In County Durham, Auckland Castle has reopened after three years of restoration to attract more tourists. The castle, which once belonged to the Church of England, was bought by millionaire Jonathan Ruffer in 2012. It was then handed off to the new Auckland Castle Trust. The restoration was helped by the National Lottery too (£12.4m) to return to its Gothic splendour.
Now, for the first time in history, the castle is open to tourists who want to experience this glorious castle. The castle was once home to Auckland&rsquos bishops and tourists will be allowed to view the former bishop&rsquos apartments. The lavish interiors will display paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran, among others. The castle has been renovated to spearhead an art and cultural transformation in the community and to boost the local economy. It will serve as an art gallery and will have several exhibitions all year round.
Tourists can see the Auckland Tower, the deer park, walled gardens, mining art gallery, Spanish museum and a faith museum. The castle will also host open-air theatre performances. On the castle grounds, tourists can enjoy meals at Bishop&rsquos Kitchen, Spanish Gallery and Water Garden, where locally-sourced, rich and seasonal food will be served.
The Auckland Castle is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. For more information see aucklandproject.org