Thursday 30 August 2018

Kynren - An Epic Tale Of England Review

On Saturday night we were kindly invited along to Kynren - an epic tale of England, a live-action outdoor show performed here in the North East in Bishop Auckland, Durham. The show tells the story of England, spanning over 2,000 years of history, myth and legend, mostly based here in the North East. With a cast and crew of over 1,000 it really is a truly amazing show that is not like anything I have ever seen before.

Before seeing the show I had seen lots of advertising for Kynren and I had read a few blog posts and heard people recommend it, but I still did not really know what to expect. Seeing it for myself I was blown away, it is easy to see why it has so many 5* Tripadvisor reviews and is currently ranked among the top five must-see performances here in the UK. It exceeded my expectations and was so well organised. 

grey horse at Kynren

So what is Kynren?

Kynren is a live-action outdoor show, set in a field in Bishop Auckland with the stunning backdrop of Bishop Auckland castle in the background. They have a special outdoor set with a lake, amazing pyrotechnics and a huge cast and many, many animals. The audience sits in an 8000 seat outdoor amphitheatre, or Tribune as they call it, giving you amazing views of the set in front of you. Shows start when it gets dark (different show times depending on when you visit), which make the whole show breathtaking, we watched as a full moon rose into the sky behind Bishop Auckland castle and it was breathtaking. 

Kynren set

The show is presented by Eleven Arches, a charity who aims to make Bishop Auckland a tourist destination, I think it is safe to say they are succeeding as people from all over the country and even the world are flocking to the area to see Kynren. The name Eleven Arches comes from the bridge you pass to get to Kynren, which has eleven arches and can be seen from the Kynren site. Many of the 1000 strong cast and crew of Kynren are actually volunteers which is just incredible. 

The show starts with a young boy called Arthur who travels back in time to find out the story of us. From Vikings, the English civil war, World Wars one and two and mining disasters we are swept along through 2000 years of history. Each scene seamlessly blends into the next as the show runs for 90 minutes without a break. Everywhere you looked something was going on, sets appeared in the blink of an eye, horses jostled and geese waddled on by. There were stunts that made you want to hide behind your hands and scenes that took your breath away, as well as many that make you feel proud to be British. 

world war poppy scene at Kynren

As the night got dark we watched on in wonder as the cast entertained us in the most spectacular show I have ever seen. The special effects were mesmerising, the galloping horses, fire, music and amazing cast really made the show so uplifting and wonderful. I really did not want the show to end, it was that good! But it ended with a bang in the most spectacular way as all the cast took to the stage and you grasped what a huge production this is. 

Where is Kynren?

As I mentioned Kynren is located in Bishop Auckland in Durham, it was around 45 minutes drive from our home in Tyneside. Kynren is clearly signposted with signposts directing you to your car park (you need to pre-book parking), we were in car park C which was about a 10-15 minute walk from the entrance. We had park and ride passes through so we could get the double-decker shuttle bus down the hill to the entrance, well worth the few extra pounds to book. 

Kynren set

After the show finished everything was clearly signposted and colour coordinated so we managed to find our way back to our car park easily. The show finished at 10pm and we walked back to the entrance, got the bus back to the car park and were on the road home within half an hour. Pretty impressive when you think there was up to 8000 people all leaving at the same time.

What is there?

As you enter Kynren be aware that bag checks are in place and that no backpacks or food and drink items are allowed in. You are also not allowed to take photographs during the show, so cameras are not permitted either. 

Once you pass security there is a shop selling souvenirs like toy wooden swords, keyrings and CD soundtracks. They also sold blankets and ponchos as the whole show is outdoors so you will get cold and if it is raining you will get wet. 

geese at Kynren

They also have a food village area outside the Tribune with fish and chip, waffles, ice-creams, alcohol, hot & cold drinks and sweets available to buy. A lot of people mentioned the prices were expensive but we didn't think so, we paid £1 for a can of pop, £1 for a cup of a tea, chips were £3, three bags of traditional sweets from a sweet van were £5. There was also lots of very clean toilet blocks dotted around the site too. 

It is recommended you arrive early, the show we watched started at 8.30pm so we arrived around 6.30pm (car parks open at 6pm). We managed to see the blacksmiths at work and see the animals before the show and get something to eat and drink. 

Kynren horse and carriage with queen victoria

Is It suitable for kids?

I didn't take my little two children with me (just turned four and five-years-old) as the show was on too late for them and I wasn't sure if they would sit and watch it. Instead, I visited with my Dad, his partner and my teenage daughter (15-years-old). My teenager loved the show, she really enjoyed it and thought it was brilliant and we noticed lots of other teenagers in the audience too. We did notice some younger children in the audience who seemed to be enjoying it. After seeing the show myself I would say it is suitable for children and I think my 5-year-old would have loved it. 

child evacuee Kynren 2018

How do I book?

Kynren runs from late June until mid-September, it is only on Saturday nights with a few Friday shows. The next shows are Saturday the 1st, 8th or 15th of September 2018. Tickets start from £25 per person or £12.50 per child (4-11 years) teens (12-15) start at £18.75, children under three years of age are free if they sit on an adults knee. You can also book parking and the park and ride shuttle bus service when booking. 

Tickets can be purchased online (no booking fee) at or over the telephone on 0333 300 3028 (small booking fee applies to phone bookings). 

kynren cast and fireworks at end

We had a wonderful evening watching Kynren, the show was spectacular and without a doubt, the best show that I have ever watched. It really was an epic tale of England and I would recommend the show to anyone, it really is a must-see show that the whole family will enjoy. 

Disclosure I received complimentary tickets to the show for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Kynren. 




  1. We went recently as well and it really was amazing. Like nothing I have seen before. I didn't know that you were not allowed to take photos, everyone around seemed to be.

    1. Oh we were told not to take them before the show and noone was taking any when we went. It was a brilliant show though xx

  2. Aw it sounds fab, I visited Puy Du Fou in France this year and adored it, I was like a child the whole time I was there. Cinescenie totally blew my mind which is the French version of the show. xx

    1. Puy Du Fou looked amazing, would love to visit one day myself as I bet it was an incredible experience. xx


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