The area surrounding Middleton-in-Teesdale is well worth a special mention as there are some very impressive sights to see in and around the pretty town.
The River Tees breaks over the spectacular High and Low Force Falls just west of the town, the Pennine Way marches past on its way south, six reservoirs (eg Cow Green, Grassholme) offer birdwatching, fishing, sailing and other watersports, Raby Castle and Bowes Museum, Eggleston Hall Gardens show off some cultural heritage, Hamsterley Forest has comprehensive mountain biking and hiking trails (plus a very good visitor centre), and High Cup Nick rises high to the west.
There are many organised activities (archery, hiking, walking, cycling, riding, kayaking, golf, fishing etc) on offer from professionals (www.highforcecentre.org.uk, www.kingswaycentre.co.uk) or you can go it alone. Bowlees Visitor Centre is great for wildlife enthusiasts as it was set up by the Durham Wildlife Trust and has books, maps, souvenirs and refreshments on offer.
High Force is only 8 miles from Black Dog House by single track road over hills offering a panoramic view across the valleys.