You won’t believe your eyes

You won’t believe your eyes when you too venture to Teesdale, the ultimate hidden gem of river valleys, sparkling skies and gushing waterfalls. At Pennine Hills, 27 of you can play pool, loll around in the hot tubs, dine on the terraces, and fit in a scenic set or two of tennis.

Hidden gem no more

When government advisor Dominic Cummings confessed to driving to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight, the 25,000 residents of Teesdale held their breath. Would this magnificent County Durham land of river valleys, sparkling skies and gushing waterfalls remain a hidden gem? At Pennine Hills, 27 of you can now find out the lovely truth.

Wind your watch back a few decades and head to Middleton-in-Teesdale’s mesmeric sights. On the main road, a petrol station untouched since the ‘50s. Along the road, one of England’s highest waterfalls, High Force: a demon in full spate. All around, the grandeur of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

High and handsome, Pennine Hills stares lovingly over this handsome dale. Six-thousand feet of opulent manor house within 2.5 acres give family, friends, hens and colleagues space aplenty. So rack up the pool table, loll around in the hot tubs, dine on the terraces, gawk at the geopark skies and fit in a scenic set or two of tennis.

Inside, there’s period detail in the vaulted ceilings, elaborate cornicing and feature fireplaces. Drop your muddy togs in the boot room, warm your toes in the snug by the fire, reconvene in grand reception rooms with Netflix streamed over superfast BT Wi-Fi. Stop off at Barnard Castle for the obligatory Specsavers photo.

Gardens and grounds

Eat out (informally) on the elegant formal terraces that wrap around the front and side of the house, wander the 2.5 acres to find colourful beds, generous planting, wildlife-rich woodlands and a pretty rose arch. Follow the decking to the hot tubs for nights spent examining the glittering geopark skies.

Play the prettiest set of tennis ever played on your own court. If your game’s not playing ball, just stare at the dale with a long drink. Hoof a ball around the football pitch. Hang from the rope swing. Hide in the balconied treehouse. Sit out at night and tick the Northern Lights off your bucket list.

Living spacesLiving spacesLiving spacesLiving spaces

Living spaces

Mingle for England in a magnificent country house with space for 24 plus a dog or two. This is a former private residence, popular hotel and star of TV’s Relocation Relocation that pops with charm and history. It’s a manorly marvel with a grand reception hall, exposed beams, sashay-worthy staircase, lofty ceilings and huge reception spaces.

After a yomp over the hills, drop your togs in the boot room. Rack up the balls for a frame of pool in the games room. Congregate in front of the open fire in the main living space for Netflix on the smart TV streamed over superfast BT fibre. Duck out in the snug with a logburner. For peace, quiet and books from the library, find further space in the annex.

Cooking and dining

Welcome to a world of bespoke fitted cabinetry, range cooking and wine cellars. Cook for yourself with meat from McFarlane’s butchers, fish from Carrick’s and all manner of yummy goodness from Cross Lanes Organics. Or call up the pros from DineIndulge for a one-off treat or fully catered break.

Follow the flow of the wooden flooring from the kitchen to the dining room, flooded with light from the dual-aspect windows. Or eat out on the terracing with seating for 24 and meaty aromas from the coal barbecue hanging in the high-country air. Pop into town for tasty takeaways from Samuel James Deli and a top 50-awarded fish-and-chip shop.

Dine in the authentic French manner at Forresters Bar and Restaurant, offering boeuf bourguignon, mille feuille and much more, as well as its own menu for dogs. Enjoy pork loin or Teesdale blue-stuffed chicken at The Teesdale Hotel. Or cap off your waterfall walk with indulgent evening dining at The High Force Hotel.

Break your railway-path walk for great woodfired pizza at The Blacksmith’s in Mickleton or continue to beautiful Romaldkirk for homemade venison bourguignon pie or baked fillet of stone bass in The Rose and Crown. Continue for fine pub grub at The Fox and Hounds in Cotherstone. Or head to Barnard Castle for great Indian food at Babul’s.

Chef preparing a meal.


High above the vale of Teesdale, surrounded by 2.5 acres of woodland and formal gardens, the only sounds that penetrate the walls are the call of the lapwing and the hoot of the odd short-eared owl. Pennine Hills sleeps 27 in ten grand bedrooms. All rooms have a TV and most will take a cot.

Bedroom one offers a superking and a single with private en-suite, while bedroom two is also a superking with a single that shares access to a bathroom with bedroom three, a superking with sofa bed. Bedroom four is a double with dedicated bathroom, while bedroom five offers space for four in a superking/singles and two further singles.

Bedroom six provides a superking and shares a bathroom with bedroom seven, while bedrooms eight and nine offer double beds and a shared bathroom. Bedroom ten also shares this bathroom and comes with two single bunks. Three additional zed-beds take the total guests up to 27.

What people say

What people say

The house is amazing for a large group. The kitchen is the ideal and a great place for socialising. We were trying to work out how it could be improved and none of us could really come up with anything - its got everything that our group needs! The kids absolutely love it too (12 of them Aged 2-7) and its perfect for them to feel independent but know that they are safe and not causing any trouble! This was our 2nd visit to Pennine Hills and I expect it to be an annual visit!! A real home from home! - Daniel

Walk the wobbly bridge

Walk the wobbly Wynch Bridge to raging High Force and beyond to Cauldron Snout. Stargaze at the High Force Hotel or Grassholme Observatory. Tour Raby Castle or potter the shops at Barnard Castle. Walk with Teesdale Alpacas, see the North-East as it was at Beamish and enjoy interactive fun at The Bowes Museum.

 Walshaw Lodge - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes  Walshaw Lodge - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes  Walshaw Lodge - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes  Walshaw Lodge - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes