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Holiday Parks in County Durham

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Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, situated in the picturesque County Durham, offers a perfect blend of on-site amenities and access to the beautiful North East coastline.
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Durham Coastal Lodges is part of our Autograph Lodge Holidays Collection, beautifully tucked away in the swathes of County Durham countryside.
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Set in 21 acres of breathtaking countryside, Heather View offers everything you need for a fantastic holiday experience.
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Sandy Park is a beautiful park is part of our exclusive Bouja Luxury Boutique Breaks Collection comprising of a spacious pods and two cottages each with outdoor hot tubs with wonderful views over the stunning Crimdon beach, the park is located next to a beautiful nature reserve with stunning walks from your doorstep.
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Witton Castle Country Park is a privately owned 5 star country park nestled in the beautiful countryside of County Durham, we have just a small selection of holiday homes available which are all new for 2023 and offer guests a high level of comfort.
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county-durham Park & Visitor Guide

Welcome to Durham, a fantastic destination in the North East for your next family holiday. Enjoy spending time in a mix of city, countryside, and coast. Durham is a mesmerizing mix of historical wonders and natural beauty, a land where majestic castles guard the rugged landscape, where the Durham Dales unfold, and where the city life buzzes against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring Durham Cathedral. Take an unforgettable journey through its quaint villages, medieval towns, and 50 miles of breathtaking coastline. Ready to explore?

Have You Discovered UK Holiday Parks?

These self-contained resorts offer caravans, lodges, and sometimes tents or glamping pods. You can enjoy a range of facilities including swimming pools, entertainment venues, kids' clubs, and restaurants. They're designed for families looking for a break where everything is on your doorstep!

Holiday parks offer more space and freedom than hotels, such as separate bedrooms, living areas, and your own outdoor space. With the added bonus of on-site amenities and entertainment. They're self-catering too, saving money on dining out.

Going for a UK holiday park means you can forget about stressful airports, and luggage restrictions, and you can pack the car with as many of your home comforts as you like. Plus, you're contributing to the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint.

Why Take Your 2024 Family Holiday Park Break in County Durham?

Picture wandering through the historic streets of Durham City, marvelling at the ancient architecture and enjoying the local eateries. Dive into the atmosphere of the Durham Regatta, or immerse yourselves in the magic of the Bishop Auckland Food Festival, a paradise for foodies of all ages.

The adrenaline rush of exploring the Durham Dales, the thrill of uncovering the mysteries of Raby Castle, or the joy of participating in the diverse cultural tapestry of events and festivals – Durham has it all.

The county's rich heritage, combined with its stunning landscapes and family-friendly attractions like the Beamish Museum, offers a perfect backdrop for creating memories. Durham is not just a holiday destination; it's a place where families come together to laugh, learn, and create stories that last a lifetime.

If you're visiting County Durham with kids

Durham has plenty to offer kids from Diggerland Durham to Beamish Museum, where the past is brought to life, and Adventure Valley is packed with fun. Holiday parks here cater to families with kids' clubs and playgrounds.

Pet Friendly Breaks

County Durham is welcoming to pets, with many trails and beaches to explore. The Dog and Gun in Potto and The Water House in Durham are just a couple of the pet-friendly pubs.

Dog walking ideas in County Durham

Route Distance (miles) Scenery Postcode
Hamsterley Forest Varies Woodland DL13 3NL
High Force Waterfall 2 Waterfall/River DL12 0XH
Seaham Beach Varies Coastal SR7 7AG
Castle Eden Walkway Varies Countryside TS27 4PA
Teesdale Way Varies River/Countryside DL12 8ET

Dining at the park, or heading out

Many holiday parks boast on-site restaurants, offering convenience after a busy day. Local cuisine includes hearty dishes like panackelty. For a family-friendly pub, try The Bay Horse in Bishop Auckland. Couples might enjoy the intimate setting of The Cellar Door in Durham.

Outdoor Activities

County Durham is home to outdoor centres like Weardale Adventure Centre, offering activities from canoeing to rock climbing. Expect to pay around £30-£50 per person for most activities. Seasonal opening times apply, so check ahead.

Nearby shopping

Name Type On Offer Postcode
Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre Discounted Brands SR7 9HU
Prince Bishops Shopping Centre Shopping Centre High Street Brands DL14 7JH
Durham Markets Local Markets Artisan Goods DL15 9ES
The Gates Shopping Centre Shopping Centre Mixed Retail DL1 1SL
Arnison Retail Centre Shopping Park Large Retailers DH1 5GB

Top Parks for 2024 in County Durham

Crimdon Dene, County Durham

Driving Distance: About 33 minutes | Sleeps: up to 8 | Pet friendly? No

About this park: Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, located a mere 33 minutes' drive from the heart of County Durham, offers a delightful mix of seaside charm and fun-packed activities, with its proximity to Durham’s Heritage Coastline and on-site amenities including heated indoor pools, an outdoor play park, and sports court.

For the kids - The park is a haven for children with its small indoor heated fun pool complete with a spa bath, an outdoor play area, and an all-weather sports court. The Ocean Edge Entertainment Centre and children’s entertainment programmes.

What's on-site? Guests can enjoy a variety of on-site facilities such as the Boathouse Bar & Restaurant for dining, Wi-Fi access for connectivity, and a convenience store for essentials. The park also features an arcade area, a launderette, and detailed swimming pool schedules.

What's nearby? The local area boasts attractions like Hartlepool's Maritime Experience (20 minutes drive, entry fees apply) and the historic Durham City (30 30-minute drive), where you can explore the iconic Durham Cathedral. For a day at the beach, the sandy shores are just a short walk away.

Accommodation options: Crimdon Dene offers a range of accommodation options from the refurbished Norham Lodge, suitable for up to 4 guests, to the spacious Witton caravan that sleeps up to 8.

Whitley Bay Holiday Park, Northumberland

Driving Distance: About 51 minutes | Sleeps: up to 8 | Pet friendly? Yes

About this park: Whitley Bay Holiday Park is a scenic 51-minute drive from County Durham and offers direct beach access, a heated indoor pool, and a nature reserve, making it an ideal spot for family adventures and relaxation.

For the kids - The park is equipped with children’s entertainment and a variety of sport and leisure activities to keep the young ones active and happy. The outdoor play area and the amusements are perfect for family fun.

What's on-site? On-site amenities include The Lighthouse Showbar for evening entertainment, The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant for meals, and Scoops for treats. There's also a convenience store, launderette, and Wi-Fi access in designated areas.

What's nearby? Nearby attractions include the historic Tynemouth Priory and Castle (15 minutes drive, entry fees apply) and the vibrant city of Newcastle upon Tyne (25 minutes drive) with its rich culture and shopping opportunities.

Accommodation options: The park offers a variety of caravans and lodges, such as the pet-friendly Corbridge caravan that sleeps up to 8 and the stylish Blyth Lodge for 6 guests. With options for both pet owners and larger groups.

Sandy Bay, Northumberland

Driving Distance: About 52 minutes | Sleeps: up to 8 | Pet friendly? No

About this park: Sandy Bay Holiday Park is a short 52-minute drive from County Durham and is set in the beautiful Ashington area, offering an indoor heated pool, sports court, and a Showbar for entertainment.

For the kids - The park has a dedicated adventure playground and sports court, as well as a soft play area, ensuring that children of all ages have plenty of activities to choose from.

What's on-site? Guests can enjoy the indoor heated pool, The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant, and the Fish and Chippery for dining options. The park also features an amusements arcade and a Koi Carp ornamental lake for a tranquil experience.

What's nearby? Explore the local area with a visit to Woodhorn Museum (10 minutes drive, entry fees apply) or enjoy the nearby beaches. Northumberland countryside offers great walking trails and scenic views.

Accommodation options: Accommodation at Sandy Bay includes a range of caravans such as the Wallington and Matfen, both accommodating up to 8 guests. While the park does not allow pets, it provides a variety of options for families and groups.

Heathergate Boutique Holiday Park, Northumberland

Driving Distance: About 52 minutes | Sleeps: up to 4 | Pet friendly? Yes

About this park: Located just under an hour's drive from County Durham, Heathergate Boutique Holiday Park is an award-winning, tranquil retreat set close to Hexham and the North Pennines, offering new boutique spa facilities including a heated indoor pool.

For the kids - While Heathergate is more focused on relaxation and tranquility, the surrounding area provides ample opportunities for children to explore nature and enjoy the countryside.

What's on-site? The park boasts new spa facilities with a sauna, steam room, and gymnasium. It's a peaceful haven without the hustle and bustle of more entertainment-focused parks.

What's nearby? Hexham, voted Britain’s favourite market town, is just 2 miles away, offering historic sites like Hexham Abbey. Hadrian’s Wall is 5 miles away, perfect for history enthusiasts and hikers.

Accommodation options: Heathergate offers luxurious lodges such as the Portland and Juniper Deluxe Lodge, each sleeping up to 4 guests. The park is pet-friendly, and some accommodations come with a hot tub.

Family Days Out In County Durham

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

  • Opening Times: 10am - 5pm daily
  • Prices: Adults £19.50, Children (5-16) £11.50, Under 5s free
  • Postcode: DH9 0RG
  • Est. time required: Full day
  • Nearest parking: On-site, included in admission

Beamish is an open-air museum that brings history to life. Kids can ride vintage trams, explore a recreated town, and even attend a lesson in an Edwardian school. It's a hit for all ages, and they're always adding new exhibits, like the 1950s town expansion. To beat the crowds, aim for a weekday visit. Grab a picnic to enjoy in the grounds, and don't miss the sweet shop for some old-fashioned treats.

Phone number: 0191 370 4000 | Web:

Adventure Valley

  • Opening Times: 10am - 5pm daily
  • Prices: Adults £12.95, Children £13.95, Under 2s free
  • Postcode: DH1 5SG
  • Est. time required: 3-4 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site, free

Adventure Valley is a blast for energetic kids and parents. It's packed with play areas, animal encounters, and seasonal events like the Maize Maze. The indoor play zones are perfect for rainy days. To save some cash, book your tickets online in advance. If your little ones love animals, don't miss the daily shows and the chance to feed the goats.

Phone number: 0191 386 8291 | Web:

Durham Cathedral

  • Opening Times: 9am - 6pm daily
  • Prices: Free, donations welcome
  • Postcode: DH1 3EH
  • Est. time required: 1-2 hours
  • Nearest parking: Prince Bishops Shopping Centre

Durham Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marvel of Norman architecture. It's free to enter, but the tower climb (with a small fee) offers stunning views. It's a peaceful spot for families to explore, and the Open Treasure exhibit adds an interactive element for kids. Visit during a choral service to hear the incredible acoustics.


High Force Waterfall

  • Opening Times: 10am - 4pm daily
  • Prices: Adults £2, Children £1
  • Postcode: DL12 0XH
  • Est. time required: 1-2 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site, £3 per vehicle

High Force is one of the most impressive waterfalls in England. The walk to the falls is a manageable trek for families and a great way to get some fresh air. The best time to visit is after heavy rain when the falls are at their most powerful. Remember to wear sturdy shoes and keep an eye on the kids; the rocks can be slippery.


Raby Castle

  • Opening Times: 11am - 4:30pm, check website for seasonal variations
  • Prices: Adults £12, Children £6, Under 5s free
  • Postcode: DL2 3AH
  • Est. time required: 3-4 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site, free

Raby Castle is a medieval fortress with stunning grounds and a deer park. The castle tour is fascinating, and the guides are great with kids. The gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, and there's a playground to let the kids blow off some steam. Check out the events calendar for jousting tournaments and other family-friendly activities.

Phone number: 01833 660202 | Web:

The Bowes Museum

  • Opening Times: 10am - 5pm daily
  • Prices: Adults £14, Children free
  • Postcode: DL12 8NP
  • Est. time required: 2-3 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site, free

The Bowes Museum is an art and history museum housed in a French chateau-style building. It's surprisingly kid-friendly, with interactive exhibits and activities. The Silver Swan automaton is a must-see; check the daily demonstration times. The museum also has lovely gardens for a picnic. Families can get a joint ticket with Raby Castle for a discounted rate.

Phone number: 01833 690606 | Web:

These attractions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to family fun in County Durham. Whether you're staying in one of the holiday parks in the area or just visiting for the day, you're in for a treat with these diverse and engaging destinations.

Guests Ask

Is County Durham a good place to visit ‘off-season’?

Absolutely, it's quieter and often cheaper. Attractions like Beamish Museum and Durham Cathedral are open year-round. Many holiday parks, such as Witton Castle Country Park, offer cosy accommodations with heating and double glazing.

Will my hot tub be cleaned before we arrive?

Yes, if you've booked a lodge with a hot tub at places like Stanley Villa Farm Camping, it'll be cleaned and balanced before you check-in. They're usually maintained daily by staff to ensure they're spotless for your relaxation and enjoyment.

Can we bring our pets to the holiday park?

Many holiday parks in County Durham are pet-friendly, like Castledene Holiday Park, which welcomes furry friends. Always check the park's pet policy before booking, as some may have restrictions on the number or size of pets allowed.

How do we book activities?

Booking activities can usually be done online or at the park's reception. For popular activities or during peak times at parks it's wise to book in advance to secure your spot. Some activities are drop-in, but it's always best to check ahead.

Are there any discounts available for local attractions?

Yes, holiday parks often have partnerships with local attractions. Check with the park's reception or welcome pack for discount vouchers. For instance, guests at Riverside Leisure Park might get deals for nearby adventures like Adventure Valley or Diggerland.

What kind of entertainment is provided for children?

Entertainment varies by park, but expect kids' clubs, live shows, and themed events. Teesdale Barnard Castle Caravan Site is known for its family-friendly activities. Always check the park's schedule as some events might be seasonal or require booking.

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