidays Bowlees Visitor Centre will be buzzing with excitement and adventure every Wednesday! Click on the events link below to see what each new week will have to offer.

Birthday Parties

Bowlees is an ideal place to celebrate a birthday. If you would like a birthday party with a difference - with a range of activities and food included - Bowlees is the place for you. Activities can include campfire cookery, or pizza making in our wood fired oven, as well as river dipping, bug hunting and fossil making.

Educational Visits

Upper Teesdale provides a wealth of opportunities for learning outside the classroom.

Gift Shop

With emphasis on local suppliers and gifts inspired by the landscape, Bowlees Visitor Centre's Gift Shop has plenty of choice for the perfect gift for family, friends or even yourself!

Local Produce

Wilden Grange - Weardale Cheese  - Cumberland Mustard - South Durham Honey - Wellybix


Ellie Langley - Caroline Mann - Castle Keepsakes - Rosie Bee - Jewellery by Sarah


Rosie Bee - Melvyn Gibbons - Caroline Mann - Andrea Holmes - Sally Walkinshaw

We are always looking for new producers to come on board at Bowlees Visitor Centre. So if you live in or around the North Pennines, or you think your work fits into our centre, please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.

Available for Hire!

Our private mezzanine-level meeting room offers plenty of space, making it ideal for business meetings and corporate events. And our range of outdoor activities provide perfect team building opportunities.

And if your company, or group, wants to get involved with hands-on nature conservation, we can arrange it for you. Whether you want to build bird boxes or do ground work, we can always find you a job that will help to make nature count!

Pizza Oven Hire

Did you know that our wood fired pizza oven is available for hire? Call us to discuss prices and packages. We can also hire out butter and cheese making equipment and an apple press. Contact us for more details

Art Gallery

A mezzanine gallery provides an exhibition space for local artists and photographers to display their work.

Artists change regularly and the centre is currently booked up until the end of 2019! But we are always looking for more artists to display their work in our refurbished chapel so do get in touch.

As well as displaying work we also stock a wide range of art cards, prints, sculptures, pottery and other crafts.

Current artists include - Andy Beck - Martin Rogers - Simon Wilson - Trevor Craggs - Anne Whitfield - Graeme Stark - Anne Mason - Paul Morgan Clarke - Caroline Mann - Nick Ramsay - Andrea Holmes - David Williams - Wendy Sparks

Volunteering at Bowlees

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.

You can download the form below


Car Parking

Car parking (with a small voluntary charge that will help keeping the centre running) is available at the nearby picnic area. Accessible parking and an electric car charge point are available in front of the centre. (Please note the electric car charge point is currently under repair and is NOT available) Toilets (including an accessible toilet) are available at the centre when open. 

Other places to visit during your stay

There is plenty to do in Upper Teesdale.

Within walking distance:

Within 30 minutes drive:

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! Take a look at our where to stay page for more options.

Members of the Bowlees Discovery Club plant trees as part of National Tree Planting week 2016 
Map of TeesdaleBowlees Visitor Centre
Waterfall at Gibson's Cave, BowleesWalking through hay meadows along the Pennine Way National Trail in Teesdale