The impressive ruins of Henry II's 12th century keep, on the site of a Roman fort guarding the approach to strategic Stainmore Pass over the Pennines.
Read more about the history of Bowes Castle.
Before You Go
Parking: Parking is available in the village.
Access: The rubble pathway to the castle is unsuitable for wheelchairs.
Facilities: Bowes village has a pub and public toilets.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Plan a Great Day Out
Bowes Castle is part of a small cluster of English Heritage sites in the south of County Durham - why not make it a day out and visit all three?
A short journey east takes you to another 12th century fortress, Barnard Castle. This site looms over the river in the heart of the town, and has a shop selling drinks and snacks, along with a sensory garden.
A 40 minute walk from Barnard Castle will take you to the remains of Egglestone Abbey, where you can see remains of the 13th century church and a range of living quarters. Set above a bend in the River Tees, Egglestone is a great spot for a picnic.
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.
- 66% Self-generated income
- 20% One off capital grant
- 14% Government funding