Teesdale is the valley of the river Tees from its source on the eastern flank of Cross Fell (the highest of the Pennine hills at 893 metres) roughly down to Barnard Castle. It is usually described in two parts, Upper and Lower Teesdale - respectively upstream and downstream from Middleton-in-Teesdale. The two are quite different in character, but each boasts a lot of attractions.
The upland landscape, clearly shaped by man's activities of mining (mainly for lead and related minerals) and quarrying, is now managed largely for agriculture (especially sheep farming) and grouse shooting. The lower slopes are given over to sheep and cattle, many of which graze traditional, species-rich hay meadows; Teesdale supports around 40 per cent, and some of the best, of the UK's remaining area of this rare upland habitat.
Upper Teesdale lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), overseen by the North Pennines AONB Partnership. Much of the area also lies within the Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR), managed by Natural England.
The following selection of pictures offers a flavour of the Dale in different seasons, and different weathers. You will also find separate pages on some of the Dale's particular attractions, including the Tees and its tributaries; waterfalls - with individual pages for High Force and Low Force; and flora and fauna.