Have you been tuning into Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes on BBC 2? Actor and TV presenter Robson Green recently visited his beloved North East England to follow the roads less travelled and uncover incredible hidden gems across the region, including many right here in Durham. 

From grand castles and waterfalls to coastal retreats and forest bathing, Robson has been shining a light on many of the county’s amazing attractions, experiences and people.

If you’ve been inspired to plan your own weekend escape in Durham, we’ve created a guide to all the places Robson and friends visited across the county. 

Robson Green and Lost Voice Guy with group of people at Derwent Reservoir © BBC

Season 1, Episode 4 - The first episode of the series to feature Durham, Robson explores the Durham Dales with local comedian Lost Voice Guy, Lee Ridley.

Walks - Robson joins Lee for a walk in Derwent Valley close by to where Lee grew up in Shotley Bridge, Consett. There are many peaceful walks you can enjoy yourself in the area including Lanchester Valley Railway Path and Derwent Railway Path Walk

Derwent Waterside Park - On the boarder of Durham and Northumberland you’ll find the tranquil oasis of Derwent Waterside Park. Here you can explore walking trails, bike rides, wildlife watching and even a spot of fishing. Or you could take to the water like Robson and Lee did with Derwent Sailing Club.  

Lord Crewe Arms - Set in the midst of the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark wild moorlands, Robson spends the night at the historic Lord Crewe Arms. Nestled in the honey-stone village of Blanchland, the Lord Crewe Arms offers a warm welcome for all. Here you can savour the stunning views from the beautiful gardens, tuck into delicious locally sourced food and drink, and have a peaceful night’s sleep in beautifully decorated rooms and suites. 

Weardale Adventure Centre - Get your adrenaline pumping deep in the Durham Dales with Weardale Adventure Centre, who offer an amazing range of outdoor adventures, including canoeing, rock climbing, gorge walking and caving. 

Robson Green and Sara Davies sat on bench talking at Teesdale Cheesemakers © BBC

Episode 6 - Robson discovers more of the amazing things to do across the Durham Dales with local entrepreneur and Dragon's Den star Sara Davies. 

Barnard Castle - Robson starts his journey at the historic market town of Barnard Castle, the perfect base for exploring the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB. There’s lots to discover from the ancient castle which the town is named after, to unique shops and boutiques, cosy pubs, and The Bowes Museum.     

Raby Castle - One of England’s finest medieval castles, there’s so much to discover at Raby Castle and Deer Park. Step inside the grand castle and uncover the fascinating stories behind the castle’s magnificent rooms including the Baron’s Hall and Octagon Drawing Room. See what wildlife you can spot as you follow walking trails through the 200-acre deer park, which is home to red and fallow deer and longhorn cattle. And little ones will love The Plotter’s Forest treetop adventure playground. 

Teesdale Cheesemakers - Set your taste buds alight with a cheese tasting experience with Teesdale Cheesemakers. Sample a range of award-winning cheeses in Café Cheesedale or go behind the scenes with a tour around the family-run dairy. You can even get hands on and help make some cheese yourself or escape it all with an overnight stay in the newly opened ‘Cheesedale’ shepherds hut, complete with private hot tub. 

Dales Adventure Company - lose yourself in the stunning Durham Dales countryside and try out a range of outdoor activities including gorge walking at Hudeshope Beck like Sara and Robson did. 

Robson Green and Tom Brittney on train at Tanfield Railway © BBC

Season 1, Episode 7 - Robson’s Grantchester co-star Tom Brittney joins him on a road trip around the county.

Durham City - Robson and Tom took to the water in historic Durham City and joined Durham Amateur Rowing Club to try out dragon boat racing along the River Wear. There’s so much to do in this pretty little city, from relaxing walks along the banks of the river and hiring your own rowing boat, to exploring award-winning attractions and restaurants. No visit is complete without exploring the UNESO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Castle

Andy’s Outings Bushcraft and Foraging - Get back to nature and book your private one on one session with Andy to try out wild camping, bushcraft, foraging and more. 

Tanfield Railway - Take a steam train ride back in time at Tanfield Railway, the world’s oldest railway. Journey through Durham’s picturesque landscapes in Victorian carriages pulled by lovingly restored locomotives. Throughout the year you’ll find an exciting programme of events to enjoy from elegant afternoon tea to family-friendly rides. 

Robson Green and Melanie Hill smiling at camera with High Force Waterfall in the background © BBC

Season 1, Episode 9 - Robson continues to enjoy Durham's great outdoors with actress Melanie Hill.

High Force Waterfall – The crown jewel of the Durham Dales, High Force Waterfall is truly a sight to behold. Follow the family-friendly woodland walk down to the base of the waterfall, or if you’re searching for a longer hike you can enjoy the view as you pass by on the Pennine Way. Be sure to make a pit stop at High Force Hotel where you can enjoy delicious food and drink or a relaxing overnight stay. 

Harehope Quarry Project – Robson and Melanie try out some outdoor crafts at this rewilded former quarry. Throughout the year Hareshope Quarry offers a range of family-friendly outdoor activities and volunteering sessions in beautiful natural surroundings.  

Penshaw Monument - Standing proud just across the border in Sunderland you’ll find Penshaw Monument, a replica of the ancient Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. Just one of many incredible landmarks you can visit on The Way of Learning - one of six Northern Saints Trails which zigzag across North East England following ancient pilgrimage routes.   

Kynren, An Epic Tale of England - Travel through time and watch legends come to life at Kynren! This spectacular live-action extravaganza returns for an extended summer run this summer. Voted one of the top 5 performances to see in the UK by Tripadvisor, Kynren will take you on a whistle stop tour of 2,000 years of history, myth and legend, every Saturday from 29 July to 9 September. 

Robson Green and Charlie Hardwick laughing sat outside glamping hut on Durham Heritage Coast © BBC

Season 1, Episode 13 - Fellow North East actor Charlie Hardwick joins Robson at the Durham Heritage Coast to explore the many hidden gems along our beautiful coastline.

The Barn at Easington - Nestled within a 30-acre farm, overlooking the stunning Durham Heritage Coast. The Barn at Easington offers quirky accommodation alongside unique activities for all to enjoy. Take your pick from the luxurious two-bedroom log cabin, glamping pods and caravans alongside beautiful camping spots. The Barn also offers a wide variety of outdoor nature based learning courses and full venue hire. 

Hawthorn Dene Nature Reserve - A peaceful spot on the Durham Heritage Coast where you can enjoy a tranquil stroll through ancient woodland as you make your way down to Hawthorn Hive Beach. Hawthorn Dene Nature Reserve is Durham’s second largest dene, which is a haven for wildlife and rare flora. 

Hamsterley Forest - The county’s largest forest is the perfect place for a spot of forest bathing, just one of the many outdoor activities you can try out across the 2000-hectares of wild woodland. You’ll discover exhilarating mountain bike downhill courses, quiet cycle rides and peaceful woodland walks, alongside adventure playgrounds and interactive family trails.

Robson Green and Lee Ingleby smiling at camera surrounded by green trees with glamping hut in the background.

Season 2, Episode 13 - Robson is joined by actor Lee Ingleby for a two day break in the Durham Dales. 

Hamsterley Forest - Robson and Lee try out a forest gym workout with Lee from Starboy Fitness at Hamstelery Forest, just one of the many outdoor activities you can try out across the forest. Throughout the year you'll find an amazing range of activities and events to enjoy. 

Weardale Railway - Take a ride on the historic Weardale Railway, a great way to discover the beautiful Durham Dales. Take a ride on the heritage passenger service, which was once part of the Stockton to Darlington Railway, and soak up to stunning views of Weardale as you pass through the historic market towns of Wolsingham and Stanhope. Or try out a driver experience like Robson and Lee did. 

Woodcroft Farm - Farmed by the Peart family since 1947, Woodcroft Farm is a traditional hill livestock farm, where you can also escape it all in one of their luxury cabins or cosy cottages. 

Weardale Adventure Centre - Explore the wild side of Durham with Weardale Adventure Centre, where fully qualified staff offer exciting outdoor activities across the countyside from underground exploration and canoeing on the River Wear to rock climbing, bushcraft and raft building. It's a one stop shop for wild adventures in Durham's great outdoors! 

All episodes of Weekend Escapes are now available to watch on I player.

All images courtesy of BBC.




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