Welcome news for Visitors to Durham Cathedral



Welcome news for visitors to Durham City as Durham Cathedral begins the mammoth task of unwrapping the Central Tower on 4 December, following the £1.9m restoration work which has been underway since 2015. The long-awaited unwrapping will be welcome news for visitors eagerly waiting to climb the tower for unrivalled views of Durham City and the River Wear from the central vantage point. Weather permitting, the removal of the scaffolding should be completed as early as March 2019. Find out more >


The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2019

Celebrations of Durham19, the county’s year of culture continue as world-famous artwork from the National Gallery’s Collection will visit Bishop Auckland in 2019. Nicolas Poussin’s, The Triumph of Pan, from the National Gallery’s Collection, will be on display at Auckland Castle as part of a UK tour from 5 October 2019 – 5 January 2020

The three venues for the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2019 are Victoria Art Gallery, Bath; York Art Gallery; and Auckland Castle, part of The Auckland Project, County Durham.

The Triumph of Pan,
The final venue in the 2019 Masterpiece Tour is Auckland Castle, one of the most important and best-preserved medieval bishops’ palaces in Europe. The Castle, once home to the Prince Bishops of Durham, is now the centrepiece of The Auckland Project, a new visitor destination centred around arts, heritage and faith. Set to reopen in 2019, Auckland Castle is currently undergoing conservation to be returned to its original splendour, with highlights including a succession of Georgian Gothic State Rooms containing delicate plasterwork, originally created in the 1700s by the renowned English architect James Wyatt. Amongst the finest surviving examples of Wyatt’s Georgian Gothic in the country, they form a state processional route from the Castle entrance to the great Throne Room, where audiences with the Bishop were once held. As well as telling the story of the Prince Bishops of Durham, Auckland Castle also boasts a temporary exhibition programme and is home to Jacob and his Twelve Sons, an impressive cycle of paintings by the Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán.

Lumiere Durham 2019

Lumiere, the UK’s biggest light festival, returns 14 – 17 November 2019. The event will bring back a number of the most popular artworks and installations from the previous five festivals. The event marks the 10th anniversary since Lumiere was established in Durham 2009. In 2017, more than 240,000 visitors witnessed the stunning light installations over four spectacular evenings in Durham City.


The even has been marked with the unveiling of a new permanent light installation. ‘Heron’, created by artist Jon Voss, is located on Durham City’s riverbanks and pays homage to the British bird often found around the River Wear. Remind your guests to save the date

New cafe opens in nature reserve – Castle Eden Dene

Natural England and the National Trust join forces to open Cafe in the Dene, which will help protect one of the county’s finest landscapes. Customers at the new café will be helping to support one of Durham’s national nature reserves and heritage coastline. Natural England and the National Trust are joining forces to run the Café in the Dene, which opened for business last Saturday in Peterlee.  Read more >

Bloggers get a taste of Durham produce

As part of Taste Durham Month, regional bloggers and attendees of the Taste Durham Afternoon Tea Media Showcase at the South Causey Inn have been sharing their experience of the event.
On the food offering across the county, Debbie Stokoe from The Avant Garde blog said: “We’re spoilt for choice for fantastic restaurants, bakeries, distilleries, breweries and culinary experiences in Durham, and it’s about time we start shouting a bit louder about what we have to offer”. Read her full article here > 

Source:  Visit County Durham

New Treasure Trove tour for Durham city

Quirky historic stories, fun facts and amazing Instagrammable locations! For the very first time, Durham, along with 14 of England’s top ranked historic cities and the City of London, have come together as England Originals from England’s Historic Cities and are previewing their five new, hassle-free, easy to book itineraries aimed at international visitors. England Originals is one of a number of exciting new projects to benefit from funding from UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund which is administered by VisitEngland. Read more >

Special deals for October & November

High Force Nov 2010 Mike Ogden autumn
High Force Nov 2010 Mike Ogden autumn

The summer holidays may now be over but there are still plenty of good reasons to take a short break to the north east of England. Soon, nature will be giving us a fantastic display of colours as autumn sets in, and where better to see this display than in our northern dales. With magnificent backdrops a photographic feast awaits.

Autumn Durham
Autumn Durham

As the nights draw in our sky gazers will be treated with some spectacular sights. The northern dales have some of the darkest skies in Britain. Annually a skygazer festival takes place and a variety of places within the region.

Sky-watching - Milky Way
Sky-watching – Milky Way

There is no such thing as bad weather only bad cloths, it is often said. So long as you have good cloths then you can enjoy the awe of nature in this beautiful part of the UK, irrespective of the weather.

For those inclement days there are plenty of exhibitions taking place at the numerous country houses, estates and museums of the region, with a warm welcome inside.

Bookings at The Briar Rose will be given a special offer discount off published prices for October and November.

  • 3 nights normal £221  special offer £199
  • 4 nights normal £245 special offer £220
  • 7 nights normal £350 special offer £300

To claim this special deal type in AUTUMN when making the booking online. This offer is only available when booking directly and is not available via any of our agents.


Festivals Galore

The summer of 2018 has been amazing here in the north east. The sizzling weather combined with all the ongoing outdoor festivals in the region have been a true feast for visitors to the area. Earlier this month the annual Tall Ships Race visited Sunderland, providing a magnificent spectacle for visitors. There are still lots of other events ongoing through the summer and autumn months for visitors to enjoy. Follow us on Facebook for regular updates on whats going on in the region.

Tall Ships festival – Sunderland, July 2018
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