Free events are great fun while also helping your wallet. Check out what's on in Durham this week, June 17-23 2019.

Durham always has plenty of events, but sometimes it's nice just to turn up to an activity without having had to book first. We've rounded up some free activities below.

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#1: Live inDurham

The free Live inDurham event is back on Thursday June 20, with an evening of free live music across the city. Keep an eye out on the Live inDurham Facebook page for details.

#2: Free Photography Afternoon, Durham Dales Centre

Gary Lintern Photography is running an afternoon of free photography events at the Durham Dales Centre, Stanhope (postcode DL13 2FJ). Between 1.30-4pm on Saturday June 22, there will be talks on subjects such as stargazing and astrophotography ahead of the new dark sky season in August, and a sale of second hand photography kit.

You can book a ticket on the Eventbrite event page.

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#3: 1940s weekend, Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle will go back almost 80 years at its annual 1940s weekend. Running over Saturday and Sunday June 22-23, there'll be living history displays, vintage traders, music, dancing and vintage vehicles, as well as free admission to Barnard Castle. Events start at about 10am, and run on Sunday until around 4pm.

#4: Durham University community fun day

Up on Palace Green, Durham University will be running a community fun day. Taking place on Saturday June 22 from 10am to 3pm, there'll be live music and theatre, hands on science experiments, arts and crafts, and a chance to have a go at some sports and dancing. For more information email

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#5: The Land of Oak & Iron - Volunteering with a View

Help the Woodland Trust maintain a newly planted wood at Castlehills Woodland, near the Derwent Valley. It's on Wednesday June 19 10am to 3pm, and all tools will be provided, as well as tea and coffee, but bring stout shoes, waterproofs and a packed lunch. Contact before attending.

#6: Chesterfest, Chester le Street

Chesterfest in Chester le Street celebrates the Cricket World Cup coming to the North East. Running on Saturday (11am to 9pm) and Sunday (11am to 6pm) June 22-23, Chesterfest will have entertainment and children's activities, as well as live music. There will also be food theatre where visitors can watch demonstrations from professional chefs.

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It's being held in the Pemberton Rooms on Palace Green, and starts at 12pm on the Friday. It's free but you need to book a ticket on the Eventbrite page.

#7: Arthur, Nigel and Terry, Spennymoor

Meet Arthur Cole and Nigel C Williams - two former police officers who have used their experience solving crime to write the Terry McGuire crime thriller series. It's in Spennymoor Town Hall on Sunday June 23 at 12-2pm. You can register on the Eventbrite page.

#8: HSBC UK Go Ride

A free event, the Ready Set Ride - Skill 2 Ride is part of the Consett Cycling Festival, and run by British Cycling Go Ride. Taking place in Front Street, Consett, between 9.15-10.45am on Sunday June 23, the session is aimed at children to have a go at cycling and get some tips from the qualified coaches. Bikes and helmets are available on the day. Email for more information. You can register here.

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#9: Classical Encounters, Durham University

The Durham Centre for Classical Reception is holding a two day conference on Friday and Saturday June 21-22, with talks and discussions. Entitled 'Classical Encounters: Receptions of antiquity in the long Nineteenth Century', it will bring together scholars to explore encounters with the ancient world in Nineteenth Century visual, material, literary and political culture and the implications of these encounters on discourses such as nationhood, colonialism, race, religion, gender, sexuality and death.

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