Multiple airlines offer nonstop flights from Washington Dulles and BWI Marshall to London. Catch a train north from London King’s Cross station to Darlington, round-trip from $65. Best fares are on www.eastcoast.co.uk.
The Walworth Castle Hotel
Bucolic surroundings plus two restaurants and at least one ghost (a wronged chambermaid). Ask for a room in the castle proper, not the hideous annex. Doubles from $115.
The George Hotel
Tudor-era coaching inn perched on the Tees with a riverfront terrace. Bed and breakfast from $65.
In Walworth Castle Hotel. Stylish but informal, serves locally sourced food such as Hadrian Heritage beef and fish from South Shields on the River Tyne. Entrees from $14.
30-32 the Bank, Barnard Castle
Owner-chefs Ken and Elizabeth Marley make the most of the excellent meat, game, cheese and mushrooms from Teesdale and North Yorkshire. The setting is 17th century, with fruity wood paneling and (if it’s nippy) open fires. Entrees from $25.
Crosslanes Organic Farm
Cross Lanes, Barnard Castle
Sheep graze on the roof, geese careen down their own water slide. Inside, there’s home-cured bacon and wood-fired oven pizzas with local cheese and shakes made from organic milk and organic chocolate. Entrees from $10.
Walworth Castle Birds of Prey
Walworth Castle, Darlington
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Tuesday and Thursday, March 29-Nov. 9. Falconry display $8; Hawk Walk $58; Hunting Day (lunch included) $200.
Washington Wetland Centre
Pattinson Road, Washington
Summer hours, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily; winter, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission $15.