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Kynren

fireworks kynren

Taken at Kynren’s biggest firework display in November 2021

A massive, outdoor attraction and performance in the northeast, about historic events that took place in England. “Kynren” was named after the Anglo Saxon word “Cynren” which means “generation”, “kin” and/or “family”. The name fits well for the attraction- based in Bishop Auckland- as it’s shows depict Arthur’s epic discovery of his own roots.

Tis outdoor attraction is essentially an open-air theatre situated next to the viaduct at the bottom of the escarpment where Auckland Castle can be seen on top.  In the show, you will be taken through as many as 29 dramatic scenes, that feature thrilling, action-packed and emotional stories celebrating the history of Great Britain.

The performance is unique, and is the most spectacular spectacles in the Northeast that takes place in Bishop Auckland every summer. It is run entirely by volunteers of all ages from as young 5+. It features live animals in many of the enacted scenes. With live action, amazing stunts, and choreographed battle scenes and pyrotechnics, the show is certainly a must-see for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Why Visit This Attraction?

Kynren is an outdoor attraction like no other in County Durham, or even in the Northeast. It offers weekly spectacular evening open-air shows, and also other day-time attractions as well including the Viking Village.

The Outdoor Performance

Kynren is an epic tale going through generations of historic milestones of Great Britain. But the show is more than just a history lesson…

All scenes depicted in the 2-hour long show are stunningly detailed and the audience’s experience is taken to the next level. The entire length of the show features live action, animated thrilling scenes, awesome stuns, lots of sound effects and fireworks, and even includes livestock in the act- the animals you will see as part of the show are horses, donkeys, and geese!!

You will be sitting in an open-air theatre, sitting on the stands (the tribune) that watches over the entire arena. On the arena you will witness battle scenes, edge-of-your-seat action, emotional acting, and well-choreographed horsemanship. There will be music, dancing, fighting, singing and dramatic interacting performed entirely by volunteers.

Other events they run include the great fireworks display on Bonfire Night every year…

Not to be missed!! Please visit their site here for more information and to book tickets as they do sell fast.

The Viking Village

In 2019, Kynren introduced new scenes to the show depicting the Vikings. This bought around the idea of establishing an authentic Viking Village just next to the main tribune. The Village is a quaint little attraction that features everything Viking, from a woodworker’s cottage to the cookhouse and vegetable patch and also the blacksmith’s forge. You can watch the blacksmith’s in action, banging hot metal to make real chainmail!!

The entire attraction gives the visitors a real experience, so they feel like they really have gone back in time!!

Hospitality

The venue is of course, a massive attraction and all visitors need feeding!! There is food vans along the back of the tribune that are open for business serving all kinds of street food prior to the shows.

They recently opened a new bar in 2019, serving beer, wine, and spirits as well as soft drinks.

People have a massive choice of food to eat and drinks to drink.

Another brand-new instalment is the Arches Hall Dining, which delivers a unique dining experience for all visitors. The venue is a small terrace overlooking the lakeside on the venue grounds. There will be pre-dinner drinks included as part of the package, along with a three-course meal afterwards. People will feel like they are dining like kings.

You can view more about this and how to book it on their website here.

Volunteering

The volunteers are what make the show unique too. All the actors are very good at what they do, and they have volunteered to be part of the greatest outdoor performance in the Northeast. This brings a sense of community spirit and authenticity as well as personality to the entire experience.

The organisation is very open-minded and accepts people of all needs and abilities to volunteer. You can be part of the show and have the best experience of your lifetime.

Volunteering at Kynren is great for people’s confidence, social skills and general wellbeing, and it would be a great thing to have on one’s CV too, especially if you’re looking to for a career in acting and theatre. It’s not difficult to apply, you can do so on their site here.

Accessibility in the attraction venue

Kynren, and the organisation that runs this outdoor attraction is very accepting of all needs. The volunteers will go the extra mile to include everyone. You can find out more about their accessibility on their website here.

  • Wheelchairs accessibility everywhere. Big wide paths to get to and around the different parts of the grounds including the tribune and bar. The tribune seating includes disabled seats at the front, and the site provide wheelchairs as well.
  • Park and ride. There is a shuttlebus service that picks people up from the car park at the top of the hill. The bus brings the visitors down, right into the ground’s main car park which is just a few minutes’ walk from the tribune and other attractions.
  • Public transport available includes the park and ride but there is also a bus service running from Durham, Darlington, and other surrounding towns/cities to Bishop Auckland. There is a train from Darlington too, which takes you to the train station about ten minutes’ walk from the nearest park and ride location. The grounds are also within walking distance from the visitor’s car park at the top of the hill.
  • Toilet facilities all around the grounds, including portable toilet cabins on the visitor car park and around the site. The main toilets are at the tribune, and they are easy to access. There is disabled toilets there too.

Other benefits

  • Food and drink is provided on site, sold at various food vans and stands at the tribune area. The food options are very diverse, including vegan-friendly and gluten-free food. There is drinks, both alcoholic drink and soft drinks, served at the bar which is open before the show starts.
  • The venue includes loads of open space, if anywhere gets crowded there is plenty of space for people to wander around too if they get uncomfortable. At the end of the show, there is crowd-control in place ushering everyone out as they leave at once, but people can hang around behind if they don’t want to be in the crowds.
  • The experience team is part of the many volunteers working there. There will always be a member of staff on post before, during and after the show to help and provide guidance.

If this sounds exciting and interesting, check out more on their main website.

For similar venues, check out some of our other listings on our site here.

Q Can you bring your own food to have a picnic?

You can, however food and drink is not allowed on the tribune unless bought from one of the food vans or bar at the tribune prior to the show.

There are plenty of picnic benches around the grounds where the car park is, where you can sit and have a picnic before the show as well.

Q Are dogs allowed at Kynren?

Dogs are not allowed at the tribune or other attractions on the site unfortunately. You can bring your dog around the car park area and surrounding fields and there is a bridal footpath running alongside the grounds where you can take your dog for walks.

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