From fabulous foodie festivals, to delicious local produce, al fresco dining, and ice cream making 1950s style! Wherever you visit in the county, there’s something tasty on the menu this summer in Durham.

Check out our guide below to the most delicious and unmissable foodie events and experiences you can enjoy this summer.  

man and woman smiling whilst drinking cocktails

Cheers to a little local tipple 

Durham is home to many award-winning local breweries and distilleries, and across the county you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy a local tipple or two. Cool off with a refreshing cool pint of local ale, or take a tour of a brewery or distillery. You can even pick up locally produced gins, ales, beers and more to take home with you, ensuring you can enjoy a taste of Durham long after your holiday.

You'll find a list of local beer, ale and gin makers on our local produce page

man and woman sat outside enjoying a cheese tasting session with member of the team at Teesdale Cheesemakers

Cheese tasting with Teesdale Cheesemakers 

Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Durham Dales you’ll find Teesdale Cheesemakers – award-winning artisan cheese makers and Café Cheesedale. From dairy tours to cheese tasting, and getting hands-on with cheese making, Café Cheesedale is a must visit for any cheese lover. 

Sample a range of award-winning cheeses with a mouth-watering cheese tasting experience or enjoy a tempting treat in the cosy Café Cheesdale. Follow the team and go behind the scenes of the family run dairy on a dairy tour or get hands on and help make some cheese yourself!

The Bowes Museum and surrounding grounds on a sunny day

Ciao Italy at The Bowes Museum

Love Italian food? Head to The Bowes Museum on Friday 30 July for Ciao Italy - an evening full of Italian culture, music and food. Get that holiday feeling as you wander around the museum, enjoying the delightful sights and sounds of Italy. Top off the evening with an authentic Italian feast created especially for the occasion by Café Bowes’ head chef, Ben Parnaby.

group of woman talking and eating outdoors at Tango restaurant, Durham City

Dine in Durham

Let someone else do the cooking (and the dishes) by dining out in Durham. Across the county you’ll find amazing eateries and restaurants ready to welcome you back. Soak up the sunshine, enjoy some tasty pub grub, and amazing views from picturesque beer gardens. Catch up with family and friends over delicious food in an #TasteDurham award-winning restaurant or treat that someone special to a fine dining experience. 

Our food and drink in Durham page is filled with inspiration for your next meal out.  

couple talking to customers at a market stall selling cheese

Get a real taste of Durham

Across the county you’ll find plenty of opportunities to pick up some delicious local produce this summer. Head to the bustling market town of Barnard Castle on the first Saturday of every month for their famous Farmers Market, and on the third Thursday of each month Durham City’s historic market place transforms into foodie heaven as the Durham’s Farmers’ and Producers’ Market takes over. You’ll find many stalls bursting with locally-grown vegetables, tempting produce from nearby farms, locally-brewed beers, mouth-watering street food and much more.

On August bank holiday weekend the grounds of Raby Castle will host the annual Harvest Seasonal Market, from Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August. Soak up the atmosphere and pick up amazing homegrown produce, homemade treats, and unique gifts.  

Check out the Local Produce page to view a list of Durham's local producers and farm shops. 

different coloured ice creams in cones

Ice cream making 1950s style

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North has fun-filled activities lined up every day during the summer holidays during their Summer of Fun event, running from 17 July to 31 August. 

Every Friday you can try out ice cream making 1950s style in the Welfare Hall. Plus there’ll be the chance to help Beamish Museum design a scrumptious sundae! The selection of sundaes will be put to a vote and the museum will sell the winning creation, as voted for by the public, in John’s Cafe when it opens in The 1950s Town as part of the Remaking Beamish project. 

Auckland Castle Deer Park House on a bright sunny day

Picnic in the park

The gates of Auckland Castle and beautiful Deer Park have now re-opened, and this summer visitors to the former home of the powerful Prince Bishops can enjoy some fab foodie experiences during their visit. Take a guided tour of the castle’s 17th century Lower Walled Garden and Orchard, get a close-up view of the garden’s seasonal veg, summer flowers and young apple orchard – where you’ll learn about the garden’s fascinating history and exciting future. 

After a tour you can order a luxury picnic hamper from the Bishop’s Kitchen to enjoy in the surrounding Deer Park, or sit back, tuck into a light bite, and take in the view from the newly opened Kitchen Courtyard. 

two young men and woman smiling and eating churros at Seaham Food Festival

Seaham Food Festival

The seaside foodie festival returns to Seaham on the Durham Heritage Coast on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 August with an incredible line up of celebrity chefs, street food, local producers and amazing live entertainment. 

Open from 10am til 5pm on Saturday and 10am til 4pm on Sunday, the weekend is jam packed with amazing foodie experiences for the whole family to enjoy. See top TV chefs live at the cookery theatre, live music, outdoor theatre, arts and crafts for the little ones, alongside stalls overflowing with food and drink delights. 

selection of cakes and sandwiches on a table with white tablecloth, part of an afternoon tea

Time for tea?

From traditional afternoon tea, to uniquely themed and tempting vegan alternatives, across the county you’ll find a wide range of afternoon teas, to suit all tastes and budgets. Treat yourself or a loved one to an indulgent afternoon tea in the grand surroundings of Lumley Castle, dig in after a pampering spa session at Seaham Hall, or head to South Causey Inn to try out their famous afternoon tea. 

Check out our dedicated Afternoon Tea in Durham page for lots more inspiration. 

Aerial shot of Wolsingham Show

Wolsingham Show

England's oldest and Durham's biggest open air agricultural show returns on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September. Alongside the usual show favourites like dog agility show, live music, tractor rides, and sheep dog trials, you’ll find an amazing range of delicious street food and stalls overflowing with delicious local produce.

The Food Market supported by #TasteDurham will be open across the weekend with a wide range of artisan produce on offer, including handmade chocolates and sweets, award-winning cheeses, locally brewed ales and distilled gins, freshly baked bread, fresh veg, meats and much more!  

Tickets for this year’s show must be booked in advance and aren’t available on the gate. 

Visit our dedicated food and drink in Durham page for more tasty inspiration. 

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