Situated to the south west of the county, the Teesdale AAP stretches from Greta Bridge in the south east, to Harwood in the north west. The AAP is bordered by North Yorkshire to the south, Cumbria to the west and by the other AAPs of Bishop Auckland and Shildon and Weardale.
The Teesdale AAP is ‘rural’ in nature with a population of just over 25,300. Covering an area of over 83,600 hectares (322.8 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 0.3 (people/hectare), substantially lower than that of the county (2.3).
The Upper Tees valley within the Teesdale AAP lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main settlement is Barnard Castle, situated on the banks of the river Tees, which grew up around the ancient castle. To reinvigorate the town and surrounding areas a 20 year plan has been developed called the Barnard Castle Vision.
Other settlements are Middleton-in-Teesdale, Staindrop, Gainford, Cockfield and Evenwood. The rest of the population is spread thinly across many very small communities, including former mining villages in the east of the area and large numbers of agricultural holdings in the rural south/west areas. The major road links are the A66 transpennine route, the A68 Darlington – Corbridge route and the A688
Barnard Castle to Spennymoor route, the nearest rail link is in nearby Darlington.