With world-class events and exhibitions including Kynren – an epic tale of England in the shadow of Auckland Castle, Open Treasure experience at the heart of Durham Cathedral and a major fashion coup for The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle with The V & A’s Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, the county is being showcased like never before.

Staff at Shildon Early Years Nursery are using a visit to Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon as a catalyst to spark the imagination and education of youngsters.

The nursery’s Lauren Smith said: “As we approached the museum we heard the tooting of the trains and the children’s faces lit up.

“It’s great that not only have they the opportunity to learn about history but they can do it in their own community.

“Shildon is known for its railway heritage and the children were eager to learn more.

“It was great to be able to teach the children about the different types of trains, what they were used for, and what fuel and resources they need to run.”

The nursery’s visit coincided with that of the Flying Scotsman, which for the first time since the museum’s opening in 2004 was brought to Shildon, with a week-long “Shed Bash” attracting thousands of train fans.

Nursery manager Kim Roberts said: “The experience was magical for the little ones, and the children are still talking about their experiences to one another.

“The Flying Scotsman has made such an impact on their learning.”

The visit was organised as part of the nursery’s work to “promote British values” and learn about our their local community.

Kim said: “As an outstanding day care nursery we take our role very seriously to promote British values.

“And we are looking forward to continuing this learning in the coming weeks.”