More than three dozen horses, a thousand actors and a gaggle of geese taking centre stage can only mean one thing. Kynren is back.

Charging through 2,000 years of history in just 90 minutes, the summer spectacular has returned to Bishop Auckland to tell an Epic Tale of England through the eyes of the North East. From bloody battles with Vikings to the suffragette movement and everything in between, there’s not a major event in English history that isn’t told during Young Arthur’s journey through time.

The Northern Echo: Kynren 2023

The familiar fixture is set to return on July 29, but we were invited along with Kynren’s neighbours, to a special preview of this years show- which featured a tribute to the Windrush Generation, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush and the 492 people on board.

Think Back to the Future but with Northerners, and horses instead of a DeLorean. Young Arthur travels through time on a quest to learn about his history and where he comes from. During this, he encounters some of the most prominent periods in England and the North East’s history - witnessing Boudica’s uprising against the Romans, Vikings raids against Lindisfarne and St Cuthbert’s journey to Durham.

The group of volunteers from around the community choreograph a fantastic show, recreating battles, dance numbers and even a jousting tournament with horses galloping full pelt along the track during medieval times! But it has to be said, that Kynren’s animal cast truly stole the show during the Georgian scene, with a gaggle of geese, a flock of sheep, goats, cows and even donkeys leading the way during the harvest festival.

The Northern Echo: Kynren 2023

As we progress through history, we visit the Tudors, Shakespeare and Queen Victoria on a barge, the industrial revolution and my favourite scene, the first train journey on the famous Darlington and Stockton Railway.

Kynren covers the history that made the North East and County Durham, the amazing place it is today. Focusing on the region’s industrial past, including a very moving and poignant scene about the County Durham pit disaster showing the harsh reality of an industry that the North East is so well known for, it would make even the most cynical of spectators proud to be from County Durham.

The Northern Echo: Kynren 2023

Nestled beneath Auckland Castle, which remains lit as the light fades from the summer sky, we’re reminded that Bishop Auckland and the North East are at the heart of history.

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As we approach the finale, more recognisable events in history are showcased, Winston Churchill addressing the nation with his inspiring ‘Finest Hour’ speech, the 1966 World Cup winners, the Beatles on Abbey Road and even the Spice Girls making an appearance underneath the replica Auckland Castle.

The epic finale was a sight to behold, celebrating English history in an explosion of colour and richness with a 1,000-person chorus strong of Land of Hope and Glory, fireworks and a tribute to Windrush, it was the perfect end to an impressive tribute to history.

Kynren was certainly not a show to be missed. It was my first time visiting and it did not disappoint. I left frantically searching for how I could volunteer to be a part of the performance next year!

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If you haven’t already been to see the show, or you just want to relive history again, it is certainly worth a visit this summer. Although it is worth remembering that British summers are not to be trusted and there has never been a performance of Kynren cancelled, so be prepared with waterproof jackets.

  • Kynren will run every Saturday from July 29 through to September 9 and show times may vary depending on the time of sunset.
  • Kynren can be found at 11Arches Park, Flatts Farm, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7SF.
  • For tickets and more details visit