Bishop Auckland it is now the largest town in the Wear Valley and as such is lively, with good cafes, excellent shopping and busy markets on Thursdays and Saturdays. There is a good coffee and snack bar on the station.
The town’s fascinating history intertwines with that of the Bishops of Durham; one of its earliest references is in 1020 when it was recorded that Bishop Auckland was presented to the then Bishop of Durham by King Canute.
The Roman Dere Street passes adjacent to the rail station and is the main street through the centre of town, eventually leading to the nearby Roman fort of Binchester. The industrial revolution and arrival of the railways brought large scale coal mining to Bishop Auckland and transformed it from its pastoral beginnings.
The stunning Auckland Castle is set in 800 acres of Parkland, has been the seat of the Bishops of Durham since the 12th century and is open to the public. Stan Laurel of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy lived in the town during his childhood. The rail line continues onwards from here as the heritage Weardale Railway to Eastgate in Weardale and is well worth a trip.
For more information on the facilities at Bishop Auckland Station visit the National Rail website.