Bishop Auckland Shines Bright as Aglow Opens to Visitors

Auckland Castle’s first large-scale Christmas event opened to the public on Wednesday 22nd November, dazzling visitors to the County Durham destination and kicking off the festive season in fabulous style. 

Visitors to AGLOW in Bishop Auckland will see Auckland Castle in an entirely new light, with stunning projections on the Castle walls and glowing rainbow-hued spheres of light covering the Bowling Green. A sparkling 100-metre-long tunnel of 100,000 stars leads into the Deer Park where large-scale illuminations with lasers, neon ropes, mirror balls, LED vines and starburst trees take visitors on a journey of adventure.   

Bishop Auckland AGLOW

Open until 31st December 2023 (excluding Christmas Day) AGLOW is one of the largest light trails in England. Visitors can find the tallest Christmas tree in the north of England, standing at an impressive 30 metres tall, which has been decorated by local students from East Durham College, as well as seventeen other awe-inspiring light installations. 

Jared Bowers, Chief Operating Officer at The Auckland Project, said: “Thousands of people are already planning to visit Bishop Auckland during AGLOW and we can’t wait to welcome everyone. This is what The Auckland Project has been preparing for all winter: providing a wonderful setting for friends and families to gather during the holiday season, to have fun and make memories together.  

“We hosted a special preview evening earlier this week, and the trail received fantastic comments. It certainly got everyone feeling festive!”, Jared added.  

The glittering one-and-a-half-mile long trail through the ancient Auckland Castle parkland gives visitors views of the illuminated Deer House, silk flower lanterns, pyrotechnics on the River Gaunless, and Santa’s Village, complete with performances from Santa and his cheeky elves, and a choice of warming festive food and drink stalls.  

The Castle and grounds are utilised to their full extent, making every twist and turn of the 1.5 hour-long illuminated route a Christmas experience like no other. 

Bishop Auckland AGLOW

Edward Perry, CEO at The Auckland Project said: “The Deer Park is a much-loved area of Bishop Auckland, and grew hugely in popularity over Covid. This winter, we’re echoing what the grounds would have been to the Prince Bishops, and showing the whole of the North East just how special these pleasure grounds are.   

“Along with the vintage fairground rides and the Christmas village, AGLOW is an exciting new offering from The Auckland Project, showcasing its commitment to the area and providing entertainment for visitors year-round.” 

During the trail, visitors can take in the sights over a mulled wine or hot chocolate with nearby fire pits providing winter warmth.  

For those making a day of it, The Auckland Project has plenty more to offer including Auckland Castle, the Spanish Gallery, Faith Museum and Mining Art Gallery, open Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30am – 4pm (separate tickets required). 

Bishop Auckland AGLOW

Entry times for the trail are at 30-minute intervals from 4:30pm – 8:30pm each day. Please allow at least 90 minutes to complete the trail.   

Tickets are £21.50 for adults, £14.50 for children or £66.50 for families (consisting of one adult and three children, or two adults and two children.) Children aged 2 and under enter for free. 

The Auckland Project Annual Pass Holders receive 20% discount on the ticket prices. 

Tickets can be booked on the website:  

About The Auckland Project    

The Auckland Project is a regeneration charity with a difference. The historic town of Bishop Auckland has a rich and surprising history spanning over 2,000 years, and The Auckland Project believes that the culture and heritage of Bishop Auckland has the power to bring about transformative change for the people who visit, work, and live there.   

The Auckland Project is creating a visitor destination in Bishop Auckland, incorporating Auckland Castle (once home to the Prince Bishops of Durham), Walled Garden, Deer Park, the Spanish Gallery, the Mining Art Gallery, Auckland Tower visitor centre, Weardale Railway and the Faith Museum (opening in autumn 2023). At the heart of these sites is St Peter’s Chapel, in Auckland Castle: the home of the Prince Bishops, and the historic seat of faith and power in the North of England. The themes of faith and power are repeated across The Auckland Project’s attractions, inviting conversations about belonging, faith, loss, sacrifice, community, love and creativity.   

Alongside the visitor destination, The Auckland Project is also working directly with the local community to deliver a wide range of formal and informal learning for adults and young people, create jobs and apprenticeships and, both directly and indirectly, support sustainable living.  

For more information about The Auckland Project, please visit or search Auckland Project on Facebook, Instagram and /or Twitter.  

Images supplied

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