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Auckland Castle and Gardens

The ancient seat of the Bishops of Durham, now the subject of one of the twentieth century's most ambitious restorations.

Market Place, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, DL14 7NR

Experience this house

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Free admission to members of Historic Houses when you show a valid membership card.
Free admission to members of Historic Houses when you show a valid membership card.
Facilities
  • Accessible loos
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Charged parking
  • Easily accessible without car
  • EV charging options
  • Facilities for children
  • Mostly wheelchair accessible
  • Parkland / open spaces
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
for the latest information.
Accessibility

Many of our attractions have been redeveloped for maximum accessibility. The Castle, Mining Art Gallery and Spanish Gallery are all 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.

Accessible parking
Parking is located at North Bondgate car park in the heart of Bishop Auckland and a five-minute walk from the castle. The route from the car park to the castle is flat and well maintained.

Accessible lifts
Auckland Castle, Auckland Tower, Spanish Gallery and the Mining Art Gallery have accessible lifts so that visitors can access each floor.

Accessible toilets
Accessible toilets are located in each of our venues. You can find public toilets at Auckland Tower, which are also fully accessible.

Assistance dogs
Assistance dogs are welcome in our venues.

Induction loops
A hearing loop is available at the Welcome Desk in the Mining Art Gallery, Spanish Gallery and Auckland Tower.

Wheelchair hire
We have a small number of manual wheelchairs available for use around our site. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch.

Carer tickets
A complimentary ticket for a personal assistant/essential carer is available for visitors with disabilities.

Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

Auckland Castle and Gardens are part of The Auckland Project, a unique collection of heritage attractions, galleries and gardens in the historic town of Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Auckland Castle is one of the best-preserved Bishop’s palaces in the whole of Europe – home for a thousand years to England’s only Prince Bishops. Nowadays you can make yourself at home in this unique palace.

Dance around the Throne Room, worship in the magnificent private chapel, or take a seat at the table in the Long Dining Room, home to one of the finest sets of Zurbarán paintings in the world, hanging there since 1756.

Beyond the pageantry of the state rooms you will discover the lives of Auckland Castle’s most recent occupants, the characterful and often controversial Bishops of Durham. Bounce on Bishop David Jenkin’s bed when the guides aren’t looking and see the lair of Bishop Hensley Henson, who was so unpopular that they tried to push him into the River Wear – but got the Dean by mistake.

Banquets are off-the-menu these days, but the Bishop’s Kitchen cafe offers simple pleasures, including homemade treats and food grown in the 17th-century Walled Garden.

The Gardens surrounding Auckland Castle are being restored to their former glory, and the Walled Garden is now blooming and ready to welcome visitors once again. Green-fingered visitors and food-lovers alike will find much to enjoy here, from pattypan squash to black tomatoes fresh from the vine!

Other attractions in Bishop Auckland include Auckland Tower, the Spanish Gallery, the Mining Art Gallery, the Deer Park, and the Faith Museum.

Opening Times

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

View website

Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am – 4pm

January – closed

 

Admission

Prices vary by attraction and concession. See here for more information.

Historic Houses members can enjoy free entry to the Castle & Gardens, including the 17th-century Walled Garden. Please present your membership card at Auckland Tower or the main entrance of Auckland Castle on arrival. No pre-booking is required for Historic Houses members.

 

 

Group Visits

Groups are welcome on pre-arranged group visits and 10% discount is available for groups of 10 people or more. Please contact enquiries@aucklandproject.org for availability and group packages.

Educational Visits

School visits can be arranged by contacting our Education team at education@aucklandproject.org

Booking

Park Head Hotel and Restaurant is the latest addition to The Auckland Project. Located on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, Park Head Hotel is the perfect base for those wishing to explore The Auckland Project’s attractions and discover everything Bishop Auckland has to offer.

Find out more here.

for the latest information.
Accessibility

Many of our attractions have been redeveloped for maximum accessibility. The Castle, Mining Art Gallery and Spanish Gallery are all 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.

Accessible parking
Parking is located at North Bondgate car park in the heart of Bishop Auckland and a five-minute walk from the castle. The route from the car park to the castle is flat and well maintained.

Accessible lifts
Auckland Castle, Auckland Tower, Spanish Gallery and the Mining Art Gallery have accessible lifts so that visitors can access each floor.

Accessible toilets
Accessible toilets are located in each of our venues. You can find public toilets at Auckland Tower, which are also fully accessible.

Assistance dogs
Assistance dogs are welcome in our venues.

Induction loops
A hearing loop is available at the Welcome Desk in the Mining Art Gallery, Spanish Gallery and Auckland Tower.

Wheelchair hire
We have a small number of manual wheelchairs available for use around our site. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch.

Carer tickets
A complimentary ticket for a personal assistant/essential carer is available for visitors with disabilities.

Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

Getting here

Market Place, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, DL14 7NR

The Auckland Project is located in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which is approximately 12 miles south of Durham, 13 miles north of Darlington, 25 miles west of Middlesbrough and 30 miles south of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Travelling by Car
From the North

From the A1 motorway, take the A688 from Durham Services (J61) towards Bishop Auckland. After travelling past the Park Head Hotel, turn right at the roundabout on to Durham Road for 1.2 miles, before turning right on to Castle Chare. Drive through the Market Place and bear left on to North Bondgate. The car park is on your right.

From the South

From the A1 motorway, take the A68 (J58) to Bishop Auckland. At the roundabout, join the A6072 for approximately six miles, before turning right on to the A688. At the second roundabout, turn left onto the A689. Continue along the A689 through Bishop Auckland, then turn right on to High Bondgate, before continuing on to North Bondgate. The car park is on your left.

Parking

Car parking available at North Bondgate car park. If using a sat nav, the postcode is DL14 7PG.

Parking Charges apply Monday to Saturday, 24 hours a day (including Bank Holidays): 60p for up to two hours, £3.50 for stays over two hours.

There are electric car charging points in North Bondgate car park.

Travelling by Train
Our nearest station is Bishop Auckland, which is about a fifteen-minute walk from the Market Place.

Trains to Bishop Auckland depart every hour from Darlington, the nearest mainline station, and the train journey takes approximately 25 minutes.

Darlington station is on the East Coast Mainline, with excellent connections to major cities including Durham (20 minutes), York (30 minutes), Newcastle (30 minutes), Edinburgh (2.5 hours) and London (2.5 – 3 hours).

Visit the National Rail or Trainline website for more information and to plan your journey.

Travelling by bus
Bishop Auckland has regular bus connections around the region.

Go North East run The Castles Express from Newcastle to Bishop Auckland.

From the airport
The two nearest airports are Teesside International Airport and Newcastle Airport. Teesside International Airport is approximately 19 miles away, via the A67 and A689. Newcastle Airport is 36 miles by car from The Auckland Project, via the A1.

If you’re travelling from overseas, you can also reach us via Leeds Bradford and Manchester Airport.

By bike
Combine your visit with a longer bike trip; cycle routes 715 and 70 of the National Cycle Network pass through Bishop Auckland.

Travel in the tracks of the town’s industrial past on route 70 as you bike the traffic free stretch along the old Brandon-Bishop Auckland Railway Path.

There are bike racks in the Market Place for secure bike storage.

Auckland Castle in North East England

Auckland Castle has a thousand years of historic connection with England’s only prince-bishop: granted exceptional powers by Norman kings, the Bishop of Durham remained virtual monarch in his diocese right up to the 19th century. The castle and its park are at the centre of a wider sacred Christian landscape which may be 1500 years old. They are one of the most important and bestpreserved medieval bishops’ palaces in all Europe.

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Raby Castle, County Durham

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