County Durham

Places to Visit and Days out in County Durham

Auckland Castle | Barnard Castle | Beamish | Bowes Museum | Raby Castle | Finchale Priory

For details of Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, The Oriental Museum and Durham Light Infantry Museum see the City of Durham.

Auckland Castle

Built on a promontory overlooking the River Wear, Auckland Castle was the principal county residence of the Bishops of Durham for 800 years. St Peters Chapel houses many of the treasures of past Bishops.

Opening times: Easter to Sep, Sun & Mon 2pm to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Bishop Awkland, DLI4 7NR - Tel: 01388 601627 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, toilets, disabled facilities.

Barnard Castle

One of Britain's largest remaining medieval castles, sited high on a rugged escarpment overlooking the River Tees.

Run by English Heritage.

Opening times: daily 10am to 4pm (6pm summer) closed Xmas Admission Charge
Location: Barnard Castle, DL12 9AT - Tel: 01833 638212 Website
Facilities: Shop, disabled facilities.


Beamish - North of England Open-Air Museum

Award winning open-air living museum that recreates northern life during the 1800s/1900s.

Opening times: daily, 1am to 4pm (5pm summer) Admission Charge
Location: Beamish, DH9 0RG - Tel: 0191 370 4000 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, toilets.

The Bowes Museum

A magnificent mansion house in the style of a French chateau. This very grand building houses a collection of amazing treasures, founded over 100 years ago by John Bowes and his French wife, Josephine. The centerpiece of the collection 'The Silver Swan', is a finely crafted life sized automaton that performs daily. Other exhibits cover a vast collection of archaeological finds, ceramics, glass, fashion, textiles, fine art and furniture.

Opening times: daily 11am to 5pm (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: Barnard Castle, DL12 8NP - Tel: 01833 690606 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, toilets, disabled facilities.

Raby Castle

A dramatic 14th-century fortress, with a great hall large enough to hold 700 knights. It also has a magnificent gateway and nine towers. Its many magnificent rooms contain elaborate architecture, fine furniture and many rare artworks. The octagonal Victorian drawing room boasts one of the most outstanding interiors from the 19th century.

The extensive grounds contain a deer park, large walled gardens, plus a museum of coach and carriage collections.

Opening times: May, Jun & Sep, Wed & Sun. Jul & Aug, Sun-Fri, 1am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Staindrop, DL2 3AH - Tel: 01833 660202 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, woodland adventure playground, picnic area, gift shop, toilets.


Finchale Priory

The forlorn ruins of this 13th century priory stand in a beautifully wooded setting on the banks of the River Wear. During the 14th century it became a holiday home for the monks of Durham Cathedral priory.

Run by English Heritage.

Opening times: daily 10am to 5pm Free Entry
Location: Brasside, Newton Hall ,Durham, DH1 5SH - Tel: 0191 386 3828 Website
Facilities: Parking (charged), shop.


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