On the doorstep…
Dark Sky Discovery Site
The North Pennines has some of the darkest skies in the UK and The Aspens is situated very close to several Dark Skies Discovery Sites
- Hury Reservoir
- Balderhead Reservoir
- Selset Reservoir
- Grassholme Reservoir
Information regarding each of the sites is available on the AONB North Pennines website. Link here.
All of the above sites are designated with the light pollution being minimal. With the Milky Way and the Orion constellations often visible from the North Pennines and The Aspens, if gazing in wonder at the night sky is something which interests you, you are in for a treat.
Make sure and turn off the indoor and outdoor lights. Binoculars (and warm clothing!) are useful to bring…and simply marvel at the night sky. See things with the naked eye that are simply not possible to see from towns and urban areas.
Once outside, make yourselves comfortable on the outdoor rocking chairs and loungers and simply enjoy the amazing dark skies.
The best times of year to enjoy this experience are Autumn, Winter and early Spring on clear nights.
In The High Pennines
Two Long Distance Footpaths
Situated close to Grassholme Resevoir in the Lunedale tributary of the mighty River Tees, The Aspens boasts superior walking with public footpath’s close to the cottage.
National Cycling Network
Cyclists can enjoy a patchwork of quiet lanes with good climbs and access to routes 7 and 70 of the national cycling network paths are within a short ride. Details are here.
Local Restaurants & Pubs
The Aspens is situated in an area proud of it’s agricultural heritage. We are fortunate to have a diverse range of eating and drinking venues within a short drive. Some of our favourites include:
A great place for Sunday lunch or mid-week dinner. Their menu boasts fresh ingredients and is changed frequently.
A fine real ale pub which also offers food and a take away service. Situated in the centre of Barnard Castle.
A wonderfully traditional pub which boasts a real fire on colder days and offers food and real ale brewed by a local brewery.
A delightfully located cafe which boasts a delcious menu and is situated within the walled garden which specialises in the sale of rare and unusual herbaceous plants.
Places of Interest
Museums, Galleries & Great Days Out
Enjoy a day discovering some of the wonderful attractions situated within a short drive of The Aspens.
The North’s museum of art, fashion and design boasting permanent and visiting exhibitions. There is a cafe and beautiful grounds.
One of England’s finest medieval castles set in 200 acres of fine parkland boasting a deer park, cafe and many activities throughout the year.
Visit a most spectacular watefall at High Force (chargeable) or the sequence of drops over the 295 million year old Whinsill rock. Perfect for a gentle stroll, for photography or simply to admire the power of the river as it tumbles on it’s way downstream.
The gateway to the AONB and UNESCO global geopark, Bowlees is a perfect starting point if you would like to learn more about our ancient landscape. With a cafe, book shop and activities.