Durham City of course; consider driving via Spennymoor (A167, turn right onto A177) and using Howlands Park and Ride DH1 3TQ buses every 10 minutes till 7pm, and only £2 per person, Durham City isn’t really for cars!
Musts are the Cathedral & Castle on Palace Green, UNESCO World Heritage Site; Oriental Museum; walk by the river or take a boat, good shopping and interesting indoor market, lots of cafes, Gala Theatre and Cinema, Botanical Gardens and Crook Hall.
Main East Coast rail line – Newcastle only 10 minutes, rather than driving & parking in the city.
York 45 minutes, Edinburgh 2 hours, fabulous Northumberland coastal scenery on the way, and London less than 3 hours. Make sure you book ahead for the longer journeys to get a good price. Go to East Coast / Trainline for more information.
Within walking distance of Byers Green along the Auckland Way Railway Path, Bishop Auckland is the home of Auckland Castle historic seat of the Prince Bishops and Deer Park. The town is undergoing a long term transformation thanks to The Auckland Project with changes centred around Auckland Castle and the Market Place. Call into No.42 Market Place where an exhibition explains what is planned, and visit The Mining Art Gallery opened October 2017 an impressive start to local regeneration.
The tourist information center is housed in the impressive Flemish style Town Hall in Market Place with library, art gallery, events & shows. Also within the immediate area are:
Escomb Saxon Church and Binchester Roman Fort, with an exceptional Bath House (seasonal opening times).
Morrisons and Asda on edge of town, follow A688 towards Barnard Castle for ‘out of town’ shopping eg Sainsburys, Tesco, M&S Food, Next ,TKMAX and fast food.
One of England’s finest medieval castles, home of Lord Barnard; just outside Staindrop on the way to Barnard Castle.
Well worth a visit for all the family with architecture and rich interiors spanning the ages set in acres of Deer Park- with deer- and walled gardens with links to Thomas Wright of Byers Green.
Find out more about Raby Castle here
A small old fashioned market town on the River Tees with the original castle remains an English Heritage site. Here you will find interesting independent shops, and many antique shops including one owned by David Harper of TV fame.
Market on the cobbled main street every Wednesday.
Farmers Market 1st Saturday of the month.
Charles Dickens stayed here in 1838. He is said to have based characters in Nicholas Nickelbey on people he met with William Shaw, who ran one of the notoriously harsh ‘Yorkshire schools’ in the town being the inspiration for Wackford Squeers.
Find out more about Barnard Castle here.
Just a short walk on the edge of Barnard Castle, this French chateau created in the late 19th Century , housing the exquisite treasures of John and Josephine Bowes and added to over the centuries. Internationally renowned permanent collections of paintings and ceramics, with important visiting exhibitions.
Find out more about The Bowes Museum here.
Known as the’ cradle of the railways’ the first passenger train ran from here on September 29 1825. Explore this history at The National Railway Museum site where the first workshops of the Stockton and Darlington Railway were opened, and expert restoration of rolling stock still continues today- Churchill’s funeral train, being the most recent. There is an impressive static collection, and ‘visiting’ engines and stock throughout the year. Explore the history of George Stephenson, Timothy Hackworth, including his house, and Daniel Adamson on this large site by eco-bus.
Free entry, open all year reduced hours 10am – 4pm in winter.
Children love it! Extensive train related shop, and good cafe.
On the edge of Weardale 2,000 hectares of working forest – forestry.gov.uk.
Walking trails for all abilities; 32 miles of waymarked cycle tracks Blue, Red and Black with cycle hire on site from Easter; adventure play; cafe and information centre.