Auckland Castle Deer Park Review

Disclosure - I visited Auckland Castle Deer Park as part of my research for another paid project. This post has not been paid/asked for. 

Our local woods (Plessey Woods) are lovely but also super popular. If there is the slightest bit of sunshine, you can guarantee the car park will fill up fast. It is a big place and ok to socially distance once in there but some of the first few paths can still get busy. 

Auckland Castle Deer Park Review

I have made it my mission to try and discover woodland areas which are a little quieter this summer. So far I have featured Ford & EtalBelsay HallCausey ArchBedlington Country Park, East Cramlington Nature Reserve  and Queen Elizabeth II Country Park. All significantly quieter than Plessey Woods. 

Another place to add to the list is Auckland Castle Deer Park. We visited on a sunny afternoon in the summer holidays and could not believe how quiet it was. It is such a beautiful spot for a walk or picnic. It is free to visit with no pre-booking required. At the moment, the park is open from 7am - 5pm but do check out their website for updates before heading out. 

Park in Bishop Auckland town centre (or catch the bus here). We used North Bondgate Car Park which is huge with plenty of spaces. It was only 60p for 2 hours. Use postcode DL14 7PG. You can catch this gorgeous view of Kynren from the car park. 

There are no public toilets in the Deer Park - the nearest ones are in the bus station. Both the bus station and car park are a couple of minutes walk through the town centre to the Deer Park. The entrance is just by Auckland Tower / Auckland Castle and well signposted from the town centre. There is restoration work going on at Auckland Castle at the moment - you can catch a glimpse as you pass. 

Deer Park Pedestrian Entrance

Most of the paths around the main part of the Deer Park are accessible. We spotted somebody using a mobility scooter without any issues. There are seats dotted about for those with limited mobility. There is a slight incline in some parts but nothing too strenuous and some of the paths are on grass. You should be ok with a pushchair around the main areas. 

There are a couple of areas where tree roots make the ground a little bumpy / uneven and some of the wider routes around the park may be gated / unsuitable for a pushchair. The photos in this post were all taken on an accessible route. 

A map near the entrance will give you an idea of some of the routes you can take. We stuck with a short and easy route during our trip but it is possible to walk for miles. 

Expect to pass through woodland, past meadows full of wild flowers, along the River Gaunless and pass a few historic landmarks too. 

There are a few bridges to cross on some of the extended routes if you are partial to a game of Pooh Sticks. 

The Historic Deer House is not far from the entrance and not to be missed. It is stunning! It is free to visit (exterior viewing only) and managed by English Heritage. It is a fab place for kids to run around and play hide and seek. There are a few picnic spots nearby or bring a blanket.

With a meadow full of wildflowers and river in the foreground and the Deer House as your back drop, it is a pretty special spot. There was only one other family here on the day of our visit. 

The Deer House was built in 1760. It provided shelter for the park's 300 strong herd of deer and offered a place where the bishop could invite guests to feed his deer whilst enjoying a picnic. 

Please note, there are no longer any deer here. 

The park is 150 acres in total. As well as the Deer House, you can see a stone pyramid which was originally built in the 1700s. It is a historic wellhead and placed over a natural spring. 

You can also try and spot a historic ice house which is built into the land and was used to store ice in winter from nearby ponds and streams. 

We visited the Deer House & Park in July 2020. Please check their website and social media for up-to-date info. 

  • Most of the main paths are accessible for pushchairs / wheelchairs. There are a couple of uneven surfaces in the main woodland 
  • Plenty of seating along the route
  • There is a park map near the entrance of the park
  • Free entry with no pre-booking required - just walk in
  • Open 7am - 5pm 
  • Dogs welcome but please keep on leads due to livestock in the area
  • Nearest public toilets are available in Bishop Auckland Bus Station
  • Address: Auckland Tower, Market Place. Bishop Auckland. DL14 7NJ
  • Paid parking available at North Bondgate DL14 7PG
  • Public transport available via Bishop Auckland Bus Station
  • Takeaway food options available in Bishop Auckland Town Centre
Below is a map showing the walking route from the car park to the entrance of the Deer Park near Auckland Tower. The Bus Station and Public Toilets are also marked. 

The Deer Park is part of the Auckland Project. Find out more here. 

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Thank you for your support as always. 

Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area, leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed after this post was published. 

Auckland Castle Deer Park Review


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