Bowes Castle

Bowes Castle towering stone ruins with a distant view across country

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Bowes Village, Durham, DL12 9HP

Before You Go

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.


Your support helps in so many ways

Your membership provides valuable support for our essential work, while you can enjoy free access to the beauty and inspiration of our magnificent historic places. 


About us

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.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
  • 14% Government funding
'step into englands story