There's plenty of great family summer holiday activities and events to choose from this summer in Durham. From Coast to Countryside and everything inbetween, check out our A-Z of what to do this summer.

different summer activities to enjoy in County Durham.

  • A - Animals! Durham is overflowing with fantastic attractions filled with lots of wonderful animals to make friends with like Hall Hill Farm and Adventure Valley.
  • B - Board a train at Weardale Railway, a heritage railway which travels through the beautiful Durham Dales, part of the historic Stockton to Darlington Railway line.
  • C - City life! Enjoy a day out exploring the cobbled streets of historic Durham City, you never know what you'll discover!
  • D - Diggerland - enjoy 25% discount off pay on the day admission with our exclusive voucher.
  • E - Explore Egglestone Abbey, the perfect spot for a picnic just on the River Tees.
  • F - Feel the Force at High and Low Force Waterfalls - a great spot for enjoying nature trails, picnics and spectacular countryside views.

different summer activities to enjoy across County Durham.

  • G - Go Glamping. Whether you’re looking for a romantic hot tub hide away or family-friendly getaway, from the heritage coast to Durham Dales, there’s a glamping site to suit every taste and budget this summer.
  • H - Hamsterley Forest, over 2,000 hectares of wonderful woodland to explore - build a woodland den, follow the Zog trail, spot the Gruffalo, hire a bike or enjoy a relaxing walk.
  • I - Investigate the hidden history behind one of Durham's most magnificent buildings - Durham Cathedral inside the cathedral museum.
  • J - Jump around at Infinite Air, one of the UK's largest indoor trampoline parks!
  • K - Kynren - An Epic Tale of England - travel through 2,000 years of English history, myth and legend at the UK's most spectacular outdoor live show. Every Saturday 27 July to 14 September.
  • L - Locomotion, the National Railway Museum. Get up close with incredible engineering feats in Shildon, the world's first railway town, and home to the largest undercover display of heritage railway vehicles anywhere in Europe!

different activities happening this summer in County Durham.

  • M - Music! Calling all music lovers, Durham is the place to be this summer, with an incredible collection of musical events taking place. From Durham Brass Festival to Durham Fringe Festival, and Hardwick Live. See big name acts, exciting new bands and up and coming local artists at iconic venues across the county. A visit to Durham is guaranteed to get your toes tapping!
  • N - North Pennines National Landscape. One of England's most special places, a great place to get out and get active.
  • O - Oriental Museum - The North of England's only museum devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the great cultures of North Africa and Asia.
  • P - Parks and Gardens. Durham is filled with wonderful parks and gardens to explore and enjoy together as a family. Don’t miss Crook Hall Gardens – a hidden oasis on the outskirts of Durham City, the newly opened Walled Garden at Auckland Castle, or The reimagined walled gardens at Raby Castle’s Rising.
  • Q - Quench your thirst and try out the many locally brewed gins, beers and more! Across the county you’ll find lots of distilleries and breweries offering hands-on experiences. And of course, many restaurants and bars across the county are serving Durham’s locally made tipples.
  • R - Reservoirs! Durham has lots of wonderful waterside parks and reservoirs to explore this summer, including Cow Green Reservoir, Grassholme Reservoir and Derwent Waterside Park which has lots of fun activities happening throughout the holidays.

summer activities to enjoy in County Durham

  • S - Seaglass collecting at Seaham, enjoy hunting for 'mermaid's tears' at one of the top seaglass collecting spots in the world.
  • T - Travel through time at Beamish - The Living Museum of the North. New for summer 2024 – explore the 1950s cinema and shops, or head over to the Drovers Tavern for some delicious Georgian-inspired food.
  • U - Unwind and treat yourself to a relaxing spa day or night away. Across the county you’ll find many award-winning spas which offer fantastic spa break packages, including personalised treatments in luxurious settings.
  • V - View the night sky. Did you know the North Pennines National Landscape has more nationally recognised Dark Sky Discovery Sites than any other part of the UK? Making the Durham Dales the perfect location for some stargazing action.
  • W - Water Sports, from coast to countryside you’ll find lots of opportunities to make a splash! Try out kayaking at Seaham Harbour Marina, or test your balancing skills with paddleboarding along the River Wear with Adventure Access.
  • X - X marks the spot at Raby Estate’s exciting children’s trails this summer. Follow the map and see how many clues you can collect as you follow family-friendly outdoor trails, including Folk and Fairy Tales at High Force Waterfall or the Alice in Wonderland Trail in The Plotter’s Forest adventure playground at Raby Castle. 
  • Y – Yum, Yum, Yum! Treat yourself to a taste of Durham and tuck into delicious seasonal produce at ward-winning restaurants and eateries across the county. From cosy country pubs, to high end dining and hands-on experiences. There’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.
  • Z - Catch a few ZZZZZ's. After an action-packed day of adventure, you'll find lots of wonderful places to stay for a good night's sleep. From five star luxury hotels and grand county houses, to cosy holiday cottages and unqiue glamping huts, there's something to suit all tastes and budgets.  

different accommodation, activities and landscapes in County Durham.

For lots more summer holiday ideas including stunning accommodation check out our summer breaks page




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