It's hard to believe we've almost come to the end of yet another year! While that's always a time to look back, we’re also looking forward to an exciting year ahead.

With the new year comes a fresh start, and Durham is ready and raring to go in 2022 with an incredible array of experiences for all to enjoy. 

To help inspire you, we've picked 22 things happening in Durham that we're most looking forward to. Perfect for helping you start to plan next year's big days out and annual getaways. 

couple walking through Botanic Garden, Lunar New Year celebrations dragon dance, family buying food at Bishop Auckland Food Festival and Triangle treehouses at Ramside Hall

Step into Spring Springtime

After the long dark winter nights, it's always lovely to see the first signs of life starting to transform Durham's great outdoors. Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit Durham, and as the weather starts to warm up, spring is a great time to visit the county’s beautiful parks and gardens. From beautiful flower gardens to grand country parks, there's plenty of natural spaces to explore and enjoy the first sights of spring.  

Lunar New Year Celebrations

Durham City will be celebrating the Year of the Tiger in style, with an amazing programme of Lunar New Year events happening at venues across the city. From the traditional Chiese Lion Dance procession, to special community events at Durham University's Oriental Museum, and tasty Asian food, there's lots to celebrate on Saturday 5 February. 

Fab Food Festivals 

The region’s biggest food festival Bishop Auckland Food Festival, will be returning to its regular springtime slot next year. From 23 - 24 April the town's streets will be transformed with a host of culinary delights, from top chefs and tasty demonstrations to fabulous local producers and delicious street food. Seaham Food Festival will also be taking over the bustling seaside town, dates TBC. 

Treehouse Sleepovers 

Treat yourself or a loved one to a luxurious sleepover in Ramside Hall Hotel's new triangular treehouses. The A frame, glass fronted treehouses offer stunning views across the hotel's grounds and golf course. Each new treehouse is split across two levels, and include a bedroom with an en-suite, lounge, kitchen area, luxury decked area, and private hot tub and sauna. Available to book from February 2022 onwards.

Crown of Light at Durham Cathedral, people drinking milkshakes at beamish museum, auckland castle and Kynren finale with performers and fireworks

World Heritage Day Celebrations 

Across Easter Weekend from 16-18 April Durham’s World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral, castle and surrounding buildings will come alive with an exciting programme of events celebrating World Heritage Day. The popular 'Crown of Light' projection will return to illuminate the façade of Durham Cathedral as night falls, there’ll also be music, drama performances, lectures, a family fun day, food market, and much more! More details to be announced soon. 

Front Street Terrace will be Unveiled at Beamish Museum

A range of new exhibits will open at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North as part of the "Remaking Beamish" project. Front Street Terrace, in The 1950s Town, is due to open in February 2022. Visitors will be able to truly step back in time to the 1950s and experience the everyday life of real people at John’s Café, the hairdresser’s, fish and chip shop and No. 2 Front Street, the recreated home of beloved local artist Norman Cornish. The museum will also be celebrating the opening of Spain’s Field Farm in March 2022, which has been moved stone by stone from Weardale and rebuilt at the museum.

The Gates of Auckland Castle will Re-open 

Throughout the winter months, the gates of Auckland Castle have remained closed, along with The Auckland Project’s many other attractions. From March 2022, for the first time ever, all the attractions located around the castle will re-open together, making for one incredible day out. Visitors will be able to once again uncover the remarkable history of the Prince Bishops of Durham inside the 900-year-old Auckland Castle, take in the view from the top of Auckland Tower, and get a close up look at incredible artwork inside The Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Trevor Gallery and newly opened Spanish Gallery

Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, seventy years of service, having acceded to the throne in 1952 when she was only 25 years old. To mark this incredible occasion across the county many special events will be taking place, including a very special Queen’s Platinum Jubilee performance at Kynren on 3 June. Watch this space! 

couple in matching baths Seaham Hall Hotel, crowd at music concert, stunt performers at 11Arches Park and crowd with miners banners at Durham Miners Gala

Overnight Stays and Getaways

We all deserve to relax and recharge after 2021, and there’s no better way to do just that than by including in some much needed ‘me-time’ with a getaway in Durham. From quaint holiday cottages to cosy countryside inns, luxury spa hotels and quirky campsites, across the county you'll find an amazing range of accommodation waiting to offer you a warm welcome next year. Keep your eyes peeled for the 'Good to Go' mark - many Durham businesses have been awarded by VisitEngland, which shows they have clear processes in place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit. 

Live Music at Emirates Riverside Stadium

Miss going to gigs? We know we are! Live music returns to Durham with a bang with an incredible line-up of world-class acts heading to the Riverside at Chester-Le-Street for summer 2022. The Queen of Motown Diana Ross will be brining her Thank You tour to Durham on 29 June, followed by Canadian artists Bryan Adams on 5 July and Michael Bublé on 6 July.

Kynren and 11arches Park returns with a Bang! 

Travel through time and watch legends come to life at Kynren, An Epic Tale of England! This spectacular live-action extravaganza, voted one of the top 5 performances to see in the UK by Tripadvisor, will take you on a whistle stop tour of 2,000 years of history, myth and legend, every Saturday from 6 August to 10 September. Plus, in summer 2022 you can enjoy the amazing daytime experience at 11Arches Park, filled with immersive attractions including the Maze of Fame, Viking Village, animal croft, adventure playground and magical dancing fountain. 

Durham Miners Gala makes a welcome return

The annual 'Big Meeting' has been held on the second Saturday of July in Durham City since 1871, and following two years of cancellations the gala will return bigger and better than ever before on 9 July 2022. Soak up the atmosphere as the city’s streets burst to life with music and colour as the traditional colliery bands march towards the racecourse with their beautiful miner’s banners. After the parade, enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, speeches and delicious food and drink down on the riverbanks. 

couple eating cheese with Teesdale Cheesemaker, family in Oriental Museum, family flying kite at Durham Coast and fans watching Durham cricket

Eating Out

Get a real taste of Durham during your visit to the county and catch up with friends and family in one of the county’s many amazing eateries. You’ll be spoilt for choice with what's on the menu! From #tastedurham award-winning eateries and restaurants, to cosy countryside pubs and inns to having a good old chin wag over a delicious afternoon tea or warming drinks in an independent coffee shop or tearoom. You'll even find amazing bookable foodie experiences with Durham's talented local producers

Exciting Exhibitions

The county’s many marvellous museums and galleries will be hosting world-class exhibitions throughout 2022. Highlights include Regeneration by Martin Kinnear at The Bowes Museum, a powerful and moving response to the COVID pandemic, Monogatari: The art of storytelling in Japanese woodblock prints at Durham University’s Oriental Museum and many more. More exhibitions be announced throughout the year.  

Summertime Seaside Fun

Summers were made for the seaside, and along the Durham Coast you'll find lots of seaside fun. From hunting for Seaham's world-famous sea glass and heading to the county's one and only Harbour Marina. To taking in the view along the cliff top walks of the heritage coast footpath, admiring the rare Little Turn and other incredible wildlife or paying a visit to the new coastal hub at Crimdon (due to open summer 2022).

England will take on South Africa in ODI

International cricket returns to the Riverside ground on July 27, as England take on South Africa in the first men’s twenty-20 match of the three day ODI game series. 

Lindisfarne Gospels, Low Force Waterfall during Autumn, and Wolsingham Show

Lindisfarne Gospels return to the North East

The Lindisfarne Gospels will return to the North East in autumn 2022, going on display at Laing Art Gallery from 17 September to 3 December 2022. To celebrate the return of the ancient book, the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, a year-long series of cultural events will take place in attractions across the region, including many in Durham.

Amazing Autumn Colours

Autumn adventures are becoming even more popular, especially when those autumn colours of red, orange, and yellow start to transform Durham’s great outdoors. From High Force WaterfallHamsterley Forest and Raby Castle, you’ll find lots of incredible outdoor attractions you can visit during this very special season, and make the most of vibrant views and dazzling displays  Across the county you’ll also find hundreds of lesser-known walks, rides and beauty spots waiting to be explored, perfect for peaceful strolls and seasonal wildlife watching.  

Wolsingham Show

Did you know the Durham Dales is home to England’s oldest open air Agricultural Show? Wolsingham Show is the county’s oldest agricultural show and is a great way to really experience and celebrate the county’s rural way of life. Throughout the weekend, from 3 – 4 September families will be able to enjoy an exciting array of countryside activities from fairground rides and donkey rides to over 100 rural trade stands, Artisan Food Market, best in show and much more! 

inside Durham Cathedral, Graphic of The Faith Museum, Bishop Auckland and Durham City Christmas Festival market place

The Relics of Venerable Bede

In 2022 Durham Cathedral will be celebrating 1000 years since the relics of the Venerable Bede were brought to the Cathedral. The Venerable Bede's bones have been in Durham Cathedral since 1022 to be buried alongside St Cuthbert's relics. Visitors will be able to explore the story and importance of Bede with an exciting programme of events. More details to be announced soon. 

The Faith Museum

Towards the end of the year the Faith Museum, part of The Auckland Project at Bishop Auckland will open. Housed with the historic Scotland wing of Auckland Castle, it will be England’s first museum dedicated to exploring the history of faith in Britain. The Faith Museum will use historic and contemporary objects, works of art and personal stories, to consider what faith is, how it has shaped Britain, and the many stories behind it. 

Celebrate Christmas

From fun family day outs and spectacular shows, to enchanting events, amazing attractions, and festive shopping. Durham has Christmas all wrapped up! The panto at Gala Durham will get you into the festive spirit Oh no it won’t, Oh yes it will! Durham City will be transformed into a winter wonderland with the annual Christmas Festival from 2 - 3 December, and there’ll be many festive markets taking place across the county, as well as lots of opportunities to meet Santa in person. 

Discover more exciting events on our dedicated what's on in Durham page >

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