Durham Lumiere Light Festival


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Festival highlights

Welcome to Durham Lumiere, a light festival that illuminates the city of Durham, UK, transporting visitors to a realm of spellbinding light exhibitions and stunning installations. Durham Lumiere is an unmissable event that offers creative artistry and more.


Durham Lumiere

About the Festival

Durham Lumiere is a festival of lights that celebrates the union of artistic expression and mesmerizing light. It is a spectacular event that transforms Durham, UK into a world of dazzling lights and colors, capturing the imagination of visitors and locals alike.

The festival features breathtaking light art displays such as illuminated miniature castles in the park and immersive light installations within the festival area. The event also offers majestic 3D and video mapping, transforming buildings into canvases of art and wonder. Travelers will also be enchanted by unique art displays such as human-like art installations and impressive light shows from the imaginative minds of local and international artists. Whatever your age is, Durham Lumiere has something for you.

Durham Lumiere Festival Dates (2023)

The festival takes place from 16-19 November 2023. Explore the captivating light exhibitions and projections, and immerse yourselves in the unforgettable event of the season.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Durham Lumiere happens in the heart of Durham, specifically at Durham Cathedral and its surrounding areas. 

Durham is conveniently located near several airports, with Newcastle International Airport being the closest option. The distance between Durham and Newcastle International Airport is approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers), making it a convenient choice for travelers heading to the city.

How to Reach Durham by Train from Other Cities

Durham is well-connected by train to various cities across the United Kingdom. Here are detailed guidelines on how to reach Durham by train from a few major cities:

London to Durham:

  • You can catch a train from London King’s Cross Station to Durham. The journey takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Trains run regularly, so it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance to secure the best fares.
  • Upon arrival at Durham Railway Station, you’ll be just a short walk away from the city center and the festival location.

Edinburgh to Durham:

  • Trains from Edinburgh to Durham are available and provide a scenic route through the beautiful countryside.
  • The journey typically takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Trains run regularly, so check the schedule and book your tickets ahead of time.

Manchester to Durham:

  • If you’re traveling from Manchester, you can take a train to Durham.
  • The journey duration is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the train service you choose.
  • Check train schedules and book your tickets for a smooth journey.

Birmingham to Durham:

  • Trains from Birmingham to Durham are available, although you may need to change trains at some point during the journey.
  • The total travel time can vary, but it’s typically around 3 to 3.5 hours.
  • Make sure to check the connections and book your tickets accordingly.

Newcastle to Durham:

  • If you’re arriving in Newcastle, you can take a local train from Newcastle Central Station to Durham.
  • The journey is short, usually taking around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Trains between Newcastle and Durham run frequently throughout the day.

Leeds to Durham:

  • Travelers from Leeds can take a train to Durham, which takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Check train schedules and book your tickets to ensure a comfortable journey.

Ensure to check the specific train schedules, as they may vary depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Booking your tickets in advance is advisable, especially during busy travel times or festival periods like Durham Lumiere. Durham Railway Station is conveniently located in the city center, making it easy for you to start enjoying the festival as soon as you arrive.

Other amazing lights festivals in the United Kingdom are:

Light Up Lancaster

Festival of Lights Longleat

Wakehurst Glow Wild

Festival Hours

The city of Durham comes to life with dazzling lights and mesmerizing light exhibitions from 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM. It is the perfect time to bask in the magic and wonder of the lights festival.

Cost to Visit Durham Lumiere

Durham Lumiere is a free event, allowing everyone from all walks of life to revel in stunning displays of lanterns and light artworks.

Durham Lumiere

Weather and What to Wear

Durham experiences chilly autumn nights during the festival dates. To comfortably enjoy the festival, it is best to dress warmly in layers, including a light jacket and a cozy sweater. Temperatures range from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius, so bringing scarves and gloves is recommended.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

For a comfortable stay, consider these hotels located conveniently near the festival:

Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

The Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County is a luxurious hotel that offers a breathtaking view of the cathedral. It features spacious rooms, on-site restaurants, and a fitness center. It also offers free high-speed internet service for you to share your festival photos online.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

The Radisson Blu Hotel is a contemporary hotel that provides a picturesque view of the River Wear. It features comfortable rooms and a restaurant that offers delectable dishes. You can also enjoy its amenities, such as ample parking, a fitness center, and accessible high-speed internet.

Hotel Indigo Durham

Hotel Indigo Durham is a walking distance from the festival and the city’s historic landmarks. It is a boutique hotel that features comfortable rooms, a well-equipped fitness center, and a restaurant that offers a delightful culinary experience. You can also enjoy their free Wi-Fi to share your festival photos with friends and families abroad.

What to Eat

Satisfy your taste buds at these top dining spots in Durham:


Lebaneat offers a delightful journey into the world of Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant features a range of Lebanese dishes that include Creamy Hummus, Kofta Lamb Wrap, Rotisserie Chicken, Shawarma Chicken, among others. They also offer the delectable Baklava for dessert. A visit to Lebaneat can perfectly complement your entire festival experience.

Tia’s Mexican & Mediterranean Restaurant 

For those who love Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, Tia’s Mexican & Mediterranean is the best place to be. Offering a range of delectable dishes, the restaurant is an ideal place to visit after enjoying the festival sights. You can try their dishes, such as Mexican Chicken, Blackened Caribbean Chicken, El Pimento Relleno, and Fillet of Salmon, among others. They also serve desserts such as Chocolate Fudge Brownie, New York Plain Cheesecake, and Toffee Crunch Pie.

Bistro Italiano

For authentic Italian cuisine, visit Bistro Italiano. They serve delectable dishes, such as Pollo al Limone, Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagne al forno, and Risotto Filetto, among others. Bistro Italiano is an ideal place to hang out after visiting the light festival in Durham.

More Things To Do In the Area

While at Durham Lumiere, explore these nearby attractions:

Durham Castle

Durham Castle offers an overlooking view of the River Wear and is a walking distance from Durham Lumiere. The castle is a Norman fortress that houses the imposing Great Hall and the Norman Chapel and its breathtaking Romanesque architecture. You can also take a leisure walk through the castle’s beautiful gardens.

Durham University Botanic Garden

The Durham University Botanic Garden is a lush and tranquil oasis and home to various plants from around the world. The Botanic Garden offers attractions for you to explore, such as themed gardens, glasshouses filled with exotic flora, and winding paths that lead you through various landscapes. 

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is an open air museum that transports visitors back in time to experience the North of England’s history. Explore the historic buildings and a Victorian town, where costumed guides and interactive exhibits bring history to life. You can also interact with friendly farm animals and experience traditional regional cuisine.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience in Durham Lumiere

Durham Lumiere is more than just a festival of lights; it’s an enchanting journey into a world where creativity, innovation, and history harmonize to create an unforgettable experience. Come and explore the festival, and indulge your senses with mesmerizing light exhibitions and displays. With the city’s charm and warmth, Durham Lumiere is an event that will sparkle in your hearts forever.


Q: Are pets allowed at Durham Lumiere? 

A: Unfortunately, pets are not permitted within the festival area.

Q: Can I take photographs during the event? 

A: Absolutely! Feel free to capture the magic of the festival and share it with friends and family.

Q: Are there any restrictions on bringing food and drinks? 

A: While there are food vendors at the festival, you’re welcome to bring your own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for attending Durham Lumiere? 

A: Durham Lumiere is a family-friendly event, and there are typically no age restrictions. It’s an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy the magical light displays. However, parents should supervise their children, especially in crowded areas.

Q: Is there a specific dress code for Durham Lumiere? 

A: There is no strict dress code, but it’s advisable to dress warmly and comfortably, especially in November when temperatures can be chilly. Layering is a good idea, and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes for walking around the festival. Dressing in festive attire, including glow-in-the-dark accessories, can add to the fun atmosphere.

Q: How can I stay updated on festival information such as dates and times?

A: To stay updated, visit the festival’s official website. 




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