PEOPLE planning to visit Bishop Auckland Food Festival are encouraged to plan their journey ahead of the weekend.

The free Durham County Council-run event will feature more than 100 stalls and demonstrations from celebrity cooks such as MasterChef’s John Torode and Bake Off’s Briony May Williams this Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, 3.

With thousands of visitors expected across the weekend, organisers are encouraging people to think about their travel arrangements.

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An accessible park and ride service will be in operation for visitors which will run between Bishop Auckland College, DL14 6JZ, and the town centre.

Buses will depart from the college from 9.30am on Saturday and Sunday, and the last return bus will depart from Newgate Street at 5.30pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday. Return tickets cost £2 for adults, 50p for children aged five to 15-years-old and are free for those under five.

Town centre car parks will be open but may be busy and diversions will be in place due to event road closures.

Visitors are encouraged to maintain social distancing where possible and wear a face mask. Lateral flow tests are also recommended before attending.

Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “As each day brings us closer to the return of Bishop Auckland Food Festival, we hope people are as excited as we are to welcome visitors, traders, and star chefs back for a fun-filled weekend.

“We are expecting the town centre to be busy, so we’re encouraging people to think about how they are going to get to the festival. We will have an accessible park and ride running over the two days which will help minimise delays and ease congestion, allowing people to arrive easily and not miss out on any of the fun.”

Cllr Katie Eliot, Mayor of Bishop Auckland, said: “We are very excited that Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns to our town this week. We want people to maximise their visit to the festival and our wonderful town, so we do encourage festival-goers to ensure that they plan before they arrive, as there are lots of parking and transport options available to get you here safely.”

Bishop Auckland Food Festival will support the region's economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and support County Durham's bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 and is a key part of the council’s vibrant cultural programme of festival and events.

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BBC MasterChef star John Torode will take to the stage on the Saturday, along with Yorkshire-born chef, writer, and presenter Joe Hurd and EpiVegan Brett Cobley.

Bishop Auckland’s own Mike Bartley, who dazzled the judges on MasterChef this year, will be cooking up a storm on both the Saturday and Sunday.

And reigning MasterChef champion Tom Rhodes, Great British Bake Off star Briony May Williams and world-class chocolatier Paul A Young will be serving up inspiration on the Sunday.

To stay up to date with the latest festival news, visit and follow @bishfoodfest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit

To find out more about County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture and to leave messages of support, visit and follow @Durham2025 on Facebook and @Durham_2025 on Twitter.


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