Your North Pennines adventure starts here!
Bowlees Visitor Centre, Bowlees, Newbiggin in Teesdale, County Durham DL12 0XF
T: 01833 622145
The centre is run by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership
Opening times 2019
16 February – 24 February Daily 10.00am – 5.00pm
25 February – 15 March Weekends only 10am – 5.00pm
16 March – 29 September Daily 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
30 September – 3 November Daily 10.00 am – 4.30 pm
4 November – 8 December Weekends only 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Visit our events page to find out about the exciting things happening this season.
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 and UNESCO Global Geopark a place to discover and explore.
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.
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 Mandy or Mark on 01833 622145 to reserve spaces.
Throughout the school summer holidays Bowlees Visitor Centre will be buzzing with excitement and adventure every Wednesday! Click on the link to see what each new week will have to offer.
Upper Teesdale provides a wealth of opportunities for learning outside the classroom.
Our catering partners, The Ford Kitchen@Bowlees are open when we are, presenting a classic café menu with an ever-changing specials board. The specials vary from delicious soups and hot sandwiches to omelettes and quiches. Vegetarian and gluten free options are readily available. With an emphasis on home-baking, we have a great range of scones and cakes. Why not call in before or after your walk, or just pop along for a bite to eat. We look forward to seeing you.
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!
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!
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 summer 2019! But we are always looking for more artists to display their work in our refurbished chapel.
As well as displaying the work we also stock a wide range of art cards, prints, sculptures, pottery and other crafts.
Current artists include – Michael Lumb – Martin Rogers – Simon Wilson – Alex Jakob-Whitworth – Andy Beck – Artwave North – Eolith Design and Cobweb – Caroline Mann – Karina Ramsay – David Williams – Wendy Sparks – Ann Whitfield
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 and role description below
Car parking (with a small voluntary donation 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. 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:
- Eggleston Hall Gardens
- Raby Castle
- Killhope Museum
- Weardale Museum
- The Bowes Museum
- South Tynedale Railway
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. Take a look at our where to stay page for more options.