A £2.5m Welcome Centre, featuring a 95ft (29m) tower has opened in Bishop Auckland.
The tower located outside the walls of Auckland Castle is part of project to regenerate the town and attract more visitors.
The Auckland Trust say the tower will be the first port of call for visitors to find out more information and buy tickets for all of it's venues as they open over the next two years.
To celebrate its official launch on Saturday 20th October tours of the building are taking place with family-focussed talks by it's Curators about the inspiration behind the Tower’s design and the history of the Prince Bishops of Durham.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the panoramic views from the Tower’s 15m high viewing platform.
On the first floor, Bishop Auckland-based artist and illustrator, Laura Brenchley, will lead The Big Draw drop in sessions, encouraging visitors of all ages and artistic abilities to dress up in costume and create a fun self-portrait, using their fingerprint.
Once complete, the collaborative artwork will go on display in the learning rooms at 900-year-old Auckland Castle, which reopens next year following a multi-million pound conservation programme