Things to Do in Bishop Auckland

things to do in Bishop Auckland

The stunning town of Bishop Auckland is home to a range of top-notch restaurants, country pubs and bars. Step inside Auckland Castle, the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, or visit the impressive art gallery that celebrates the work of Zurbaran – a contemporary of El Greco and Velazquez.

Visit Auckland Castle

One of the most well-preserved Bishop’s palaces in Europe was home to England’s Prince Bishops for a thousand years. Today, the castle welcomes visitors to dress up and dance in the Throne Room, sample foods used for traditional meals in the Long Dining Room and see one of Europe’s finest sets of Zurbaran paintings.

Get your bearings from Auckland Tower and the town’s honey-coloured buildings at Auckland Park, the Mining Art Gallery and the 17th-century Walled Garden. Refuel at the adjacent El Castillo tapas bar.

Catch an Event at Heritage Park Stadium

Whether you’re looking for front row seats or a balcony view, Vivid Seats can help you find the best tickets to experience an event at Heritage Park Stadium. Visit our events & tickets page to view seating charts and other ticket information specific to your desired show.

Auckland Castle is home to Britain’s first gallery dedicated to Spanish art – a reflection of its historic links with prince-bishops who could maintain private armies. See the castle’s tower and explore its Castle Park with fallow deer.

Take a Trip to Binchester Roman Fort

Discover the past at this fascinating archaeological site. The fort was known to the Romans as Vinovia and guarded a vital route northwards to York and Hadrian’s Wall.

One of the highlights is a rare intact hypocaust bath-house. The fort also has a well-preserved temple.

A visit to the fort isn’t complete without a meal at Knead a Slice, a welcoming Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant. They serve delicious brunch dishes and non-alcoholic mojitos, perfect for refuelling your energy ahead of more sightseeing.

Explore the Great Outdoors at Hamsterley Forest

Explore thousands of experiences from activities to day tours. Skip the line and book online in minutes.

Walk the trails in Hamsterley Forest, a sprawling natural space that provides woodland habitats for woodland creatures. You might see roe deer, badgers or adders on your wanders. The forest is also a great spot for cycling, mountain biking or orienteering. Children will love the new Zog trail where they can point their phones at special markers to access bonus challenges and collect golden stars along the way.

Visit North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

There’s a lot to see and do in this part of England, where sweeping moorland views, settled pastoral dales, stone-built villages, tumbling waterfalls and wonderful woods combine with intriguing imprints of its rich industrial heritage. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO Global Geopark, it is a place that’s truly special.

Walk around Rookhope village to discover the charming cliff-top Saxon church and take the challenging trail through Talkin Fell, passing Curricks (Cumbrian cairns) on the way. Croxdale Railway Viaduct is a magnificent 11-arched structure that carries the railway line across the River Wear.

Take a Trip to Witton Castle

Visit an impressive castle that once housed the aristocratic prince-bishops who had powers that rivaled a monarch. Multimedia exhibits at Auckland Castle tell their story while the adjoining museum showcases their impressive art collection.

Wander the 15th-century castle that’s the centerpiece of 330-acre Witton Castle Country Park. Lake fishing, crazy golf, a children’s adventure playground and woodland walks are among the family-friendly activities here.

End your day watching a light show at the outdoor tribune of Kynren, an epic spectacle that celebrates British history. Afterward, head to the Stanley Jefferson pub named for half of the Laurel and Hardy duo.

Visit Weardale Museum

Discover a rich heritage at Weardale Museum, a popular volunteer-run attraction. Visit a recreated lead miner’s kitchen, or check out the museum’s huge genealogy resource for those researching their ancestors from the region.

Refuel with a meal at Knead a Slice, a welcoming Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant and brunch venue. Order a tasty bacon or sausage sarnie and a non-alcoholic mojito for an indulgent afternoon snack. Kids will also love Hall Hill Farm, a fun and immersive experience that allows them to interact with friendly animals.

Take a Trip to Killhope Lead Mining Museum

Get your hands dirty at Killhope Lead Mining Museum, an award-winning visitor attraction that lets you experience life as a 19th-century miner. Put on your hard hats and cap-lamps for an unforgettable adventure as you walk the mine tunnels, discover minerals, and visit the museum’s woodland trails and shop.

View art at the first gallery dedicated to Spanish culture in Britain and learn about Bishop Auckland’s connections with Spain’s prince-bishops who could maintain their own private armies. Take in the spectacle of Kynren at Arches Park, where 8,000 seats face a massive outdoor tribune.

Visit Escomb Saxon Church

The church of Escomb Saxon Church may not be as famous as Durham or York, but it is just as fascinating. There are none of the ifs and buts that accompany the history of these other churches. This church was built in c7 with all the Saxon architectural details intact.

See the castle that was home to powerful prince-bishops and walk around its magnificent 800 acre park with fallow deer. View art at the Mining Art Gallery and the Spanish gallery. And from 2023, you will also be able to visit the town’s new Faith Museum.

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