IN THE PICTURE: From left, Geoff Dixon, Mark Brownless and Trevor Brookes with the home page of the site
IN THE PICTURE: From left, Geoff Dixon, Mark Brownless and Trevor Brookes with the home page of the site

A WEBSITE has been launched to promote Barnard Castle and its surrounding area to tourists.

The site,, has been created by the Making Barney Brighter Together Group as part of efforts to boost the high street by bringing in more visitors. It shows off the scenery, attractions and history of the dale. The launch follows the creation of a history app and a tourism leaflet.

Resident Geoff Dixon, who put the website together, said “I wanted a site to promote the town’s interesting heritage and the famous people who have been here in the past.

“The Richard III visitor centre in Leicester gets 70,000 visitors each year paying over £9 each. Richard III is a figure who generates huge international interest and Barnard Castle has strong ties to him, especially through the castle, St Mary’s Church and Blagraves. But our town also has links to Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, William Wordsworth, JMW Turner, Daniel Defoe, King Edward VII, the Queen Mother and the current Royal family – and our town is free to visit.

“But maybe even more important, potential visitors do not know how beautiful our town is, so we were lucky to get two of the town’s photographers - Trevor Brookes and Mark Brownless – to kindly give permission for us to use their stunning pictures of the area for the new website.”

Mr Brownless, who is well known in the dale for his acclaimed night-time photography, said: “I enjoy just being out at a different time of day, just appreciating where we live. If that gets people to look at the area in a different way, then that’s great.”

Mr Brookes, editor of the Teesdale Mercury, added: “Barnard Castle and Teesdale are up there with anywhere in our region. What other place can lay claim to having such fantastic attractions as the castle in Barney and The River Tees, The Bowes Museum, Egglestone Abbey, High and Low Force, Gibson’s Cave, Raby Castle, The Market Cross, Meeting of the Waters, Whistle Crag and Rokeby along with the gorgeous countryside, fells and meadows of upper and lower Teesdale, not forgetting its wildlife and heritage?”

A Making Barney Brighter Together Group spokesman said: “The more people that see the new website, the more tourists it will bring to help the local economy and keep our shops open.”

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to share the site on social media.