Northern England – Land of Rivers and Castles

by David Murray on 30 October 2012

in Cumbria, Durham, Eden Valley, Northern England, Rivers

Last updated: Feb 9, 2013 @ 17:48

The North of England is rich in scenic landscape, ranging from historic coastlines with fishing villages and castles to mountains, moors and lakes.

River Tees, Barnard Castle, County Durham

Last week I was speaking at an event in Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, the second city of Romania. Many people asked where in England I lived. On being told the far north, it was pleasing to be greeted with “Oh, near Yorkshire? My friend flies to Luton, then goes walking in the Yorkshire Dales every year”, or “The Lake District? I’ve heard that it is very beautiful.”

Yes the reputation of the North of England is alive and well in other countries. How sad it is that so many English people from further south head off every year to the Mediterranean but never venture to the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire. So, for all my British readers who have never been to this wonderful part of England here are three photos taken of rivers on opposite sides of the Pennines, both close to the east-west A66 road. Two rivers, each in outstanding landscape, and with castles alongside.

First, to the eastern side in County Durham. Barnard Castle is an imposing medieval fortress standing high above the River Tees. The photo above looks up the Tees. The next one looks downstream showing the ancient bridge far below, both being taken from the castle ramparts.

The River Tees from Barnard Castle

Not much more than an hour away to the west, over Stainmore Pass, is Brougham Castle near Penrith, by the River Eamont which flows out of Ullswater and a couple of miles downstream from Brougham joins the River Eden. Both Barnard Castle and Brougham Castle are cared for by English Heritage. If you have a head for heights you can climb to the top of the keep from where there are splendid views over the surrounding countryside including further west to the Lake District mountains.

Brougham Castle and the River Eamont - Penrith, Cumbria


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