Cleatlam is a tiny village in County Durham with a population of less than 100. It is west of Darlington and east of Barnard Castle. This rural community consists of a scattering of stone-built homes and farm buildings, along a couple of quiet country roads. Scenic walks can be enjoyed, south toward South Cleatham and Newbury, and north toward Sudburn and Moor Becks. The countryside around the village is wonderfully unspoiled, with ancient woods, hills and farmland to explore. A walk into the neigbouring village of Staindrop is highly recommended on self-catering holidays in Cleatlam. It is a pretty place for a wander, with a green and several independent businesses, including a small grocery and Hedgehog Bakery, where fresh bread and delicious cakes can be bought. Near the banks of Langley Beck, The Country Tea Shop and Restaurant serves excellent food, prepared with the finest local ingredients. The Wheatsheaf Inn is an atmospheric pub serving a variety of County Durham ales.

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On the outskirts of Staindrop, medieval Raby Castle is set in scenic parkland and gardens. Five miles west of your holiday cottage in Cleatlam, on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the bustling market town of Barnard Castle lies on the banks of the River Tees. The remains of a medieval castle stand on a high rock overlooking the river, and The Bowes Museum houses a renowned collection of fine and decorative European art. The town centre is a great place to pick up fresh produce, with a family-run butchers and a farmers’ market at the Cobbles.

East of holiday cottages in Cleatlam, Darlington is another historic market town, which was an industrial centre in the 19th century, and has some of the region’s finest architecture. An impressive 19th century clock tower overlooks the town square, while opposite the town hall, St. Cuthbert’s is a graceful church dating back to 1180.