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River Cottage is on a peaceful meander of the River Tees. Private access to the river allows undisturbed fishing, with facilities to store and clean bicycles and cycle routes nearby, we are dog-friendly with plenty of nearby walks, Teesdale Leisure Centre in nearby Barnard Castle, and more besides.

Gainford is considered one of the best places to fish on the River Tees and home to species such as brown trout, sea trout, salmon, chub, grayling and pike.

As we own part of the river, visitors can fish from River Cottage, however you must buy a permit from the post office (100 metres away) to support the stocking of the river.

The river by the cottage is about 6ft deep and open for the following seasons:

Type of Fishing Open Dates
Sea trout 3rd April – 31st October
Salmon 1st February – 31st October
Trout 2nd October – 20th March
Coarse-fishing 16th June – 14th March

There are also five reservoirs in Upper Teesdale, which are open for fishing from March 15th to 30th November: the Hury, Grassholme, Selset, Balderhead and Cow Green reservoirs.

From a local man’s blog, here is a series of fish, all caught on the River Tees.

River Cottage has outdoor taps for washing and maintenance, and is just two miles from the village of Langton through which the famous W2W bike route runs.

Alternatively, if you prefer something more off-the-cuff, Teesdale and Richmondshire are like island colonies of countryside villages – full of beautiful views and excellent pubs – so you’re likely to have a great ride whichever direction you take.

Gainford River Dog Walk (1.2 miles)

This walk is very well-maintained and takes you past Gainford village green, St. Mary’s Church and onto a largely paved walk on the Tees riverbank.

Winston Riverside Walk (2 miles)

This walk consists mainly of trails through the woodland of Winston’s riverside, as well as an elevated footpath area above boggy land. It starts from a lay-by between Gainford and Winston, where there is room for about six cars.

Winston to Whorlton Walk (3 miles)

This walk is a section of the Teesdale Way from Winston Bridge, past Ovington to Whorlton. It is largely made up of grassy footpaths besides farmers’ fields.

Teesdale Leisure Centre

Situated in nearby Barnard Castle, Teesdale Leisure Centre has a lot to offer from swimming to badminton, gym, children’s activities, skate park, squash, and lots more.  Disabled access.  Visit the website for details.

The land around River Cottage is home to creatures such as herons, woodpigeon, ducks with ducklings, goosanders, woodpeckers, wagtails, tits, dippers and kingfishers. Swallows and swifts also hit the river from late April to early September – and some of our visitors have spotted otters at sunrise.

The field on the other side is used for grazing and its cows can sometimes be seen bathing in the river. The Tees is also home to many varieties of fish, which can be found on our Fishing page.

Furthermore, many interesting species can be found in Upper Teesdale – such as lapwings, curlews, black grouse, ptarmigans, pheasants, oyster catchers, green woodpeckers and nuthatches.

For ideas and inspiration of what’s on offer in the Teesdale area have a look at Visit Teesdale

Where to find us


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