See the light

Light fantastic: So wonderful to see Durham City lit up in dazzling display by Lumiere Durham, the UK’s biggest outdoor festival of light.

Back in Durham for the fifth time, Lumiere sees artists from around the world illuminate the city in delightful and surprising ways, with 28 light installations to explore.


The festival, which runs for four nights until November 19, shines a light on this beautiful historic city. And there is so much to see. Where to start… with lots of layers and flat shoes.


We began at the iconic Durham Cathedral. The captivating bellringing/light artwork, ‘Methods’ by artist Pablo Valbuena, transforms the interior and exterior of the ancient building. Teams of bellringers activate lighting effects within the building with the chimes of each bell. Clever stuff this.

Another must-see is the cathedral cloister, currently filled with thousands of illuminated flowers for the Entre les rangs artwork. Watch the ‘blooms’ light up when you add the flash on your camera!


Captivating artwork ‘Frequencies’ by Finnish artist Kari Kola meanwhile transforms the river landscape into a dreamy wonderland of sound and light. Walk a little further on and see the animated ‘Our Moon’ piece by Hannah Fox, projected onto the façade of Durham Castle. This moon blinks, smiles, frowns and twitches and is a beguiling piece.


The bright and cheerful Dome and Arches in the focal-point Market Place is a colourful piece popular with children, while the interior of St Oswald’s Church is lit up in ethereal fashion, thousands of hand-blown glass pieces depicting the birth of light in the universe.

The last Lumiere Durham, held in 2015, saw 200,000 people descend on the city for the festival. This year it looks like that record will be broken. Catch it while you can.

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