PADDINGTON Bear, Gandalf and the Gruffalo are among the literary characters who will be recreated in ice during a festival next week.

This year’s Fire and Ice festival, which takes place in Durham during half term, is based around some of the most popular characters from children’s books.

There will be nine installations, with other characters including the Tin Man from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Mr Earthworm from Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

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The event is organised by Durham’s Business Improvement District (BID). Engagement manager Adam Deathe said: “The theme of literary characters has really given us a chance to get creative while working with some of the nation’s best-loved storybook characters and children’s literary brands.

“We couldn’t be more excited to see them brought to life from the pages of these books as icy installations in Durham this half term.”

It takes place on Friday 16 and Saturday 17, when visitors will also be able to see ice carving displays by Glacial Arts, which worked on TV show Games of Thrones and have a go themselves.

A grand finale starts at 5pm each day, which a longer version taking place at 6pm.

Half term will also see a number of other events taking place in the city centre.

Durham Markets is hosting a farmers market on Thursday, which will also include free face painting.

On Friday, children can meet mini beasts in the Indoor Market, and between 4pm and 9pm the Full Moon Market takes place with street food vans and live music.

On Saturday, visitors will be able to watch a Chinese Lion Dance to welcome the Chinese New Year of Dog.