Auckland Castle

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: aucklandcastle.org
Image Credit: Dave Bevis (CC2)

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle

One of Britain's largest remaining medieval castles, sited high on a rugged escarpment overlooking the River Tees. It was once the stronghold of the Balliol family, acquiring its name from the Norman lord "Bernard de Balliol", who built a fine hall and round towered stone keep in here in the 12th-c. 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: english-heritage.org.uk
Image Credit: David Dixon (CC2)

Beamish - North of England Open-Air Museum

Beamish MuseumAward 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: beamish.org.uk
Facilities: Parking, café


The Bowes Museum

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 centrepiece 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: thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Image Credit: Jeff Buck (CC2)

Diggerland Durham

Diggerland Durham

If you’ve ever secretly puzzled what it would be like to take control of a construction machine, then why not have a go at Diggerland! Great family rides based on dumper trucks, diggers and JCBs. Try digging for buried treasure. Enjoy the thrilling 360 Spindizzy or take a bone-shaking journey on the Groundshuttle. Amusing indoor and outside play areas, coin-operated rides and dodgems.

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Opening times: February: 10am-4pm, March-October: 10am-5pm - Admission Charge
Location: Riverside Industrial Estate, Langley Park, Durham DH7 9TT
Tel: 0871 227 7007
Website: diggerland.com

Egglestone Abbey

Egglestone Abbey

A ruined small monastic abbey, picturesquely located above the River Tees. Large remnants of the church and other monastic buildings can be seen. Run by English Heritage.

Opening times: daily, from 10am to 6pm - Free Entry
Location: Abbey Ln, Bowes, Barnard Castle DL12 9TH
Tel: 0370 333 1181
Website: english-heritage.org.uk
Image Credit: Julian Taylor (CC0)

National Railway Museum Shildon

Steam Train

If you love steam trains then you won't want to miss this fascinating museum. Covering some 300 years of railway history, it has many magnificent stream locomotives, period rolling stock and interactive exhibits to rival even those of York Railway Museum!

Opening times: Daily 10am - 5pm (exc. Xmas & NY) - Free Entry
Location: Industrial Estate, Dale Rd, Shildon DL4 2RE
Tel: 01388 777999
Website: nrm.org.uk

Raby Castle

Raby Castle

A dramatic 14th-c 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-c. 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: rabycastle.com
Facilities: Parking, café, woodland adventure playground, picnic area, gift shop
Image Credit: Russell Greig (CC2)

Finchale Priory

Finchale Priory

The forlorn ruins of this 13th-c priory stand in a beautifully wooded setting on the banks of the River Wear. During the 14th-c 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: english-heritage.org.uk
Facilities: Parking (charged), shop.
Image Credit: Alison Stamp (CC2)

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Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.

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