In InspireEvents

From dazzling light displays and out of this world stargazing events, to spooky Halloween fun and exciting exhibitions, there’s lots of incredible events happening this autumn in Durham.

St Albans Cathedral Life son et lumiere projection  Luxmuralis 2021

Life by Luxmuralis

See Durham Cathedral in a new light as artists Luxmuralis transform the cathedral with a spectacular indoor sound and light installation across four magical nights.

When? 12 - 16 October 

Where? Durham Cathedral.

crowd clapping and smiling at Durham Book Festival

Durham Book Festival

Discover new books and inspiring speakers at this year’s Durham Book Festival, retunring once again to different venues across Durham City. From homegrown talent to international bestsellers, there's something for all booklovers, of all ages to enjoy.

Where? 13 - 16 October 

Where? Various locations across Durham City, including Gala Durham.

two women admiring Dali's Christ on the Cross painting at The Spanish Gallery
Dali / El Greco: Christ on the Cross

Celebrating two of the most original and idiosyncratic painters in the history of art with their versions of the enduring subject of Christ on the Cross. Visit The Spanish Gallery this autumn to get a close up view of Salvador Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross, on loan from Glasgow Life Museums, and El Greco’s Christ on the Cross. 

Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross is one of the most celebrated and reproduced images of the 20th century, and this is the first time the painting has been on display in North East England.

When? Wednesday - Thursday until 4 December. 

Where? The Spanish Gallery, The Auckland Project, Bishop Auckland.

group of people running through a forest
Forest Runner at Hamsterley Forest

Get outside this autumn and soak up the stunning autumn colours at Hamsterley Forest for their annual Forest Run. Whether you are a 5k or a 10k Forest Runner, choose your challenge and enjoy a run in some of the county's most beautiful surroundings, passing unique pieces of art and breathtaking views along the way. 

When? 23 October.

Where? Hamsterley Forest, Durham Dales. 

view of Derwent Waterside Park
Halloween Fun Run at Derwent Waterside Park

Calling all witches, goblins and ghouls to Derwent Waterside Park! Run for your life at the waterside park's spooky 5k Halloween Fun Run, in aid of WaterAid in Madagascar. And your little monsters don't have to miss out, as the whole family can take on the shorter family-friendly ‘Little Pumpkins’ family one mile Halloween Run. 

When? 29 October.

Where? Derwent Waterside Park, Durham Dales. 

Family walking through the Halloween Illuminated trail at Ushaw, Historic House, Chapels and GardensIlluminated Halloween Trail

Halloween is nigh and is set to take over the gardens of Ushaw! Enjoy an evening of thrills, frights and scares as you follow the illuminated trail through the grounds and spooky woodland of Ushaw. Choose from three different entrance times throughout the evening, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, all of which are child-friendly, but the scare factor will be cranked up just a little the later the night gets! 

When? 28 - 30 October

Where? Ushaw, Historic House, Chapels and Gardens

group of women looking at painting at Journey in Colour exhibition at The Bowes Museum

A Journey in Colour

Don't miss your chance to take a jounrey through colour at The Bowes Museum. This immersive exhibition, inspired by the museum's extensive art collection, takes a deep dive into colour by designers and artists using a mixture of technologies and traditional skills. Don't miss out! Visit before it closes at the end of October.  

When? Open every day, exhibition closes 30 October.

Where? The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.

stargazing photo of the lake at Raby Castle with sky reflecting in water by Gary Lintern

North Pennines Stargazing Festival

The sixth North Pennines Stargazing Festival will return this October half term with an exciting programme of 20 fun and informative events spread across the Durham Dales and beyond! Take your pick from themed walks, astrophotography workshops and stargazing events at High Force Waterfall, the new Plotters’ Forest at Raby Castle and Grassholme Observatory to name but a few.   

When? 21 - 30 October. 

Where? Various locations across the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB. 

busy 1900s street at Beamish Museum with people sat on historic tram and inside a car

October Half Term 

A firm autumn family favourite, Beamish Museum will come alive throughout half term with a whole host of fun activities to enjoy. Meet the animals down on the 1940s Farm, spot the spooky sights at Pockerley Old Hall and tuck into scary sweets and terrifically terrifying treats from the sweet shop and bakery in The 1900s Town. 

When? 22 - 30 October.

Where? Beamish, The Living Museum of the North.

Hogwarts Castle built out of Lego on display at Locomotion for the Shildon Brick Show

Shildon Brick Show

Feast your eyes on a fantastic array of intricate LEGO®️ creations at this year's Shildon Brick Show - the UK's largest free LEGO®️ event. Taking place inside and outside the grand collections hall at Locomotion, see incredible creations, be blown away by inredibly detailed displays ans try your hand at building your own. You'll also find a whole host of stalls to browse. A must-visit this autumn for LEGO®️ fans young and old. 

When? 5 - 6 November.

Where? Locomotion, Shildon. 

fireworks display part of Pyromusical 2022

Pyromusical 2022 

The North East’s biggest Pyromusical fireworks spectacular returns with a bang, following the success of last year’s sell-out show. The magical, multi-sensory event will feature a US vs UK soundtrack. Set in a 7.5-acre stage and lighting up the night skies above Bishop Auckland, it promises to be a fantastic evening of memorable family entertainment.

When? 5 November.

Where? 11 Arches Park, Bishop Auckland.

There's lots of events happening this autumn in Durham, discover more on our dedicated what's on page > 

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