Spring is a wonderful time to visit Durham; the breathtaking landscapes of the Durham Dales explode with colour and wildlife and the county’s glorious gardens are in full bloom. The weather is warmer and it's the perfect time to get outdoors and explore all the county has to offer.
Next week is also English Tourism Week, and there are some exciting events taking place throughout the week to help you make the most of your time in Durham.
Open Treasure - Beasts
BEASTS! is the latest exhibition in the collections gallery at Open Treasure, Durham Cathedral's new world-class exhibition experience.
A fascinating exhibition about the weird and wonderful beasts and monsters that have fascinated us from earliest times.
From illustrations of lions and dragons in medieval manuscripts, to early printed books of natural history which feature sea serpents and wyverns alongside images of the rhinoceros or giraffe, and the ‘evidence’ presented to prove the existence of such fantastic creatures as griffins and unicorns, this display will capture the imagination!
The Bowes Museum - Only in England
This exhibition at the magnificent Bowes Museum runs until May with photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr examining the close relationship between the work of these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.
Intrigued by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life.
Beamish - Old King Coal / Great North Festival of Transport
As part of the award-winning Museum's Great North Festival of Transport, Old King Coal returns next week to celebrate the rich mining history of the North East from Wednesday 29 March - Sunday 2 April.
Take part in the parade of miners banners and brass bands from the Town to Pit Village, learn how the Pit Villages of the North East supported the war effort whilst continuing to supply essential coal and listen to local folk music and performances in Hetton Band Hall and our performance marquee in the Pit Village.
Bowlees Visitor Centre - North Pennines
There's plenty happening in the great outdoors too.
Go behind the scenes ar Bowlees Visitor Centre in Teesdale, where on Friday March 31 you can take part in an outdoor art workshop by the picturesque Low Force and learn about the area's links to artists throughout the ages.
There are guided walks too from Bowlees where you casn find out more about the area's geology, and much more.
Durham Castle Family Tour
Visit Durham City's UNESCO World Heritage Site for a guided tour of Durham Castle. Head through the gatehouse and into heart of the historic building where you will experience history and tales from 900 years of living history, with activities for children throughout the tour.
Take a tour around one Durham's most significant historic buildings with your family. Built on the orders of William the Conqueror in the 1070s, Durham Castle began life as a motte-and-bailey castle. It soon became a palace to showcase the wealth of the Prince-Bishops whose semi-regal powers made them one of the most powerful political and military men in the country.
Bishop Auckland Food Festival
The county's largest food festival returns with an action -packed lineup on Saturday and Sunday 1-2 April.
You'll be able to pick up a taste of Durham with local food and drink producers from across the county showcasing the very best in delicious local produce.
Take a look at all other events next week, and join in English Tourism Week by sharing your photos online using the hashtag #ETW17.