Treasure Troves

Treasure Troves

Treasure Troves

A French-style château on the edge of a market town, a splendid collection of Spanish art housed in a former commercial bank and so much more makes Durham full of surprises, as you discover stunning landscapes dotted with cultural treasures.

Auckland Castle has 900 years of history and was once home to England’s only Prince Bishops, who were granted exceptional powers by Norman kings. The Castle is also home to paintings by 17th century Spanish master painter Francisco de Zurbarán, as well as St Peter’s Chapel – thought to be one of the largest private chapels in Europe’s outside of Rome. The Castle’s State Rooms provide some of the finest Georgian Gothic architecture in the country.

The Castle, its grounds, and a number of venues in Bishop Auckland’s Market Place are currently being re-developed to create an exciting heritage offer of international importance. The recently opened Auckland Tower offers visitors a chance to enjoy unsurpassed views across Bishop Auckland and beyond from its 15m high viewing platform. Visitors can also admire collections of masterpieces in the Bishop Trevor Gallery, within Auckland Castle’s North apartments.

On the outskirts of Durham City discover treasures from the far east at Durham University’s Oriental Museum - the North of England’s only museum entirely devoted to the art and archaeology of Northern Africa and Asian cultures. Visitors can see a wide range of objects from the University’s world-class collection, including Chinese porcelain, borneo head-hunting swords, contemporary artwork, Japanese samurai suit and even ancient Egyptian mummies.

In the market town of Barnard Castle, as you enter through the grandest of gates, the sight of The Bowes Museum is something to behold. A building as impressive as the exhibits within, the story behind the museum is just as fascinating. Built in the 19th century by husband and wife John and Josephine Bowes to house their own collection, themed galleries are home to one of the most important collections of fine and decorative arts in the North of England.

Did you know…

Schedule your visit to The Bowes Museum to coincide with the 2pm daily performance of the famous 18th century mechanical wonder which is the Silver Swan.

Download the Treasure Trove itinerary (pdf)

Tour suggestions…

Half day:
Durham City - Oriental Museum
Durham Dales - The Bowes Museum

Full day:
Auckland Castle plus The Bowes Museum

Hotel suggestions…

Hall Garth Hotel

Holiday Inn Darlington North

Useful information…

Coach travelling time:
The Bowes Museum to Auckland Castle -
25 minutes

The Bowes Museum DL12 8NP
Auckland Castle DL14 7NR
Hall Garth Hotel DL1 3LU
Holiday Inn
Darlington North DL1 3NL

Coach companies… 0191 378 0653