PREVIEW: Top picks of unmissable events happening this autumn in Durham

Posted on October 7th 2019 by Whats on Northeast

From the UK’s largest light festival and family friendly theatre productions to ‘out of this world’ stargazing events and the grand re-opening of one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval bishops’ palaces. There’s so much more to look forward over the coming autumn and winter months in Durham.

Terror in the Trees 3.0

Various dates 4 – 31 October

The North East’s biggest Halloween event returns to Durham this October. Are you brave enough to take on this truly terrifying immersive experience? The clowns are heading to Beamish Hall’s frightening forest and bringing with them a whole new level of fear with claustrophobia tunnels, the hall of mirrors & giant terror mazes.

Durham Book Festival

5 October – 13 October

Readers and writers alike, are in for a treat when the annual Durham Book Festival – City of Books returns to Durham City this October. The largest literary festival in the region promises booklovers a week-long celebration of world class literature with talks, workshops, readings, performances, and unique experiences.

Takeoff Festival 

21 – 26 October

England’s leading festival for children and young people, returns to venues across Durham from 21-26 October with a packed programme of brilliant theatre from around the world.

North Pennines Stargazing Festival

23 October – 3 November

Celebrating the magnificent dark skies of the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark (the darkest mainland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) The third annual festival returns this October half term, with 30 events across 12 days that will fascinate both seasoned stargazers and amateur astronomers.

Auckland Castle

Opens 2 November

The 900 year old Auckland Castle, former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham will once again welcome visitors when it re-opens in November following multi-million pound conservation work. The castle will be brought back to its Georgian Gothic splendour, where visitors can follow the footsteps of former Bishops and witness how these figures changed history, uncovering the fascinating stories and personalities of its past residents.

The North East’s Biggest Pyromusical 

2 November

Sit back, relax and be amazed as toe-tapping hits from the movies are brought to life in the North East’s biggest pyromusical in the grounds of Kynren, Bishop Auckland. Experience a bonfire night celebration like no other and enjoy locally sourced artisan food and drink in the onsite food village.

Lumiere Durham

14 – 17 November

Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, will transform Durham City into a nautical art trail for the sixth time this November. This year marks the 10th anniversary since Lumiere was established in Durham City, bringing back a number of past festival favourites alongside new art installations.

Norman Cornish Centenary Celebrations

16 November – 23 February

2019 marks the centenary of the birth of Norman Cornish MBE – one of the most beloved North East artists . Throughout the year venues across the county celebrated his life with events and exhibitions, offering visitors a chance to see unseen works and learn fresh insights.

The celebrations continue this November as visitors can see a major retrospective telling the story of Norman’s enduring career with the most comprehensive range of works ever assembled at Norman Cornish – The Definitive Collection at The Bowes Museum. In Durham City visitors can enjoy a unique exhibition of Norman’s sketchbooks at Palace Green Library. Both exhibitions open on 16 November.

Christmas at Beamish

16 November – 24 December

No festive season is complete without a visit to Beamish, The Living Museum of the North’s Christmas celebrations. Discover unforgettable and unique yuletide celebrations from the past and be amazed as the museum is transformed into a winter wonderland. Taste scrumptious seasonal cooking, try your hand at traditional crafts, pay Father Christmas a visit and even go for a spin on a real ice rink.

Durham City Traditional Christmas Festival 

29 November – 1 December

Enjoy three wonderful days of festive shopping and family-friendly entertainment in and around Durham City’s UNESCO World Heritage Site at the city’s award-winning Traditional Christmas Festival. With carol services, festive outdoor markets, delicious food and drink and a programme of entertainment, Durham City’s Christmas Festival is not to be missed!

If you think you know Durham, think again!

To find out more about what’s happening in Durham throughout 2019 click here >>

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