The North East of England has so many beautiful places. I was lucky enough to grow up in an area where there is so much stunning nature and so many amazing places to visit only a stones throw away. That is one of the reasons which made moving back here easy.
I love exploring. With every new destination, I am so excited to explore every square inch but you often forget about home. Sometimes adventure can be right on your doorstep and my bucket list for this Summer is already a mile long.
I remember going to Castle Eden Dene when I was a kid. I can’t remember much about it, just that I went, possibly on a school trip and back then it was called Castle Eden Walkway. People stopped going after the whole foot and mouth epidemic in the early 00’s and that’s probably why I didn’t go again… until now.
We’ve been so lucky since we returned to the UK to have some amazing weather and this day was no exception. Originally we were going to venture further afield but when the morning looked cloudy, we opted to stay closer to home in case of rain.
Castle Eden Dene is located in Peterlee, only a 25 minute drive away from where we live in Middlesbrough… and by the time we got there, the weather was stunning again.
A tip for getting there, follow the signposts, not the satnav. Twice we were taken into cul-de-sacs with a dead end.
Castle Eden Dene has several different paths to follow and they are not really well sign-posted. We started on the main path before venturing into the woods and following the Red Squirrel Trail.
It is so peaceful there, nothing but the sound of leaves rustling, birds chirping and the occasional sound of the stream. There was also very few people there, we only saw a handful of other walkers whilst we were there… and we ended up walking for a while.
The whole woodland area is covered in beautiful white flowers and has a strong smell of garlic… to me that is heaven.
After walking for about an hour, we eventually came to a castle. Even though the park is called Castle Eden Dene, I had no idea that there was an actual castle there. It was small and picturesque with a sign saying ‘BEWARE OF THE DOG’… the dog which just watched us wandering around whilst it sunbathed.
Shortly after, we ignored a sign back to the car park opting to walk for longer… and it all went downhill from there.
Eventually, we came to an option of three paths and followed the one Ash decided on. I should have realised this was a mistake as he is rubbish with directions.
After walking up a steep hill for a long while, we eventually came to the edge of the park… on the opposite side we needed to be. A man was stood at the gate and gave us directions of where we needed to be. The directions didn’t make a lot of sense so stupidly we ignored them instead of trying to make sense of them.
After walking for what felt like a lifetime, we came to a dead end and had to walk all the way back in the direction we came.
Eventually we came back to the option of the three paths.
We chose another.
It had to be the third option surely.
This one took us up an even steeper hill than the first one and it was getting to the point where we thought we would be lost in the woods forever.
But finally, we came back to the path we started on.
But of course, once again, we walked in the wrong direction.
By the time we made it back to car, we had been lost in the woods looking for the car park for over an hour and a half.
We collapsed down on a wall next to the car to finally eat the picnic.
It’s just typical of Ash and I to get lost. Nothing is ever straight forward for us. But it’s all part of the adventure and always makes stories to tell.
Castle Eden Dene was a lovely place and it was a gorgeous day to explore it… but after getting lost, I was quite honestly sick of the sight of it. The only issue with is really is the lack of signposts and obvious footpaths. It was so easy to get lost!
I’d go again because it was super peaceful… just not any time some because I’m still recovering!
This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.