If you’re staying in Durham this weekend for Lumiere and want to see other attractions that Durham has to offer during the day, here’s a handy guide highlighting what’s on from Friday to Sunday.

In the city…

Celebrating Lumiere at Durham University Oriental Museum
Saturday 18 November

The museum welcomes the spectacular Lumiere festival back to Durham. Pop along between 1pm and 3pm to make a jam jar lantern. This activity is included in the Museum admission price and is generally suitable for children aged 5 to 11.

Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral

A range of interactive exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages displaying the ancient artefacts of Durham, with a new state-of-the-art Collections Gallery open all year round.

Durham University Botanic Garden

Visit the Botanic Garden’s Winter Wonderland – open all weekend during the day.

Where are this year’s installations and what can I do here during the day?

This year’s programme for Lumiere includes a handy map which will also give visitors a chance to explore Durham’s world-famous heritage and culture sites including:

Take a stroll during the day where many of the installations are in the outer peninsula with our walking guides: Durham City South Walk and Durham Peninsular Walk.

And if you’re staying further afield, on the outskirts of Durham City, or in the Dales, Vale or on the coast, there’s an amazing array of activities and events from hiking, Christmas markets and quaint English pubs and cafes to visit during the day before visiting Lumiere.

In the Dales…

Dark Skies Durham

See light from a different perspective and explore the brightest stars of Durham's night skies at one of 16 dark skies discovery sites.

Christmas Market

Durham Dales Centre, 18 and 19 November

Gruffalo Spotting at Hamsterley Forest

Bring the Gruffalo and other characters to life with our brand new Gruffalo Spotters trail and exciting augmented reality app.

In the Vale…

Christmas at Beamish Launch Parade 2017

Auckland Project Christmas Food and Craft Markets

Rockliffe Hall: November Open Pairs Winter Golf Competition

Christmas Spa-ty Nights on various dates at Rockcliffe Hall

The Bowes Museum – Mark Deeks Piano Performance

Locomotion: Exhibition – Royal Train at the National Railway Museum at Shildon

On the coast….

• Go shopping at Dalton Park and visit Santa’s Grotto on weekends from Saturday 18 November.


Nature reigns supreme across much of Durham, the area’s striking scenery provides a retreat into peace and tranquillity or the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and active. Visit our Great Outdoors section here.


Last minute visit to Lumiere?

Are you looking for an excuse to take a no fuss break away for either a day trip or overnight stay? We’ve put together a handy accommodation and travel guide if you’re considering travelling to Lumiere this weekend – and remember tickets aren’t essential!

Travel by train direct into Durham for a day trip or overnight stay:

Virgin Trains East Coast

• From London in around 3 hours
• From York in 45 minutes
• From Edinburgh in 1 hour 50 minutes

Transpennine Express
• From Manchester in just over 2 hours
• From Leeds in just over 1 hour
• From Birmingham in just over 3 hours


Hotels and B&Bs inevitably book up quickly ahead of Lumiere, however there’s still a range of places to stay in Durham City and in the wider county for 1 night or more stays from Thursday to Sunday. Here are some highlights:

Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa
Treat yourself to one of the most luxurious five star hotel experiences in the North East (link to booking page) This package includes:

Your stay will include:

  • Overnight luxury accommodation
  • Sparkling Afternoon Tea
  • Full English breakfast
  • Use of the Serenity Spa facilities from 12 noon on the day of arrival until 12 noon on the day of departure
  • Care Package including flask of Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows, Homemade Toffee, Torch and Umbrella to take with you to Lumiere

from £269 per person. Book here.

Check out our Accommodation section for other last minute deals in Durham and be sure to browse the Inspire Me and Explore Durham pages for the latest offers for day trips, events and weekend stays.




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