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Holidays in Bishop Auckland

A bustling market town known as the gateway to Weardale

UK | North of England | County Durham | Bishop Auckland
Nearby Hamsterley Forest

Found in the Vale of Durham, standing on a hilltop overlooking a meander in the River Wear, Bishop Auckland is a lively market town with centuries of historic tales to tell.

On the outskirts of Bishop’s Auckland town centre you will find Auckland Castle, a historic building which was the home of the Prince Bishops for more than 900 years. Originally established as a hunting lodge, the castle is surrounded by the 800-acre Bishop’s Deer Park, perfect for a woodland walk in the heart of the town. Within the castle itself, are many treasures, including portraits of past bishops and a collection of 17th-century paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran. The adjoining St Peter’s Chapel, one of the largest private chapels in Europe, is also open for visitors to look inside. Many events are staged within the castle grounds throughout the year, including the annual Food Festival.

Bishop Auckland town hall

Another interesting historical site to visit nearby is the Binchester Roman Fort, which is home to possibly the best-preserved example of a Roman military bath house in all of Britain. At nearby Escomb stands the seventh-century Escomb Saxon Church, a remnant of the Anglo-Saxon period and one of the finest examples of early Christian architecture in northern Europe.

If you want to see more than 2000 years of history come to life, be sure to check out the show ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’, showing throughout the summer season. Packed with special effects, this unique show pulls out all the stops with impressive life-size replicas and a huge human and animal cast helping the story to unfold. History aside, there’s plenty to see and do within Bishop Auckland’s town centre. Bishop Auckland is home to more than 200 shops, including both high street favourites and independent stores. If a shopping trip is on your to-do list, make sure you head to Bondgate for a wide selection of boutiques and specialist shops.

Another place you should pay a visit to within the town is the Town Hall, where you can not only find all the tourist information you could near during your stay but also a theatre, gallery, cinema and library. With a full programme of events running throughout the year, and gallery exhibitions changing every month, there’s plenty to enjoy here during the evenings and on a rainy day.

“A lively market town with centuries of historic tales to tell...”

For those looking to explore the great outdoors, Bishop Auckland lies on the edge of Weardale, where you can walk the Weardale Way, a 74-mile path passing through valleys, moorland and the city of Durham before meeting the sea. Also, close by lies Hamsterley Forest, 2000 acres of sprawling woodland, where you can enjoy mile after mile of trails perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding. It’s a haven for mountain bikers, while there is also a play area to keep the kids entertained.

Take a look at our full collection of Bishop Auckland cottages and find the perfect place to stay for your holiday in County Durham.

While you’re there

Weardale Way

This footpath offers 74 miles of walks through valleys, moorlands, historic cities and more

Bishop Auckland Town Hall

The town’s cultural hub, with its own library, theatre, cinema and art gallery

Auckland Castle

A historic castle dating back more than 900 years, surrounded by an 800-acre Deer Park

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