October half-term is fast approaching and to help your search of ways to keep the kids entertained, we’ve picked some of the top ideas you can have a safe and enjoyable family staycation or day out in Durham. 

From family-friendly places to stay and fun family outings, to spooky Halloween events and outdoor adventures. Come rain or shine there'll be plenty of family fun to be had this half term in Durham. 

Autumn Leaves at Raby Castle

Amazing Attractions

Many of Durham’s world-class attractions are ready to welcome you back safely, and have been working hard to ensure you have a worry-free visit.Time your visit right and you can join special activities and events happening throughout half term.  

Book your very own private tractor and trailer tour of Raby Castle’s stunning deer park – great for taking in stunning views of the park and spotting the resident Red and Fallow Deer during rutting season. Take your pick from three different walks around Auckland Castle Deer Park - perfect for a refreshing autumn walk taking in the park's natural and historic landmarks. 

Be inspired by the incredible artwork on display at The Bowes Museum and keep an eye out for Wally on the Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search. Get up close to amazing locomotives and vehicles from Durham’s historic railways at Locomotion, step back in time at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North or see what wonders you can discover inside Durham Cathedral

Just remember most attractions now require visitors to pre-book entry tickets, so be sure to check opening times and requirements before you travel.

a starry night at Hamsterley Forest Dark Sky Discovery Site.

Discover Durham’s Dark Skies 

The start of autumn also signals the beginning of stargazing season and in Durham you’ll find some of the darkest skies in the UK – perfect for discovering the wonders of the universe with your little stars. 

As the darker nights start to set in you don't need to stay out too late to see the stars, so it’s a great time for families to enjoy stargazing. Throughout half term there’s an exciting programme of family-friendly events taking place at the newly opened Grassholme Observatory and during the North Pennines Stargazing Week

Mother and son using the Love Exploring App in Hardwick Park.

Explore the Great Outdoors 

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to explore Durham's outdoors, as the beautiful autumn colours start to transform the landscapes. So, pull on your wellies, grab those waterproofs and get outside! 

Download the Love Exploring App and see how many virtual dinosaurs you can find as you explore Hardwick or Wharton Park. Take in the incredible sights of Low and High Force Waterfalls or head to the coast and go hunting for Seaham's famous sea glass.

Family of four eating breakfast at a holiday cottage in County Durham.

Family-Friendly Accommodation

Across the county you’ll find an amazing range of family-friendly accommodation to choose from for a relaxing family getaway. From luxury spa hotels and historic houses to cosy cottages – Accommodation providers are taking every step to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable stay.

Many businesses across the county have been awarded VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry mark or the AA 'Covid Confident' accreditation, which demonstrates they are following all Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines.

We advise all visitors to check directly with accommodation for booking guidance before travel.

three carved and lit up Halloween pumpkins

Halloween Events in Durham

From pumpkin carving and spooky crafts, to terrifying night-time trails, haunted woodland walks and fancy-dress parties. There's lots of spooktacular events for all ages to enjoy this Halloween. 

family of four enjoying an autumn walk in the Durham Dales

Walks and Rides 

Durham is home to an incredible range of accessible family-friendly walking and cycling routes which take you through some of Durham's most spectacular landscapes.

See if you can spot the Gruffalo at Hamsterley Forest, follow countryside cycling trails through the heart of the Durham Dales or even enjoy a family dog walk at one of the county's many dog-friendly beaches.

Durham is still open for business and we look forward to welcoming you. Tourism businesses have taken every step to ensure they are Covid-secure, and we’re asking anyone visiting the county to comply with the local restrictions in place. 

Plan ahead and ‘know before you go’ to ensure that you #LoveDurham safely. Our wide open spaces are waiting to be explored, and businesses across the county can welcome you back safely.

Please also remember to 'check in' via the NHS Track and Trace app as you visit Durham's attractions, accommodation, restaurants and shops. 

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