Vale of Durham
From the rolling landscape in the north and west to the rich agricultural lands in the south, the Vale of Durham is a diverse destination with bustling towns, exciting activities and enthralling attractions.
Bishop Auckland is a lively market town with a fascinating 2,000-year heritage and is also home to Auckland Castle, which was the palace of Durham's Prince Bishops for almost 900 years. Marvel at the treasures within, or spot the deer in the surrounding parkland.
Now home to epic night show Kynren - an epic tale of England which plays throughout the summner, the town is set for major developments over the next few years, with a new welcome building at the castle, a new Museum extension, an institute of Spanish art and culture, and the redevelopment of the 17th Century Walled Garden which will feature stunning new glasshouses providing 'garden rooms' restaurant and event spaces.
At nearby Escomb, you can see one of the finest examples of early Christian architecture in Northern Europe at Escomb Saxon Church. Using stones from nearby Binchester Roman Fort, it was built in the 7th Century and includes a Roman arch and stonework.
Step back in time at Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, England's largest open-air Museum. Hop on a tram and see what life was like in North East England in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times. Beamish stands in 300 acres of beautiful countryside and is a working, living museum. Plus, for an action-packed day out enjoy a treetop adventure at nearby Beamish Wild.
Discover the county's role in the development of the railways at, Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, which houses more than 60 vehicles from the national collection.
The Vale of Durham is also renowned for its sporting prowess; see world-class cricket at the Emirates Riverside Cricket Ground in Chester-le-Street, or enjoy a day at the races at Sedgefield Racecourse.