One of the North East’s most famous food festivals is making its return this weekend (April 22-23), when more than 100 traders will take over a County Durham marketplace for an unforgettable weekend.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival, open from 10am to 5pm this Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday, is back - selling everything from burgers to cheese and featuring five celebrity chefs performing demonstrations for attendees.

The festival, organised by Durham County Council, brought in a record 30,000 visitors in 2022 - and visitors are this year urged to use public transport as well as the park and ride service taking people from Bishop Auckland College to the town centre.

Read more: Bishop Auckland Food Festival 2023 Comp: Prizes up for grabs

Councillr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said organisers are expecting a great turn out this year.

She said: “The festival has established itself as a firm favourite in our annual events calendar, and rightly so.

“It brings the town to life, bringing people together to have fun, try some sensational food and drink, and enjoy a great family day out.”

As well as experiencing a wide variety of bites to eat, those wishing to see some live-action cooking can show up to demonstrations from five famous chefs.

In the Saturday line-up you can see:

  • Bake off Star Janusz Domagala, cooking at 10.30am and 1.30pm
  • Writer and TV chef Rachel Allen at 11.30am and 2.30pm
  • ITV This Morning’s Phil Vickery at 12.30pm and 3.30pm

The Northern Echo: ITV This Morning star Phil Vickery.ITV This Morning star Phil Vickery. (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

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On Sunday, visitors can look forward to:

  • Bake off runner-up Sandro Farmhouse at 10.30am and 1.10pm
  • MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt at 11.20am and 2pm
  • Bake off Star Janusz Domagala, cooking again at 12.20pm and 3pm

The Northern Echo: Bake off Star Janusz DomagalaBake off Star Janusz Domagala (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

There’ll also be live music, family-friendly craft and spray painting workshops and street theatre featuring dancing ‘grannies’, human hedges, singing waiters, and chefs on stilts.

The Auckland Project is getting in on the act, hosting a children’s dinner party at No.43 in the Market Place, plus Spanish Gallery-inspired art activities in Auckland Tower.

An accessible park-and-ride service shuttling visitors between Bishop Auckland College (DL14 6JZ) and the town centre will operate throughout.

Buses will run from 9.30am on Saturday and Sunday, with the last return bus running at 5.30pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday.

Return tickets cost £2 for those aged 16 and over and 50p for children aged five to 15, while under fives travel free.

Town centre car parks will be open but may be busy and some town centre roads will be closed for the event.

To find out more about the food festival, click here