A host of exciting new attractions, events and anniversaries are set to make Durham an unmissable group travel destination for 2019 and beyond.
Designated the county’s Year of Culture, 2019 will see Lumiere – the UK’s largest light festival – return for its 10th anniversary in November, the ICC Cricket World Cup with three matches hosted at The Riverside Ground over the summer, and a programme of exhibitions commemorating the centenary of the birth of renowned mining artist Norman Cornish.
Recent additions to the historic market town of Bishop Auckland in the Vale of Durham include a Mining Art Gallery and the Auckland Tower viewing platform and information centre. In addition, 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 is also set to reopen to the public in Spring. Further developments will also see the opening of a Spanish Gallery, Faith Museum, and Walled Gardens.
Some of the county’s most iconic attractions will also introduce exciting new experiences for groups. Durham Cathedral Central Tower will reopen in spring following conservation works, and the £18 million Remaking Beamish scheme will continue at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North to create a range of new ways for visitors to experience the heritage of the North East. 2019 will see the opening of the 1950s Welfare Hall, the first exhibit to open in the new 1950s Town at Beamish.
Kynren – An Epic Tale of England will return with Year of the Viking which will include a brand new pre-show guest experience to complement the live-action open-air journey through 2,000 years of history, myth and legend. Visitors will be immersed in the sights and sounds of everyday Viking life in the Viking Village, complete with an animal croft and Viking blacksmiths.
Groups looking for a spot of retail therapy can visit the North East’s largest outlet shopping centre Dalton Park, which has undergone a multi-million pound investment and features over 200 brands and designer labels including new additions Lindt and The Cosmetics Company. For a festive experience, groups can enjoy festive fun across the city from 29 November to 1 December at the award-winning Durham City Traditional Christmas Festival.