Days out and attractions in County Durham
With a fantastic selection of attractions to choose from in County Durham, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you stay at Heather View. Take a look at our top picks of local attractions below.
Visit the Walworth Birds of Prey
Walworth Castle Birds of Prey Centre is a family run falconry centre set in the stunning grounds of Walworth Castle near Darlington. The perfect day out for families and couples alike, you can meet magnificent birds of prey, see the fabulous falconry flying displays and bird feeding station, and take a walk in the wonderful ancient woodland surrounding the castle. There’s a nature trail with hidden creatures for you to search for and fun quizzes to get involved with whilst you tour the aviaries. The centre also offers incredible experiences including Hawk Walks and Owl Encounters, which allow you to fly the birds from your arms, for an additional charge.
Breathe in the historic Auckland Castle
Currently undergoing an extensive restoration and redevelopment, Auckland Castle is one of the most important and best-preserved palaces in Europe. The castle itself was once home to the Prince Bishops of Durham and even 900 years since it was built, it stands proud as one of Bishop Auckland’s best attractions. Whilst the work is underway the Castle’s grounds’ Auckland Park is open and free to use for you to explore its fish ponds, and 19th century Deer House.
National Railway Museum Shildon
Home to over 300 years of history and a million wonderful objects, the National Railway Museum is the perfect day out for locomotive lovers and railway enthusiasts. The Shildon museum offers an up close encounter of railway royalty with an exhibition which shows the splendour and quality of the coaches used by members of the royal family across the years. These include the LMS Black 5 No.5000 which dates from the 1930s, the Royal Power Car No.5154 which was a support vehicle for trains that held Edward VIII, George V and Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors can also take a look at the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Saloon, which was the private coach for Queen Alexandra during her husband’s reign in the early 1900s. With free entry and lots to see and do, this is the perfect option for a great day out near Heather View.
See the past come to life at Beamish Museum
Visit the incredible, award winning open air Beamish Museum and experience amazing sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the past. You can step back in time at this 350 acre site and discover what life in the North East was like in the 1820s, 1900’s and 1940’s. The attraction includes a 1900s town, pit village and colliery and a 1940s farm. Plus, step on board the trams and they'll transport you into the past, for a happy day out in history! With a huge range of activities on throughout the year celebrating other eras. The museum activity encourages interaction for the whole family and is open all year round.
Discover more of Weardale’s mining heritage at the Killhope Lead Mining Centre
A 19th century mining museum in the heart of Weardale, Killhope is in the centre of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and transforms you back to the days of lead mining in the area. The venue is famous for its working waterwheel and offers so much to see and do, including a captivating art installation, the history of lead mining exhibition, scenic walks and amazing wildlife. There are guides on hand to take you on an unforgettable underground mine tour.
View the most important collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England
Bowes Museum is a breathtaking purpose built French chateau set in stunning grounds on the edge of Barnard Castle town centre. With 2017 seeing its 125th anniversary, there are a number of fascinating collections to view and artwork to be admired. Founders John and Joséphine Bowes built the museum to showcase the wider world of art to the people of Teesdale. In addition to the museum exhibitions there is a cafe and play area, plus extensive grounds to discover.
Take in some of the area's rich heritage
A beautiful English Heritage site set on high rock above the River Tees, Barnard Castle is an incredible 13th century castle dominating the southern entrance to the town of the same name. You can experience incredible views over the Tees Gorge by way of the castle walls walks, enjoy a picnic in the heart of the castle and visit the castle’s sensory garden. The Castle sits on the fringe of the historic market town of Barnard Castle, where you can also find a historic buttermarket, the Whitham Arts centre and Bowes Museum. Bowes Castle and Eggleston Abbey are also historic sites of interest worth visiting in the area.
With over 600 years of history provided by Lord Barnard's home, Raby Castle offers an insight into life through the ages.
Set in beautiful surroundings, there's plenty to do for a full family day out. Enjoy exploring the spectacular interiors, stroll through the walled gardens, spot deer in deer park, view horse-drawn carriages from years gone by, get refreshed in the tearooms and for the kids there's a woodland play area.
Binchester Roman Fort
One of the largest Roman military installations in Northern Britain and the largest fort in County Durham, Binchester Roman Fort lets you explore Roman life in the 1,700 year old under floor heated bath house.
Excavations can be visited from June to August and during this time there will be re-enactments, details of which can be found by calling them.
Low Barns Nature Reserve
Full of wildlife, this Site of Special Scientific Interest is home to all sorts of insects, mammals, birds and plants. With the introduction of a reedbed habitat and a boardwalk enabling public access with minimal disturbance to the wildlife, the site's flat terrain makes it the perfect place for everyone to visit.
On your visit you could spot damselflies, dragonflies, frogs, newts, otters, foxes, roe deer and much more.