It's set to be another incredible year in Durham - the culture county, as a number of exciting new openings take place across the county. 

Which one are you most excited about? 

CGI of new hall building at Locomotion

New Hall at Locomotion

New Hall is a brand new 2,000 square metre building for Locomotion, currently under construction on the brownfield site to the West of the museum.

When it opens in spring 2024, and house around 50 additional vehicles, meaning Locomotion will boast the largest collection of historic rail vehicles, under cover and on display in Europe!

Alongside the New Hall will be the new Railway Garden, designed to increase biodiversity across the whole of the site. The garden will support volunteering for local communities and create a place for our visitors to connect with nature. The gardens will be constructed with sustainability and a reduced environmental footprint built in through the recycling and reuse of materials. The site boundary will be planted with a new native hedgerow, expanding habitats for hedgehogs, while existing trees will be fitted with bat boxes.

Drone shot of Raby Castle and surrounding park land and walled garden.

The Rising at Raby Castle

The Rising is a highly ambitious development from Raby Castle, restoring magnificent spaces to create a destination with a difference, opening in spring 2024.

The development name – The Rising, combines Raby’s rich history as the home of one of Britain’s most notorious plots, the Rising of the North, with a promise of growth, energy and ambition.

The Rising is nothing short of ambitious, both in terms of scope and scale. Within the setting of Raby Castle, it includes remodelled 5 acre walled gardens, restored heritage buildings, stylish shopping and new Vinery Café Restaurant showcasing local produce. 

CGI of The Story at Mont Oswald building, Durham City

The Story

Opening on Friday 14 June 2024, The Grade II listed Mount Oswald Manor House will be transformed into The Story.

A unique gateway to explore the whole history of the county and its people. The Story will be a world class facility that will be home to some of the county’s most important heritage collections and a place for life-changing events.

The Story will include almost six miles of archives charting 900 years of local history, a new home for the Durham register office and an elegant wedding/civil ceremony venue. 

Visitors will be able to visit permanent and temporary exhibitions that explore the history of the county through historic records, photographs and objects for free. Alongside an exciting activity programme with storytelling sessions, kids takeover days, behind the scenes tours, volunteering opportunities and community projects.

View of bright red flowers at Auckland Castle walled garden

The Auckland Project

The regeneration of Auckland Castle continues at The Auckland Project as three new gardens will open from June 2024. Connect with nature in the Wilderness Garden, pause and reflect in the Faith Garden, and meet Auckland Castle’s gardeners in the historic Walled Garden, which will feature a striking new glasshouse.

group of re-enactors dressed as Vikings at the Viking Village at Kynren

Return of the Vikings!

Get set for the return of the Vikings this summer! Excitement is brewing for the new pre-show at Kynren. Prepare to be transported back in time as you encounter the Viking experience.

Venture into the Viking Village, and watch as the warriors prepare for battle. Complete with a cookhouse, a woodworker’s cottage and even a working Blacksmith’s forge, experience history come to life before your eyes.

CGI of what the 1950s town extension and 1950s cinema will look like at Beamish Museum

Remaking Beamish

Remaking Beamish is the biggest development in Beamish Museum’s history, with over 25 new exhibits and attractions bringing a new era to the museum.

Among the new Remaking Beamish exhibits set to open in 2024 are a Georgian tavern and pottery; a 1950s cinema, toy shop and electrical store; and Georgian accommodation, which will allow people to spend the night at Beamish Museum for the first time!

View of the main hall inside Redhills, County Durham

Redhills

Located in Durham City, Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) hall known as Redhills is a Grade II listed building and is the most outstanding example of trade union architecture in Europe.

Redhills dates back to 1915 and was paid for by more than 100,000 working miners to create a democratic hub where collective decisions could be made for the good of the Durham Coalfield.

After almost six years of fundraising, work has now started on the ambitious renewal of Redhills, the historic Durham Miners’ Hall, which hopefully will reopen autumn 2024. 

CGI of what the building and grounds will look like at newly opened DLI museum and gallery

DLI Museum and Art Gallery

Based at Aykley Heads, the reopening of the DLI Museum and Art Gallery will see the popular venue brought back into use as a community asset and visitor destination. 

Entry to the DLI exhibition will be free of charge, in line with the belief that the Durham Light Infantry belongs to us all. The venue will be refurbished and expanded to include a dedicated space to display key objects from the DLI Collection as well as an exhibition centre, gallery, and a café.

family stood admiring Locomotion one engine at Locomotion railway museum

Stockton and Darlington Railway 200th Anniversary

The railway that changed the world - The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) opened on 27 September 1825. 

Right here, in North East England, people created the first successful locomotive powered public railway and changed the way the world trades, travels and communicates. To mark the 200th anniversary of the opening, a year-long programme of celebration throughout 2025.

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