Lumiere: UK's biggest illumination festival set to light up Durham and Bishop Auckland

The four-day event will illuminate Durham and Bishop Auckland from Thursday 16 November to Sunday 19 November. Credit: Luxmuralis

The UK’s largest light festival is set to attract thousands of visitors to the North East as it returns for the eighth time.

Lumiere, a four-day event, will illuminate Durham City and Bishop Auckland from Thursday 16 November to Sunday 19 November.

The light exhibition will transform Durham into a "nocturnal art experience", by lighting its streets, bridges, buildings and river with work by artists from 15 different countries.

This year's programme also includes the introduction of a satellite programme in Bishop Auckland, allowing more people to experience the Lumiere festival as it transforms the heart of the town. 

The event has been running since 2009. Credit: Artichoke/Durham County Council

World-renowned artists Ai Weiwei and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will feature across the 40 installations.

Visitors are being urged to plan their journeys and to use the extended Durham City Park and Ride services.

John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council, said: “It is important that festival-goers plan their travel arrangements in advance as we are expecting large numbers of visitors during Lumiere.

“We would also advise anyone travelling through Durham City to view the scheduled road closures and travel changes, and consider how these, alongside increased traffic, may affect their journey.”

The events are free to attend, with the Durham exhibition running from 4:30pm to 11pm and the Bishop Auckland installation showing between 5pm and 10pm each night.

The biennial festival, which has been running since 2009, has welcomed more than one million visitors since its debut.

Part of Durham County Council’s "culture-led regeneration" project, the event aims to establish Durham as the ‘culture county’.

Access to Durham’s peninsula and some other areas of the city will be limited in the run-upto the festival due to several road and footpath closures.

A full list of Park and Ride sites, changes to parking bays, as well as road and footpath closures is available on the Durham County Council website.

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