What's New for 2019 and Beyond

There’s never been a better time to visit Durham!

If you think you know Durham, think again, as a host of exciting new attractions, events and activities make the county a must-visit group travel destination for years to come.

 

Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle

The 900-year-old former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham and one of the best preserved medieval bishops’ palaces in Europe will once again welcome visitors in 2019 after multi-million pound conservation work is complete. The Palace will be brought back to its Georgian Gothic splendour, alongside new interpretation which tells the stories of the Prince Bishops of Durham over the centuries.

Visitors will also be able to admire the extraordinary Jacob and his Twelve Sons, the famous series of 12 paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, which were purchased by Bishop Trevor in 1756. If you think you know Durham, think again, as a host of exciting new attractions, events and activities make the county a must-visit group travel destination for years to come.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral Tower

The long awaited re-opening of Durham Cathedral’s Central Tower is welcome news for visitors who have been waiting eagerly to climb the tower to enjoy the stunning unrivalled views across Durham City and beyond.

Towards the end of 2018 the tower project entered the final stages of its £1.9 million refurbishment, with final masonry work followed by the start of the unwrapping of the Cathedral Tower, along with repairs to the lead roof and the installation of a new visitor platform. Which means that visitors will once again be able to access the tower in 2019 with a grand re-opening celebration.

Kynren

Kynren – An Epic Tale of England

The UK’s most spectacular open-air live show returns to Durham in 2019. This live-action extravaganza, voted one of the top 5 performances to see in the UK by Tripadvisor, takes guests on a whistle stop tour of 2,000 years of history, myth and legend  - and groups will be able to step back in time themselves as 2019 is the year of the Viking.

A brand new pre-show experience sees guests explore a Viking Village and experience the sights, sounds and smells of everyday Viking life, alongside the Georgian Animal Croft which opened in 2018. The 2019 season of Kynren runs from Saturday 29 June until Saturday 14 September.

Food Festivals in Durham

Taste Durham

During 2019 a packed programme of food and drink events will let groups get a real taste of Durham, from the return of the Bishop Auckland Food Festival on 13-14 April – the largest in the region, to Durham Coast’s first ever seaside food festival in Seaham on 8-9 June. Food lovers can look forward to celebrity chefs, cookery demos, street entertainment and delicious local produce.

Attractions across the county continue to offer groups fantastic lunch and refreshment options, such as themed afternoon teas at Crook Hall and Gardens.

Lumiere Durham

Lumiere Durham

The UK’s largest light festival returns to Durham for its 10th anniversary edition in 2019. Lumiere will return for four magical evenings from November 14 to 17, lighting up Durham City with artworks and installations that will include some of the most popular from the previous five festivals. Artists from around the world will illuminate the city in delightful and unexpected ways, with a series of light installations to explore.

Dalton Park

Dalton Park Shopping Experience

The biggest outlet shopping centre in North East England has undergone multi-million pound investment in recent years, providing shoppers with a unique retail experience. At Dalton Park you’ll find over 60 shops selling over 200 different brands and designer labels, including new additions Lindt and The Cosmetics Company.

Beamish Museum

Remaking Beamish

Beamish – The Living Museum of the North is celebrating the largest single investment ever seen with a £10.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Remaking Beamish project.

The centrepiece will be a reconstructed 1950s Town, which will include houses, shops, café, cinema, and recreation areas. The first of the Remaking Beamish developments opened in 2018, where visitors can now visit Joe the Quilters Cottage – a recreation of the “lost” home of the renowned Georgian quilter, who was murdered in 1826. Summer 2019 will see the opening of the 1950s Welfare Hall, the first exhibit to open in The 1950s Town.

Open Treasure

Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral’s world-class exhibition space which opened in 2016, opened the doors to previously-hidden spaces within the Cathedral Cloister – the U.K’s most intact medieval monastic buildings. Open Treasure is home to the best preserved monastic library in the British Isles, the treasures of St Cuthbert and an ever-changing exhibition. 2019 will see the exhibition space explore The Vikings in Northumbria.

Christmas Festival

Durham City Traditional Christmas Festival

Durham’s award-winning Traditional Christmas Festival has Christmas all wrapped up with three days of festive fun across the city from 29 November - 1 December 2019. The festival transforms Durham City into a Christmas wonderland featuring over 200 indoor and outdoor stalls, local producers market inside the stunning Durham Cathedral Cloisters, street entertainment, children’s lantern parade, live music plus lots more - it’s guaranteed to give your groups that festive feeling.

With so much happening in 2019 and beyond, plan your group visit today.

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