ROUTES WE RECOMMEND
PLACES TO VISIT
Hardwick Park is a glorious place to spend the day whether you are on a family day out, with friends or visiting by yourself. Its beautifully restored 18th Century Pleasure Grounds are full of interesting buildings and wildlife. It has ample parking, a children’s playground, exhibition room and cafe. Hardwick Park is located to the west of Sedgefield, just 3 mins from the A1. Hardwick Park is a good starting point for those who want to want through the lovely Bright Water landscape down to the River Skerne and our Bishop’s Fen project.
Head of Steam
The Bright Water area was at the heart of the birth of the railways. The famous Stockton-Darlington Railway was actually a Stockton-Darlington-Witton railway, founded with a primary aim of transporting coal and other goods from the Witton area in West Durham to the ports on the Tees. The Head of Steam Museum housed in the old North Road Railway station in Darlington provides a fascinating day out for all the family.
Bishop Middleham Quarry
If you enjoy exploring the natural heritage of the Bright Water area, why not visit Bishop Middleham Quarry, an SSSI managed by Durham Wildlife Trust? This is a very special place. Home to rare butterflies such as the Dingy Skipper and Durham Brown Argus and to plants that include the very special Dark Red Helleborine and Moonwort, this disused quarry became famous in 2002 when a pair of European Bee Eaters successfully bred here – only the third successful attempt in this country. This is one of our area’s hidden gems. It lies just to the north of Bishop Middleham village with its welcoming traditional style pubs and their excellent food.
ROF 59 Activity Centre
ROF 59 is a Newton Aycliffe activity centre, including a trampoline park, climbing walls, basketball and dodgeball courts. The park also includes a restaurant and bar area for those which want to chill out or fill up after taking part in some energetic activities. The name of the activity centre comes from the fact that it is housed in one of the old munitions buildings from the Royal Ordnance Factory 59, former home of the Aycliffe Angels. An excellent place for a fun filled family day out!
Located alongside the line of one of our area’s Roman roads, Sedgefield Racecourse holds a number of exciting events throughout the year. These range from regular race meetings to food and gift fairs.