Kynren 2019 & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19

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Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19

I'm delighted to announce that I've been asked to be a regional ambassador for #Durham19 this year - an unmissable year in Durham packed with festivals, events, exhibitions, performances and openings. There is a packed programme of events taking part across the region and I am so excited to be part of it.

Across the year, I'll be sharing some of Durham's top family days out and activities and I kicked things off in style with a trip to watch a rehearsal of Kynren, An Epic Tale of England and take a peek at their plans for this year's shows ahead of their season launch on 29 June.

The Year of the Viking at Kynren, An Epic Tale of England
29 June - 14 September 2019 

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - Viking Village
The New Viking Village at Kynren - Credit Kynren

A trip to Kynren is becoming a bit of an annual tradition for us now. This year is the 4th time we've watched the epic performance and if you haven't managed to watch it yet or maybe dithered over buying tickets, I'd definitely say that now is the time.

If you don't know what to expect from Kynren, An Epic Tale of England, I'll try my best to explain it......

Your evening begins with a selection of historical walk-through experiences. New for 2019, you can visit a specially constructed Viking Village and experience the more peaceful side to Viking life with real Vikings.

You can visit the cookhouse and enjoy the smell of dinner cooking on the fire, visit the woodworker's cottage and meet the characters who live there or watch as a Viking Blacksmith forges his own chainmail.

How about taking a peaceful walk along the stream and saying hello to the impressive Highland Cattle?

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - Viking Cooking
The New Viking Village at Kynren - Credit Kynren

You can then pop by the Animal Croft which is your opportunity to meet some of Kynren's animal stars. Animal handlers are on hand to answer any questions and you can expect to see Dairy Cows, Heavy Horses, Sheep, Goats and my personal favourites - the Kynren Geese.

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - Kynren Geese
Meet the famous Kynren Geese before the show - Credit Kynren

If you'd like a bite to eat before the show, there's now a brand new 1940s bar and food village. Experience the spirit of a 1940s post-war street party with bunting, swing band music and 1940s costumes.

Options include waffles, burgers, ice creams, sweets & local dishes. Vegan, Vegetarian and GF options are available.

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19

As the sun begins to set, it's time to take your seats in the 8000 seat grand theatre. I am often asked where the best seats are and will always say that there is no bad seat in the house.

We tend to buy mid-priced tickets around half way up the stand. If your budget stretches, the VIP padded seats are worth splashing out on as a treat.

Kynren is designed to take over the whole stage and you will see everything from wherever you are sitting. The 90 minute spectacle is a fast-moving, immersive performance sharing the 2000 year history of Britain.

Expect to meet angry Vikings as they do battle, hear Churchill's voice echo around the arena as war sirens sound above your head, see Henry VIII with your own eyes, give Queen Victoria a wave as she passes in her magnificent carriage and watch as William Shakespeare shares snippets from some of his favourite plays.

There are special effects that could rival Hollywood, fireworks, music, dancing, live animals, fire, water fountains, light shows and some of the cast will even walk on water.

I honestly don't know how they squeeze it all in! Kynren is one of those shows that you simply must see and you will leave feeling so proud of our region for achieving something as epic and grand as this.

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - firework finale

Kynren is loved by children, teens and grown-ups alike and it has won countless awards over the past few years. We're so lucky to have something like this on our doorstep.

It is a fairly late night and can be loud in places so I'd recommend for ages 6+. If you're not in the VIP section bring cushions to avoid a numb bum and wrap up/bring a blanket as it can get chilly. If you're visiting with children, the shows towards the end of August/beginning of September finish earlier so it's not so much of a late night.

Kynren is definitely one of Durham's top visitor attractions, but did you know there is SO much more going on in the region this year as part of #Durham19 ?

If your family loves history or you fancy a day out where you'll have lots of fun and might learn a thing or two, I've put together a few Historical Highlights to enjoy across Durham this Summer........

LEGO®, Building The Bowes Museum 
25 May - 13 October

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - LEGO®, Building the Bowes Museum
LEGO®, Building the Bowes Museum - Credit This Is Durham 

It's been a good few years since our last visit to The Bowes Museum and this special exhibition is the perfect excuse to re-visit. It's at the very top of our list for the summer holidays. Visitors can see magnificent LEGO® models of some of the museum's collection (including the beautiful silver swan), take part in a LEGO® trail and recreate some of the exhibits they see at mini LEGO® stations dotted around the museum. There's also the main creation station where you can really get creative including a special DUPLO® area for toddlers.

There's a fantastic range of events taking place alongside the exhibition including Dementia-friendly sessions, a chance to make a robotic swan or your own museum from LEGO® and late night block parties where adults can get creative with drinks and nibbles.

The Vikings in Northumbria Exhibition at Durham Cathedral 
11 June - 28 September 2019 

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - The Vikings in Northumbria at Durham Cathedral
The Vikings in Northumbria at Durham Cathedral - Credit This Is Durham

This brand new exhibition takes place in Open Treasure, Durham Cathedral's award-winning museum experience. It tells the story of the devastating Viking raids on Lindisfarne in 793 AD and examines how over 200 years, the Vikings shaped the political and cultural landscape of Northumbria. We LOVE Vikings and I think we'll find this exhibition really interesting. I think it's perfect for families with tweens and teens. We haven't visited Durham Cathedral since they lifted the (non-flash) photography ban therefore this exhibition is also an excellent excuse for us to return and take some photos of one of the North East's most beautiful buildings.

Festival of the 50s at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
11-14 July 2019 

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - Festival of the 50s at Beamish
Festival of the 50s at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North - Credit Beamish

I am SO excited about 'Remaking Beamish' which is a plan to use a £10.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to recreate a 1950s town. The project is not set to be completed for another couple of years but if you love the 1950s, there's still reason to celebrate as part of this special weekend. The first building (the Welfare Hall) in the 1950s town will be open, there will be rock 'n' roll, fashion and plenty of fun. I love special events at Beamish and I bet this is going to be a fantastic weekend - it's all included with admission/your annual pass too.

Great North Festival of Agriculture at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
29 August-22 September 2019 

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - Great North Festival of Agriculture at Beamish
Great North Festival of Agriculture at Beamish, The living Museum of the North  - Credit This Is Durham

Join Beamish for their month-long celebration of the region's heritage. Featuring everything from vehicles and vegetable displays to heritage skill demonstrations - there's loads to see and do across the month. Highlights for me include the Leek Show from 7-8 September where a wide selection of home-grown vegetables and flowers will battle it out in this annual contest. Exhibits will be auctioned for charity at the end of the weekend so if you've always fancied getting your hands on some award-winning veg, this is your chance. There's also the Agricultural Show which runs from 12 - 15 September and recreates a typical country show from the 1900s complete with rosettes and banners.

1940s Weekend at Tanfield Railway 
21-22 September 2019 

Kynren 2019 Review & A Summer of Historic Events | #Durham19  - 1940s Tanfield Railway
1940s Weekend at Tanfield Railway - Credit This Is Durham

Tanfield Railway is one of our favourite North East Days Out but excluding Christmas, we've yet to make it to one of their special events. I've heard so many good things and the photographs from their 1940s weekends always look superb. You can expect train rides to the backdrop of 1940s music and dance and discover what home life was like in wartime Britain. There'll be a chance to learn the role the North East's railways and collieries played in the 1940s too. Sounds brilliant!

You can find out more about the full programme of Historic Events taking place across Durham this year as part of #Durham19 over on their website here.

Let me know if you have plans to visit any of the events/attractions I've mentioned this summer. I'm going to try my best to visit as many as I can and will share what we get up to over on my Facebook page here. 

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  1. One day I will get to Kynren (I say this every year but never get myself organised!) So excited about all these amazing events, wondering if maybe Simon might quite fancy the lego at Bowes Museum (and i've always wanted to go!) I may look into it!

  2. wow, never knew there are so much to do in Durham! thanks for sharing x

  3. Lots of Fab things going on in our region we are so lucky!

  4. Kynren really is a cracker of a show. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts from around County Durham.

  5. My sister in law raves about Kynren, we really must get ourselves along! Also, the lego at Bowes Museuem looks pretty cool. We haven't explored Durham so plenty of ideas to get us started X


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