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Poem inspires Durham staycation campaign
Poem inspires Durham staycation campaign

Poem inspires Durham staycation campaign

A poem which gave so many people hope during the coronavirus lockdown is now inspiring people to visit the county in which it was written.

Gemma Peakcock at Beamish MuseumThe Rainbow Children, by Gemma Peacock of Shotton Colliery in County Durham, is part of a new campaign from Visit County Durham aimed at encouraging people to visit Durham following the closure of the county’s tourism industry during lockdown.


Inspired by a walk through her local countryside in Durham, Gemma wrote the poem to reassure her young children at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. After sharing it on her own Facebook page for friends and family to see, it quickly became a social media sensation and went on to be viewed by thousands across the world, and was read out on TV by North East celebrities including Ant and Dec.


As part of the ‘Worth the Wait’ staycation campaign launched by Visit County Durham, which showcases some of the experiences visitors can have across the county that have been ‘worth the wait’ following long weeks of lockdown, Gemma’s heartfelt words are now accompanied by video footage that promotes highlights of a trip to Durham, from the great outdoors and fascinating heritage, to culture, family fun and food and drink, to inspire people to visit the county. With Gemma and her family also making an appearance in the video.


The video can be viewed here


Gemma Peacock said: “I am honoured that Visit County Durham are using my poem to inspire people to visit. I am very proud of where we live but we do sometimes take it for granted. We have learned to love and appreciate the beauty of our own coast and countryside during lockdown, and it is fantastic that my poem is being used to encourage more people to discover our incredible county.’


“I only expected family and friends to read my poem online when I wrote it in April, but now it has reached thousands and I’m pleased that it has helped people through the lockdown. And I couldn’t be more proud that it is inspiring people to come and visit the beautiful county we love so much.”


Cllr Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “Gemma’s poem became a social media sensation and really captured the nation’s mood during lockdown, and the stunning shots it is accompanied by in the video prove County Durham truly is Worth the Wait.


“We know tourism is crucial to getting our economy back on track and to supporting local businesses as we begin to recover from the pandemic, and by attracting people to County Durham this video can help do just that.”



The campaign also features a second video, which brings to life the county’s stunning landscapes with a poem written by Lord Byron, who was married at Seaham Hall in 1815.

The website for the campaign is


All enquiries:

Debbie Sharratt, Visit County Durham

M: 07963 955280 E:


Twitter: @VCDBusiness   Facebook: VCD Business   LinkedIn: Visit County Durham


Notes to editors:



Please find picture attached to accompany this press release.


Caption: Gemma Peacock and family filming for the campaign video at Beamish Museum


Gemma’s favourite places in Durham:

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Hardwick Park

Wharton Park

Durham City and its river walks

Finchale Abbey

Castle Eden Dene

Durham Heritage Coast


About Visit County Durham


  • Visit County Durham (VCD) is the Destination Management Organisation for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies. We came into being on 1 April 2006 and are a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors including an executive director.
  • The company’s main funder is Durham County Council. The private sector also contributes financially to our work in return for benefits and activities that meet their needs.
  • Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Its objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Its broad aims are to attract people to the area and to provide visitors with the best possible experience.

Published: 07, September, 2020

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