10 Incredible Experiences in Durham (Available to Book Now)

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10 Incredible Experiences in Durham (Available to Book Now)

Today I am sharing 10 incredible experiences available to book now in Durham. After more than a year of staying at home, I am so pleased to be sharing some of these fantastic days out and adventures to try. They all offer something special and are perfect for meeting up with family and friends (within the guidelines of course) and provide a real chance to create special memories and #EscapeTheEveryday. 

Know Before You Go 

It is important we all continue to follow the guidance and explore Durham safely.  Please check out the current advice for visiting Durham here. 

10 Incredible Experiences in Durham
(Available to Book Now)

1 - Experience Stargazing at Grassholme Observatory 

Grassholme Observatory is a purpose-built observatory overlooking Teesdale's Grassholme Reservoir. Visitors can now book a range of experiences led by lead Astronomer Gary Fildes and his team and experience Durham's Dark Skies for themselves. 

Events available to book now include Aurora Nights, an Introduction to Astronomy, Moon Nights and more. Find out more and book here. (Experiences are available to book now for dates from 1 August using the 'book now' button.)

2 - Try Alpaca Trekking with Teesdale Alpacas 

We tried this experience over May Half Term and had the best time. Harry, Dee and Jack (and Steve and myself) were beaming throughout and their faces say it all. I would 100% recommend this experience to families or groups looking for something that little bit different. 

The experience lasts around 1.5 hours and children over 12 are able to handle their own Alpaca (under 12s like Jack are provided with a double lead to share with an adult which works really well).

Teesdale Alpacas are a lovely small business and it is a real privilege to spend time with owners Doug and Sam who will share their passion for Alpacas with you. After a short induction, you will take a gentle stroll through the beautiful countryside and enjoy beautiful views of the Durham Dales. 

The Alpacas are so gentle and once they get to know you, they allow you to give them a stroke and maybe even a little cuddle if you are lucky. 

The walk isn't taxing (Alpacas can be pretty chilled / slow going) but there is a bit of a short slope down to the river - if you are unable to manage this, let Teesdale Alpacas know before you book and they should be able to accommodate. 

Down by the river, you can hand feed the Alpacas and stop for photos too. Sam will take group photos and send them to you if you like. Feel free to ask any questions too - we loved hearing about all of the different Alpaca personalities. We left feeling so relaxed and with lots of special memories. I am so pleased we experienced this and think it would also make a lovely birthday gift / alternative party idea for tweens and teens who are difficult to buy for. 

Prices are super reasonable and we felt as if this experience offered excellent value for money.  Find out more and book here. 

3 - Discover Durham's History with a City Tour

This looks like a perfect experience for families who feel like they have exhausted all other options and are looking to learn more about their favourite city. Join Iles Tours on a guided tour of Durham City - take in the sites and delve into their past. Suitable for ages 8+. Find out more and book here. 

4 - Take a Dairy Tour with Teesdale Cheesemakers 

Teesdale Cheesemakers offer a wide variety of experiences from their cheese farm in Durham which has been in their family for five generations.

There are a range of experiences to book now including cheesemaking (we have tried this before and it's so interesting and a great opportunity to get hands on), take a dairy tour and discover some of the secrets about how to make award-winning cheese/ take a peek behind the scenes or simply enjoy your own personal cheese tasting experience. 

All of these options sound perfect for those who love food-based adventures / appreciate a good cheese. Find out more and book here. 

5 - Enjoy a Full Day of Family Fun at Adventure Valley 

Our last visit to Adventure Valley was over 10 years ago but we revisited over May Half Term 2021 and we were blown away with how much there was to do here. It is definitely the kind of place you need to pencil in a full day for as it is somewhere the kids really won't want to leave. 

Stand out memories for us include feeding the goats on goat mountain, playing hide and seek in the giant castle play frame, whizzing down the tyre slide and taking part in a friendly battle in the Wild West Cannon Saloon. 

We loved our recent trip so much that we are already planning a repeat visit this summer and we rarely visit the same place twice within the space of a few months. There is something for everyone and I would recommend for all ages and it is a brilliant place to visit if the weather is changeable as there are plenty of things to do both inside and out.

Adventure Valley is a popular attraction and I would recommend giving yourself plenty of time to book ahead for this one. Find out more and book here. 

6 - Experience an Evening of Stargazing at High Force Waterfall 

We visited High Force Waterfall earlier this summer and what a beauty she is! Located in stunning surroundings, I can't think of a more perfect spot to enjoy a stargazing experience. 

The evening will provide a unique opportunity to illuminate the waterfall and take photographs with your phones alongside one of the UK's expert astronomers as well as a chance to look up and discover more about the dark sky above. Stargazing events at High Force are available to book now for dates from 5 September. Find out more and book here. 

7 - Step Back in Time at Beamish - The Living Museum of the North

This photo of Steve from our recent trip to Beamish really makes me smile. Our family love fish and chips and fish and chips from Davy's Fried Fish in the Pit Village really are special. They're cooked in beef dripping using the traditional method of coal-fired ranges. What a treat and definitely a meal which is worth the wait. 

There are countless memories to be made at Beamish and dogs are welcome too. Families can enjoy the traditional fun fair, riding on vintage buses and choosing a bag of traditional sweets from the old-fashioned sweet shop in town. 

Beamish run a huge programme of special events too with lots of additional fun activities planned over summer. We visited over 1940s weekend and were able to watch weapon displays and inspections. I love that there is always something new to see and do here. 

Beamish is the perfect day out for all ages - my grandparents used to thoroughly enjoy stepping back in time and visiting with us when we were younger. Lots of happy memories! You can find out more about Beamish and book your tickets for this summer here. 

8 - Enjoy a Grand Afternoon Tea at Lumley Castle 

A variety of Afternoon Teas can now be booked to enjoy in the grandest of settings at Lumley Castle. I think this sounds like a perfect treat. Guests can choose from Grand Afternoon Tea, Pimms Afternoon Tea, Gin Afternoon Tea and more...... Find out more and book online here. 

9 - Visit an Alpaca Farm in Teesdale 

If you would like to visit a farm with a difference, how about Teesdale Alpacas. As well as the Alpaca Treks mentioned earlier in this post, the farm also offers a shorter farm visit where you can take a leisurely stroll around the farm and meet more about these wonderful animals. 

There are over 60 Llamas and Alpacas to meet and greet, all with their own names and unique personalities. They really are wonderful characters and will bring a smile to anyone's face. 

Children of all ages are more than welcome to enjoy this experience but under 12s do need to be supervised by an adult (1 adult to 1 child). Find out more and book your farm visit here. 

10 - Take a Private Tour of Durham City's Hidden Gems

Newcastle Tour Company offer private and small group tours across the region. Their 'Best of Durham Walking Tour' offers hidden insights into the City and each tour can be tailored to your personal tastes. I have watched a few highlights online and these tours really do look fab - the guests were taken to some real hidden gems that I'd not heard of before and they looked fantastic. Find out more and book here. 

I hope I have inspired you to book one of these incredible experiences in Durham this summer. I absolutely love exploring the area and can hand on heart recommend a visit (or multiple visits. Let me know if you fancy any of the experiences I have mentioned and or if you have any plans to visit Durham soon. 


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