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Back by popular demand, Knight School is returning to Auckland Castle this summer after last year’s sell out sessions impressed visiting families.

Run by The Auckland Project, the regeneration charity and attraction in Bishop Auckland, Knight School returns from Wednesday 7th August to Sunday 18th August.

The outdoor interactive sessions suitable for five to 11-year-olds, teach jousting, swordplay and archery skills, whilst exploring what medieval life in Bishop Auckland would’ve been like. Visitors rise through the ranks from ward to squire during their session which ends with a celebration ceremony on the steps of Auckland Castle.

Ali Hone, head of public programming at The Auckland Project, said: “Knight School was our most popular family event last summer, so we’re thrilled to bring it back for this year’s summer holidays with more sessions over a longer time period.

“We had wonderful feedback from families last year whose children enjoyed squiring for the legendary Anthony Bek, Crusador, Knight and Prince Bishop of Durham. Parents were thrilled to see their little ones engage in such vivid and real history in the historic setting of Auckland Castle brought so thoroughly to life by play.”

For older children aged 9 to 15 years old, the organisation is running a Summer School from 21st to 23rd August and participants take part in a rich variety of activities inspired by the collection of attractions that form The Auckland Project.

Dive into the past with hands-on archaeology sessions, unleash creativity in arts and drama workshops and explore the vibrant history of Prince Bishops of Durham and the county’s mining heritage.

For preschoolers, a Little Acorns session on Friday 2nd August engages little ones in art, nature and local heritage as they explore Auckland Castle’s grounds. Sessions take place on the first Friday of every month until December.

“Everything we do here at The Auckland Project is rooted in place and tells stories of the real people and events that happened here. We have so much incredible heritage and it’s so important to connect people with that at every age,” added Ali.

As well as summer activities, all attractions at The Auckland Project are open for visitors to enjoy a day out.

Wander through Auckland Castle to see the impressive home to the Prince Bishops of Durham; the newly unveiled gardens created by garden designer Pip Morrison; the Spanish Gallery, a unique home to rare and historic pieces of art honouring Spain and its connection to the area; the Faith Museum, a one-of-a-kind museum exploring 6,000 years of British history through the lens of faith; and finally the Mining Art Gallery, an intimate and awe-inspiration collection of mining art.

Knight School sessions take place from 7th to 18th August from 10:30am – 11:45am and 2:30pm – 3:45pm.

Knight School costs £10 per session and requires a ticket to Auckland Castle, Park and Gardens. To book tickets, please visit:

Summer school takes place from 21st – 23rd August from 10am – 4pm, costing £25 per day, with packed lunch available to include at £5.50 a day To book tickets, please visit

Little Acorns costs £5 and takes place from 10:30am – 12pm. Booking is required via the website.

For regular visitors, The Auckland Project’s Unlimited Pass costs £30 for adults, £45 for a family of one adult and up to four children, and £75 for a family of two adults and up to four children. To purchase, please visit

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