The Auckland Project welcomes you to a collection of galleries, gardens, parkland and events, all established around Auckland Castle, in the heart of County Durham.
You’re invited to live the history and experience the culture that shaped our wonderful home of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area into the beautiful part of the world it is today.
Beneath the gothic spires and veteran trees of our skyline are secrets from history just begging for you to discover them. Plan your visit now; we look forward to welcoming you to a grand day out, a thousand years in the making.
Even against the backdrop of the picturesque town of Bishop Auckland and the stunning countryside of County Durham, our home at Auckland Castle stands out. Its history as the residence of the Prince Bishops of Durham shines through in modern times with its air of status, opulence, and power. We’ll take your coat at the door.
We like to make a great first impression, so how better to start your visit than with a bird’s eye view of the historic town of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding natural beauty? Buy tickets, pick up guides and maps, and get the latest local news on events and activities, before moving onto Auckland Castle and the rest of your day.
The Prince Bishops used the unrivalled beauty of the County Durham countryside to hunt game and entertain guests, and now you’re invited to the Deer Park to walk in their footsteps. Enjoy over 150 acres of historic parkland replete with veteran trees, medieval footpaths (even medieval rabbit warrens), historical structures, stunning scenery, and all the peace you could ask for.
Mining Art Gallery
Dim lighting certainly didn’t dull creativity. Discover life underground from the perspective of mining artists like Norman Cornish and Tom McGuinness in this atmospheric and intimate gallery.
Oh we do adore a good trip on the train. You can ride the rails of the past on this fantastic restored line between Bishop Auckland and Eastgate (originally, the Eastern gate of the Prince Bishops’ land), part of the first railway in the world to have a passenger service. 18 miles of engineering and social history abound – all aboard!
From 3 July, the Mining Art Gallery, Auckland Castle and Curtilage will be opening with timed tickets only, Thursday-Sunday, 10am-4pm.
Tours are available for the Lower Walled Garden from Thursday-Sunday.
The Deer Park is free to visit every day and is open during daylight hours.
Auckland Castle (includes Castle Curtilage and Bishop Trevor Gallery)
Children (5-16 years) £3
Mining Art Gallery
Children (5-16 years) £1
Walled Garden Tours
Children (5-16 years) £1
Where to find us
We're in the heart of Bishop Auckland in south west Durham: find how to find us.
Become a Friend
Help to preserve the past and transform the future of Bishop Auckland by becoming a Friend of The Auckland Project. Unlimited access to all our amazing venues: £35 per year. The feeling of being a part of British heritage: Priceless.
Find out how to become a Friend of The Auckland Project.
Food & drink
What’s a visit to a Castle without a feast? Our fantastic team of chefs use local produce to create delicious, home-made meals, fit for the Prince Bishops themselves! While the Bishop's Kitchen is closed, there is still a range of treats available.
We want as many people as possible to experience this wonderful part of the world, so guide dogs are allowed throughout The Auckland Project sites, and areas have been redeveloped for maximum accessibility. Both the Castle and Mining Art Gallery are accessible to wheelchairs. Unfortunately, the Walled Garden is not accessible to wheelchairs yet. We are working with the designers for the Upper Walled Garden to ensure a lift is in place, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the Garden when that section is finished.
Make the most out of your visit with the right ticket. Find out more and get ready for a grand day out.
With so much on show, we get a lot of questions – don’t worry, we’re used to it! Our FAQs page should have all the answers to questions you might have on The Auckland Project.
How to find us
The Auckland Project is made up of several destinations, all located on or around the Market Place in Bishop Auckland.
Parking available at North Bondgate car park, DL14 7PG
CASTLE, GALLERIES, MUSEUMS: A LOT TO EXPLORE...
Once the private home of the Prince Bishops of Durham, the castle was built as a symbol of power and authority
Enjoy a bird's eye view across the town, buy tickets and get all the information you need to enjoy your visit
Explore the landscape of this peaceful park, the hunting grounds of the Prince Bishops of Durham
The ticket office is open and the whistle’s polished, all that’s needed to depart is you! We acquired Weardale Railway in 2020 because we wanted to preserve an exciting and important part of North East’s history.